At what point would you say was the climax and denouement in the story “The Man Who Was Almost a Man?”

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The climax occurs at the point in the story when Dave inadvertently shoots Jenny, the mule; the denouement of the story occurs as Dave jumps onto the train car.

Richard Wright's story "The Man Who Was Almost a Man " has an ironic title because Dave Saunders is...

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The climax occurs at the point in the story when Dave inadvertently shoots Jenny, the mule; the denouement of the story occurs as Dave jumps onto the train car.

Richard Wright's story "The Man Who Was Almost a Man" has an ironic title because Dave Saunders is never a man. He is a boy who wants to be a man by possessing a gun. For, when he holds the gun that he purchases for two dollars from Joe at the store, Dave feels empowered. But, when he fires this obsolete gun, he closes his eyes and waves it wildly for a moment before firing it, but the recoil of the old gun causes Dave to fall backwards. When he recovers himself, Dave hears Jenny, the mule, and sees her kicking wildly and tossing her head.

  • Climax

When he catches Jenny, Dave discovers that he has shot her.

Jenny was bleeding. Her left side was red and wet with blood....Then he saw the hole in Jenny's side, right between the ribs.

When the mule dies, Dave buries the gun, and he decides that he cannot tell Jim Hawkins that he has shot his mule, but is very worried.

  • Denouement

Dave is humiliated when people discover that he has shot the mule because the recoil of the gun was too much for him to handle, and men among the onlookers begin to laugh. "Hot anger bubbled in him." This humiliation of his mishap embarrasses Dave so much that he decides to jump on top of a train and leave his parents and abscond without paying his debt.

He felt his pocket; the gun was still there. Ahead, the long rails were glinting in the moonlight, stretching away...somewhere he could be a man.

In this Modernist-styled short story, there is no full resolution. He has nothing, and he has left his parents to pay his debt and with no knowledge of where he is going.

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