Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes

by Chris Crutcher

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Discuss the main points of Staying Fat for Sarah Burns. 1a. What is the conflict in this story? b. In one sentence, what was the resolution 2a.What is the climax of the story? b. What is the theme of the story?

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1a. The conflict in Staying Fat For Sarah Byrnes is that Sarah is in a catatonic state in a mental hospital and refuses to talk. No one knows why she won't speak, but we are able to put the pieces together through Moby. Moby digs around and discovers that Sarah Byrnes' father was abusive and purposefully burned her. Only when Moby discloses the truth to Sarah Byrnes does she begin to speak - but only verbally to Moby alone and through writing in a notebook. We learn that she's deathly afraid to speak to anyone else because they might determine she is 'cured' and return her home to her abusive father.

1b. The resolution is when Moby confides in Ms. Lemry and she agrees to "hide" Sarah at her home and then take her to confront her mother about her abusive father.

2a. The climax, or turning point, in the story is when Moby discovers the truth about Sarah's past and begins working to fix her present.

2b. There can be multiple themes to consider. Theme is the controlling or central idea of a story. In this story, the author examines themes of friendship and trust. Also consider that the author dedicates the book "for all those who finally stand up for themselves." The general theme of standing up for yourself and fighting to preserve your true self is present throughout the story. Another theme could be how issues with one's body image can negatively impact their outlook and behavior.

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