Am I Blue?: Coming Out from the Silence

by Marion Dane Bauer

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What are the climax, conflict, falling action, and resolution in Bruce Coville's "Am I Blue?"

Quick answer:

The conflict in “Am I Blue?" by Bruce Coville involves Vince’s sexual identity and his relationship with his fairy godfather. The climax might be when Vince receives gaydar. The falling action could be when the world gets gaydar. The resolution appears to arrive when Vince discovers that Butch is gay.

Expert Answers

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The conflict of the story relates to Vince and his fairy godfather Melvin. The two have a playful but cantankerous relationship that propels the story. Vince is suspicious of Melvin, embarrassed by his style, and unsettled by his blunt vocabulary. The conflict between Vince and Melvin is underpinned by a less lighthearted conflict between Vince and Butch. The story starts with Butch beating up Vince because Butch thinks that Vince wants to “jump his bones.” Vince’s relationship with Butch and Melvin indicates that the main conflict, in general, centers on gay identity and the way that gay people, actual or presumed, are treated in the world.

The climax—when the tension between Vince, Melvin, and the world reaches its zenith—might be when Melvin grants Vince gaydar. This gives Vince the chance to see that there are lots of gay people in the world. Alternately, one could argue that the climax occurs when Vince asks Melvin to give the world gaydar. This action produces hysteria and panic.

Although, the wish for the world to have gaydar has less to do with Vince’s narrative and more to do with peripheral matters. It’s as if Vince’s wish for the world to have gaydar is a way for him to pass on the pressure of knowing people's truths. In this light, the falling action might be when the world figures out how to tell who’s gay or not totally straight.

The resolution could be when Vince finds out that Butch is gay. This discovery solves the problem that's detailed at the beginning of the story. It appears as if the reason why Butch bullied Vince is that Butch can’t accept his sexuality. Now, Vince seems comfortable with his fluid sexuality, which is why he’s saving his third wish for his dream girl or “Prince Charming.”

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