What is the rising action and or falling action to the short story all summer in a day

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In literature the rising action in a plot occurs when the problem arises. In Ray Bradbury's story "All Summer in a Day," the problem arises when Margot does not react to the other children as they think that she should. She is different because she has come from earth and remembers the sun whereas the other children have been borne on Venus. 

"What’re you looking at ?" said William. Margot said nothing. "Speak when you’re spoken to." He gave her a shove.... She felt them go away. And this was because she would play no games with them.

Margot is different. Margot remembers the sun whereas the others do not. Because she will not engage with the other children they lock her into a closet before the sun comes out. And, when the sunshine floods upon the children, they revel in it, enjoying its warmth, its invigoration. No one thinks of Margot who is locked in the closet. So, it is only after the sun goes away and the incessant rain recommences that anyone thinks of Margot. 

  • The falling action, then, occurs as 

They stood as if someone had driven them, like so many stakes, into the floor. They looked at each other and then looked away. They glanced out at the world that was raining now....Their faces were solemn and pale. They looked at their hands and feet, their faces down. "Margot."

The conclusion occurs as together the children walk down the hall and one of them opens the door. There is no sound on the other side. When the door is opened, Margot steps out.

teachersage eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The rising action includes all the events that occur between the introduction and the climax, the point in a story at which the main conflict comes to a head. In this story, the rising action shows the build-up of tension between Margot's otherness as the only child in the class who remembers earth and the other children, who are adapted to life on Venus. Her memories set her apart and make the other children jealous. She is also a very sensitive child, and her intense longing for and knowledge of sunshine, which she can describe, is something the other children resent.

The climax comes when, just before the sun is about to shine for the first time in seven years, the other children lock Margot in a dark, windowless closet. This begins the falling action, the point where the protagonist of the story, in this case Margot, wins or loses against her foes. Margot has been defeated, her desires thwarted, and the rest of the story revolves around the joy the other children experience in the sunshine until it begins to rain again and they uneasily remember Margot.