Where exactly is the rising action in the story "Thank You, Ma'm" by Langston Hughes?

Expert Answers
kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In literature, the rising action relates to the events which take place before the climax, the most intense and dramatic point of the story.

In "Thank You M'am," the rising action happens after the exposition (the initial description of the setting of the story) when Roger tries to steal Mrs. Jones's purse. The rising action, therefore, happens when Mrs. Jones takes hold of Roger and drags him back to her house. As much as he protests and claims that he is sorry, Mrs. Jones is determined that she will take him back to her house and wash his face. She also asks if he is hungry, suggesting that she intends on feeding him.

These events form the rising action because they prepare the reader for the climax which takes place at Mrs. Jones's house.

charcunning eNotes educator| Certified Educator

That depends--if you think that the climax is where Luella drags the boy home instead of calling the police on him, then the rising action would be all of the events leading up to that time. For example, Luella walks home from work, the boy tries to snatch her pocketbook, they fall down, she snatches him up and drags him home.

The climax is the part of the story that has the most intense action (internal or external) and this story has several plot points that you can interpret and support as being the climax.

The rising action is everything that comes before that point.

The link below will help you sort out the "pieces" of the plot.

senaer | Student

I think the rising action starts at the part of when Roger trying to snatch the Mrs Jones' purse because it takes us to climax.

Read the study guide:
Thank You, M'am

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question