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What is the exposition, rising action, falling action and resolution of the plot of the...

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nicoleneedshelp | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 26, 2009 at 10:16 AM via web

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What is the exposition, rising action, falling action and resolution of the plot of the short story, "A Sound of Thunder"?

I need to know the exposition, rising action, falling action, and resolution of the short story, "A Sound of Thunder."

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 18, 2009 at 11:40 AM (Answer #1)

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Ray Bradbury's science fiction short story, "A Sound of Thunder," recounts the tale of a journey to the past that goes terribly awry. Time Safari Inc. is a travel company which specializes in organizing hunting expeditions for the dreaded Tyrannosaurus Rex. The group travels by time machine to the past, where the paying guests are given the opportunity to take down a real, live T-Rex. However, there are certain rules that must be followed; one of them is to never deviate from the specific trail that is mapped out for the group. During the hunt, however, one member, Eckels, panics and flees from the path.

When the group returns to the present, they discover that there are now many changes: Buildings look different, familiar words are spelled differently, and the recent presidential election now has a new winner. The reasons for the changes soon become apparent when Eckels goes to clean his boots and discovers a lone butterfly on the sole. He had stepped on the butterfly in the past, and the death of this single creature has caused a chain reaction of events that have left the world changed forever.

The rising action would probably be considered the killing of the T-Rex from which Eckels ran. The falling action is the discovery of the changes in the town that have resulted from the killing of the butterfly. The resolution comes when Eckels hears the click of the safety release of Travis' rifle, followed by the sound of thunder.

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