When studying literature, the rising action of a story or work is said to be a series of complications caused that threaten to prevent the main character or characters from solving their particular problem or achieving their quest. Clearly, in this story, it is quickly established that John's quest is to go to the City of the Gods in search of knowledge. The rising action then can be said to be the difficulties he encounters on the way in his journey that threaten to prevent him achieving his goal: he has to go through the Dead Places, avoid the Forest People and then, the biggest challenge, cross the big river that he is very scared of. Once he reaches the city, he needs to avoid the gang of dogs to reach his goal. These challenges lead to the climax of the story where John has his vision and realises the truth about the "gods" and what has happened.