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I believe that the turning point or climax of the story occurs in May, when Holling returns home after taking a tour of the city's distinctive architecture with Mrs. Baker, and spending time with her at St. Adelbert's, praying for all the people in his life. With all the elements of his awakening to others in place, he enters his house and feels its emptiness, understanding that the biggest part of the void there is because his sister is gone, and he loves her. Holling says,
"Maybe the first time that you know you really care about something is when you think about it not being there, and you know - you really know - that the emptiness is as much inside you as outside you."
By his own admission, this is the moment when he knows that he really does love his sister, and his love is unselfish, because he does not know "if he want(s) more for her to come back or for her to find whatever it (is) that she (is) trying to find." When Holling's sister calls to say that she needs help that night, Holling, who used to be a passive actor in his own life, takes positive action, standing up to his father and doing what is necessary to get her home safely. Through his experiences over the year, and with the help of Mrs. Baker and others who support him in his development as an honorable and courageous human being, Holling now has the maturity to be a giver instead of a taker, and he is able to prove it by saving his big sister with reasoned and effective support that is both practical and emotional (Chapter 9).
when holling dies () ()
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