What is the falling action of "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings"?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Before you can identify the falling action, which culminates in the resolution, you must identify the climax, also called the turning point, which is the moment, event, statement, decision, etc. that determines (predicts) the final outcome of the story,e.g., he jumps out the parachute hatch or not.

The climax is usually associated with a dramatic and emotional event. However the climax is defined as the irrevocable turning point, not as the most exciting or emotional point. Climaxes in stories may be very subtle, quiet moments.

In "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings," the climax is one of those sorts of quiet, subtle turning points. The old man is fading after long months of being isolated in the chicken coop and is expected to die. However a change comes over him, one that he feels and recognizes as anticipatory of something greater coming. Then his wings start to grow new, healthy, clean feathers. This is the climax; this is the turning point. The old man will live and will rise above his captivity.

All that happens after the time during which his new wings are growing is the falling action that leads to the final resolution of the story: his flight on new wings and his new beginning.

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A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings

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