In which part of the plot does Mr. Carr call Alfred's mother in All the Years of Her Life?  

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mr. Carr calls Alfred's mother in the rising action of the plot of "All the Years of her Life."

In the exposition of Morley Callaghan's story, there is the introduction of the characters of Alfred Higgins and Mr. Carr, the druggist for whom Alfred works. [The characters and setting are established.]
Then, while Alfred removes his white jacket as he prepares to go home, Mr. Carr stops him and says,

Maybe you'd be good enough to take a few things out of your pocket and leave them here before you go.

This is the introduction of the problem of the story in which the main character, Alfred, finds himself in crisis, and the rising action begins. In this rising action, the complication arises as Mr. Carr has discovered that Alfred has stolen some items from the store. Alfred recognizes his conflict with authority and tries to deal with this crisis through denial of having stolen anything. But, when he must empty his pockets, he can no longer deny his theft; so, he tries to mitigate the seriousness of it by saying, "This is the first time I ever took anything." However, Mr. Carr does not believe him. He tells Alfred that he liked him and is very disappointed; further, he admits that he does not like to call in the police. 

"You're a fool and maybe I should call your father and tell him you're a fool. Maybe I should let them know I'm going to have you locked up."

"My father's not at home. He's a printer. He works nights," Alfred said.

Then, Mr. Carr asks who is at home, and Alfred tells him that his mother is there. Mr. Carr dials the number to call Mrs. Higgins. Alfred feels the "deep fright growing in him," and he tries to talk Mr. Carr out of calling his mother. But, Mr. Carr makes the phone call and talks to Alfred's mother in the continuing action that rises toward the climax.


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All the Years of Her Life

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