What is the climax of Avi's The Man Who Was Poe?

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The climax of the story happens when Edmund discovers the location of his sister aboard the Sunrise. His decision to rescue his sister himself, in defiance of Poe, begins the highest part of the action of the story and leads directly to the resolution, which is the final rescue of Sis. This point in the story represents a kind of thematic turning point as well: Edmund's figuring out of the meaning of the word "Sunrise" in the note and his decision to disobey Poe represent a major change in his character. Previously, the mystery of Sis's location had been investigated by Poe, who believed that in writing the story of Sis's abduction he could also write its conclusion. Edmund's disagreement with Poe at the end of the novel illustrates his independence and growing maturity, of course, but it also is a kind of struggle for creative control over Poe's writing: Poe doesn't want Edmund to rescue Sis, because he has already written the ending, and she dies. When Sis is rescued, Edmund has effectively rewritten Poe's story. He has, in effect, become the author of his own story!

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In Avi's The Man Who Was Poe, the central conflict is a character vs. character conflict because Edmund's sister has been kidnapped by other characters, and Edmund is doing everything in his power to find her. Therefore, the moment he gets closest to rescuing his sister is the climax. Throughout the story, Edmund relies on Poe for help. When Edmund realizes Poe is only interested in solving the mystery for the sake of writing a story, not for the sake of actually rescuing Sis, Edmund has to summon the courage to rescue her himself by locating the ship called the Sunrise; therefore, the climax occurs the moment Edmund says to Poe, "I am going to the docks. . . To the Sunrise" (182).

After this point, Edmund encounters other obstacles that prevent him from rescuing his sister immediately, yet these obstacles only serve to create suspense by dragging out the resolution to keep the reader interested. Obstacles include Edmund being knocked unconscious on the docks by Mr. Peterson; the difficulties he, Mr. Throck, and Poe encounter as they chase after the Sunrise on board the Peggy; and Poe's attempt to keep Edmund from rescuing his nearly drowning sister. The moment Edmund and Sis are pulled out of the water and on board the Peggy is the resolution.

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