What is the climax of "A Christmas Memory"?   

1 Answer | Add Yours

litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The climax of the story is when Buddy and his cousin are flying the kite.

The story is unusual in that it is a flashback of a childhood memory by an adult.  The story symbolically recounts a perfect childhood memory of a seven year old who calls himself Buddy, because that is what his cousin does.

The exposition is our introduction to the unnamed narrator, who calls himself Buddy because his cousin remembers someone of that name, and the elderly cousin.

I am seven; she is sixty-something, We are cousins, very distant ones, and we have lived together—well, as long as I can remember.

The rising action (events leading to the climax) is the events of their Christmas gathering and celebration, including the cooking and the tree.

Buddy values her friendship very much.  She means the world to him.  The climax of the story is the climax of the Christmas memory, or the most interesting point.  It is also the turning point, because it is the last memory they have together.

[Things] as they are"—her hand circles in a gesture that gathers clouds and kites and grass and Queenie pawing earth over her bone—"just what they've always seen, was seeing Him. As for me, I could leave the world ws.ith today in my eyes."

There is very little falling action, or the events that wrap up the story after the climax.  Buddy notes that this is their last Christmas, because she dies.  He finds out at school, but he knows without being told. 

The resolution is his acceptance of her death, and his knowledge of it which “some secret vein had already received” because they are so close.


We’ve answered 317,697 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question