Blues Ain't No Mockingbird

by Toni Cade Bambara

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What is the climax of "Blues Ain't No Mockingbird"?

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In Toni Cade Bambara's "Blues Ain't No Mockin Bird," there is a very tense confrontation that takes place between the adults, although the children play in the yard as they do not understand the full import of what occurs. 

When Granddaddy Cain returns from the woods with the chicken hawk which he has hunted, he shows it to Granny, but she is too upset about the cameramen.  Symbolically, Bambara then suggests the exploitation of the Cains as the hawk struggles "out of her death like it was just a sack flown into by mistake" with her mate beating the air and attacking the children's heads as well as that of the camera man.  For, Granny makes a "low groanin music" herself, and Grandaddy confronts the men and holds out his great hand that is "not at all a hand but a person in itself."

At the climactic moment, Grandaddy holds his hand out for the camera.  When the men give it to him, Granddaddy hits the camera much like the male hawk and opens it, exposing the film.  Then, the falling action begins as the men ask for the camera back, but Granddaddy Cain simply says,

"You standin in the misses' flower bed....This our own place."

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