Blues Ain't No Mockingbird

by Toni Cade Bambara

Start Free Trial

What is the falling action of "Blues Ain't No Mockin Bird" by Toni Cade Bambara?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The term falling action refers to events in any story that occur after the climax and lead to the story's resolution. The climax in Toni Cade Bambara's "Blues Ain't No Mockin Bird" intensifies when Granddaddy Cain rescues the two men with the camera from the attacking hawk by killing the hawk with his hammer. All events leading up to the men finally leaving the property count as falling action.

Immediately after Granddaddy Cain kills the hawk, the narrator notes that he says to the men "Good day gentlemen" as if they had overstayed their welcome and he was abruptly dismissing them. Granddaddy Cain then stares at the men with his gigantic open palm extended until one man finally realizes, "He wants you to hand him the camera." As Granddaddy stands clutching the camera while staring at the men, the men ask for their camera back. Then, Granddaddy Cain "lifts off half [the camera] like it was a calabash cut for sharing," exposing the film. As one of the men gathers up the dismantled parts, Granddaddy says, "You standin in the misses' flower bed ... . This is our own place." With that, the resolution occurs when the two men back away from the property and head on back down the meadow, warning each other not to touch the film. All of Granddaddy Cain's actions to destroy the film and drive them off the property serve as falling action.

Approved by eNotes Editorial
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

What is the climax of Toni Cade Bambara's "Blues Ain't No Mockin Bird"?

The climax in any story is the turning point of the story, the moment rising action becomes falling action. It can also be the most intense moment in the story. In Toni Cade Bambara's "Blues Ain't No Mockin Bird," the climax occurs the moment the Cains' household is attacked by a hawk seeking revenge for the death of its mate.

Prior to the climax, Granny refuses to grant the two men with the camera permission to film her home and tells them to leave her property. While they do back away from her property, they don't leave entirely, and manage to witness Granddaddy Cain coming home with a newly hunted chicken hawk slung over his shoulder. As the two men film him coming home with the chicken hawk and nailing it to the shed, the climax begins to develop as an angry "giant hawk" comes "wailin up over the meadow, flyin low and tilted and screamin, zigzaggin through the pecan grove, breakin branches and hollerin, snappin past the clothesline, flyin every which way, flyin into things reckless with crazy." The children in the yard take cover by flattening themselves on the driveway while the two cameramen are buzzed by the hawk, "duckin and bendin and runnin and fallin, jigglin the camera and scared." It's at this point in the story that the reader sees the two men are getting their just deserts and likely to leave the property in an effort to save their own lives.

The climax is when Ganddaddy Cain very silently and calmly takes the hammer from off his wrist and throws it at the hawk, which falls to the ground. After Granddaddy Cain rescues the two men from the hawk, the falling action begins to occur as Granddaddy Cain demands their camera, destroys their film, and tells them to get out of Granny's flowerbed.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Last Updated on