What event do you consider to be the climax in the novel?

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beateach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The climax of The Sport of the Gods, by Paul Laurence Dunbar, occurs in chapter 16 when Mr. Skaggs, the New York reporter, travels back to the South to unearth the secret that keeps Barry Hamilton in jail. He hopes to have an exclusive story for the newspaper but, in actuality, his work leads to much more.

Mr. Skaggs arrives at the Continental hotel, and strikes up a conversation with the locals in the hotel bar. One of the more talkative locals, Colonel Saunders, shares his theory of why Maurice Oakley, the man whom Barry Hamilton had been a butler to, has deteriorated over the last four years. This occurred after Barry Hamilton was incarcerated for supposedly stealing money from his employer. Colonel Saunder's theory is that Maurice Oakley keeps the money that Barry supposedly stole in a secret pocket in his undershirt that is positioned over his heart, thus concealing evidence that would set Mr. Hamilton free.

Mr. Skaggs pays a visit to the Oakley home where he confronts Maurice under the pretense of delivering a message from his brother, Frances, who has been living as an artist in Paris. Frances had been visiting his brother and preparing to leave for France at the same time that the money disappeared. During the confrontation, Mr. Skaggs takes possession of a letter in which Frances admits to being the one who stole the money from his brother five years ago. Therefore, Barry Hamilton had been wrongfully incarcerated.

From this point on the story moves into its resolution.

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The Sport of the Gods

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