What is the climax in "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry" and why is it the climax?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Logan family in Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry lives in a dangerous time when African-American families faced lynching and being burned out of their homes just for being alive. It was in the 1930s and racial war was rampant under the name of racial purity and prejudice. The Logan family survive on their hereditary land even though efforts are continually made by their neighbor, Granger, to take their land away from them. Papa Logan gets shot and although his new friend Mr. Morrison saves his life, Papa is unable to earn wages anymore. The climax of the story comes when a lynch mob is on the loose and headed to the Logan's next. Papa acts courageously by setting his own corn field ablaze with fire knowing it will spread to Granger's neighboring field, which it does. The blaze on Granger's land distracts the lynch mob to the truly important collective mob activity of putting out the fire. The resolution of the story follows and the heroine Cassie Logan has reasons for deep sorrow but she has also learned lessons of courage and survival without finding it accompanied by the bitter fire of anger and resentment. The climax of a story is that which determines the outcome and leads to the resolution. There may be other things to go through, but the course is set and the resolution (the wrapping up of events) ultimately follows.