What is the conflict, rising action and climax in "Bud, Not Buddy"?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Conflict: Bud's conflict concerns his status as an unwanted orphan and his search to find his father and family following the death of his young mother.

Rising Action: Bud's journey from Flint, Michigan to Grand Rapids to find his family and his numerous experiences along the way comprise the rising action of the novel. Throughout his journey, Bud believes that Herman E. Calloway is his father because of several flyers his mother chose to keep before her death.

Bud initially escapes the domineering Amos family and meets up with his friend named Bugs. The two orphans end up spending the night at a Hooverville before Bud decides to walk to Grand Rapids after missing a train headed towards California. Fortunately, Bud gets picked up by an older man named Lefty Lewis, who takes Bud to his daughter's home in Flint, Michigan. After meeting Lefty Lewis's family and resting, Lefty drives Bud to Grand Rapids and drops him off outside of the Log Cabin, which is where Herman E. Calloway and the Nubian Knights of the New Deal are scheduled to perform.

Climax: The climax of the novel takes place when Bud enters the Log Cabin and initially meets Herman E. Calloway, who he believes is his father. Bud approaches the stage, where Herman and his band are talking, and Herman says, "Well, well, well, little man, what brings you here? Miss Thomas?" (92) Bud responds by telling Herman that he came to see his father. Bud then points towards Herman at the end of chapter 12 and says, "You know it's you" (92). Unfortunately, Herman simply scowls at Bud and stares at him with a hard expression.

dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The conflict in Bud, Not Buddy is Bud's situation after his mother dies and he is left in the care of the state.  He is placed in a foster home with an abusive family and runs away to find the man he believes is his father.

The rising action follows Bud's escape from his foster family and his days "on the lam".  He is helped by an "adopted family" on the food line at the mission in Flint, Michigan, and a kind librarian at the local library.  Bud then runs into his street-wise friend Bugs, and the two spend time at "Hooverville", a makeshift enclave where the homeless gather.  It is in Hooverville that Bud encounters the unforgettable Deza Malone, and receives his first kiss.  Bud then heads for Grand Rapids where he thinks his father is, getting a ride from Lefty Lewis, a mysterious man who delivers blood to the hospitals.

The climax of the story is when Bud reaches his destination, and meets the boys in the band and the man he believes is his father, Herman E. Calloway.

The remainder of the story represents the falling action.  Bud is taken in by the band and especially by their lead singer, Miss Thomas.  Calloway is hesitant to accept Bud, until it is revealed that he is in fact not Bud's father, but his grandfather.  The story ends on a positive note, with Bud seemingly having found a home at last.

cc4him2804 | Student

I don't agree with the other answer to some extent.  While I do agree that the conflict is Bud's state, being on his own, and that the rising action is his journey to find his dad, I don't agree with the climax being when he walks into the Log Cabin.  The most anticipated heart pounding moment is when Bud yells out his momma's name and HEC is bewildered and stagering into his bedroom.  Everything after that is the falling action. The resoloution is him staying with the band and finding his home.