Split Cherry Tree

by Jesse Stuart
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What is the rising action of the story “Split Cherry Tree”?

The rising action in Jesse Stuart's story “Split Cherry Tree” begins as Dave hurries home after being kept late at school, explains to his Pa what happened, listens to his Pa's rant, and worries about the next day. The action continues to rise as Pa goes to school with Dave, confronts Professor Herbert, and learns a few lessons of his own.

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In “Split Cherry Tree” by Jesse Stuart , Dave Sexton gets in trouble during a biology field trip for his high school. Dave and five friends climb a cherry tree to try to catch a lizard, but they all climb it at once, and the tree breaks. The...

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In “Split Cherry Tree” by Jesse Stuart, Dave Sexton gets in trouble during a biology field trip for his high school. Dave and five friends climb a cherry tree to try to catch a lizard, but they all climb it at once, and the tree breaks. The tree's owner charges the boys a dollar apiece, but Dave doesn't have the money. His teacher, Professor Herbert, puts in the dollar for him and makes Dave work off the debt for two hours after school two days in a row. Dave knows that his Pa will be furious with him for having to stay after school, for Dave has many chores to do at home.

After this conflict is firmly set in place, the action of the story rises through Dave's mad dash to get home and through his father's rant. Dave is horrified and worried when Pa says that he is going to go to school the next day. He is afraid that Pa will lose his temper, and he seriously contemplates running away before he realizes that Pa would go to school even if he did. Dave has trouble studying that evening as he wonders what will happen the next day.

The action continues to rise as Pa goes with Dave to school the next morning. Tensions escalate further as Pa confronts Professor Herbert, who keeps his cool and defuses the situation. Pa ends up curious about high school and all the things Dave is learning, and Professor Herbert invites Pa to stay at school all day. He shows him many things, takes him to classes, and even gets him to look at germs under a microscope.

The story reaches is climax as Professor Herbert tries to cancel Dave's debt, but Pa won't let him. Instead, Pa offers to stay with Dave. They will each work an hour, and the debt will be paid. Pa thus gives Dave a lesson of his own as he teaches him about being “just and honest” and knowing right from wrong. The story then resolves as Pa and Dave go home together and do their chores, and Pa tells Ma all about his day at school.

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