What is the falling action in the story, "All Summer in a Day"?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ray Bradbury's short story, "All Summer in a Day," has been a long-time staple in American middle and high school classrooms since shortly after it was published in 1954. Bradbury tells the story of a group of school children living on Venus, where it rains constantly. In fact, the Venutian atmosphere only clears for two hours every seven years, and it is this time that the story focuses. The school children are excited to witness sunshine for the first time, but before the big moment arises, some of the children lock their classmate, Margot, in a closet. They are jealous of Margot, because she is the newest arrival from Earth, and she can remember the sun. When the teacher returns and directs the students to have fun outside until the rains return, they forget to release Margot from the closet, and she misses the two hours of sunshine. The falling action occurs when the sun disappears and the rains resume; upon returning to the classroom, the children discover that Margot has been forgotten, and they sadly release her. The children are ashamed of their act, since all that Margot had told them about the sun's brilliance proved to be true. 

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The falling action in the story happens right after the climax.  After the students lock Margot in the closet for her statements about the sun, they actually experience the sunlight.  Their teacher takes them outside and they frolic in its radiance.  When they have to come back inside after the sun leaves, the falling action is the dawning of reality upon them all as to Margot.  In their excitement and zeal or through their deliberate manipulation, Margot was left in the closet and, in the process, the students recognize what had happened and they unlock it.  Margot's experience of the sunlight was denied as the cruelty of the majority is exposed for all to see.