What is the main event in Rumble Fish?

Expert Answers

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

An action-packed novel, the most important scene comes as the climax of S. E. Hinton's Rumble Fish. At the end of Chapter 10, Rusty-James gives up the leadership of the gang to Smokey, who also takes Patty as well. It is one of the few times that Rusty-James decides not to use his fists to decide matters. When Rusty-James discovers that the Motorcycle Boy is at the pet store, he rushes to meet him. In Chapter 11, the Motorcycle Boy explains that his favorite fish are Siamese fighting fish--"rumble fish"--which will kill each other if put in the same bowl. The boys leave when the store closes, but the two return later and break into the store and steal the fish. The Motorcycle Boy also releases all of the animals in the store, taking the fish with him intent upon releasing them into the river. They are met by Officer Patterson, however, who shoots the Motorcycle Boy; the Motorcycle Boy, along with the fish, die in the street. Rusty-James is arrested, and he then further injures himself when he breaks out the police car's window.


See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team