The Man Who Was Poe

by Avi

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What is the rising action that leads to the climax of The Man Who Was Poe?

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The book is divided into three sections. Chapters 1-10 provide the exposition, giving us all the background information we need to understand the action of the story. Chapters 11-20 are the rising action leading up to the climax. Chapter 11 begins with Edmund following Poe/Dupin to Mrs. Whitman's house because he's unsure whether he can trust Poe/Dupin. Poe then goes to the First Unitarian Church where he finds clues in the bell tower, and then Poe goes to Mrs. Whitman's house. The next few events give us clues to solve the mystery that involves Catherine, Mrs. Whitman's maid, Mr. Arnold, the man who also wants to marry Mrs. Whitman, and a man who follows Edmund to the pier. When Edmund finds Poe, Edmund gets mad at him because Poe won't answer his questions. Poe then explains everything to Edmund, and they go back to the room. The rising action ends when Edmund decides to go down to the pier by himself because Poe and Throck are asleep. Edmund sees Sis, his sister, on Rachett's boat, but Rachett hits Edmund. Poe and Throck find Edmund knocked out, and the three of them jump on a boat and chase Rachett and Peterson across the water. The climax occurs when Sis jumps in the water, and Edmund jumps in to save her. The remainder of the book is the falling action and the resolution.

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What is the falling action of The Man Who Was Poe?

The falling action occurs after the climax. The climax of this novel occurs in Chapter 21 when Edmund, Poe, and Throck chase Rachett, Peterson, and Sis, Edmund's sister, in a boat. Sis gets away and jumps into the water. Edmund jumps in the water to save her, and this is the climax of the book. Everything that occurs after that is the falling action. Rachett and Peterson and the boat sink with the gold bars on board. In the last chapter, Edmund walks with Poe and asks Poe if was really trying to save his sister, or if he was just interested in getting a story. When Poe doesn't answer him, Edmund accuses Poe of being afraid of living, not dying. Poe finally tells Edmund that Sis would live longer as a character in his story than she will in life, and then he drops his story to the ground and walks off. This shows Poe's pessimistic view that death takes everyone that's important to us. Edmund picks it up and discovers the story begins in a tenement on Ann Street. The original name given to the boy in the story was Edgar, but it had been crossed out and changed to Edmund.

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