What is the climax of Toni Cade Bambara's "Blues Ain't No Mockin Bird"?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The climax in any story is the turning point of the story, the moment rising action becomes falling action. It can also be the most intense moment in the story. In Toni Cade Bambara's "Blues Ain't No Mockin Bird," the climax occurs the moment the Cains' household is attacked by a hawk seeking revenge for the death of its mate.

Prior to the climax, Granny refuses to grant the two men with the camera permission to film her home and tells them to leave her property. While they do back away from her property, they don't leave entirely, and manage to witness Granddaddy Cain coming home with a newly hunted chicken hawk slung over his shoulder. As the two men film him coming home with the chicken hawk and nailing it to the shed, the climax begins to develop as an angry "giant hawk" comes "wailin up over the meadow, flyin low and tilted and screamin, zigzaggin through the pecan grove, breakin branches and hollerin, snappin past the clothesline, flyin every which way, flyin into things reckless with crazy." The children in the yard take cover by flattening themselves on the driveway while the two cameramen are buzzed by the hawk, "duckin and bendin and runnin and fallin, jigglin the camera and scared." It's at this point in the story that the reader sees the two men are getting their just deserts and likely to leave the property in an effort to save their own lives.

The climax is when Ganddaddy Cain very silently and calmly takes the hammer from off his wrist and throws it at the hawk, which falls to the ground. After Granddaddy Cain rescues the two men from the hawk, the falling action begins to occur as Granddaddy Cain demands their camera, destroys their film, and tells them to get out of Granny's flowerbed.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial