What is the rising action of "The Storyteller" by Saki?

Expert Answers

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As a literary device, the rising action comprises

all decisions, characters’ flaws and background circumstances that together create turns and twists leading to a climax.

Therefore, this is not just one isolated moment in the story, but the combination of several small moments that, as they occur in sequence, raise the energy in the storyline and start building up engagement in the reader. 

Interestingly, the rising action in "The Storyteller" mirrors these same dynamics among the characters because this moment occurs when the children become bored by their aunt's story. When the children complain about the story, the bachelor traveling next to them in the carriage tells the aunt she may not be a successful storyteller.

The aunt is piqued by the comment and argues storytelling is not an easy thing to do. As they continue to go back and forth, the aunt finally gives up and asks the bachelor whether he would like to tell the children a story. This was not said in kind, but as a way to show him that it was, indeed, very hard to keep children interested in stories.

The bachelor accepts the challenge and asks the children to sit and listen to the story he is going to tell him. This is the highest moment of the story, which is the climax. All that built up to that very moment was the rising action.

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