Why is the rescue of the children in the burning church considered a climax in "The Outsiders"?

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The point in the story in which Dally, Ponyboy, and Johnny rescue the children from the burning church would definitely be considered a climactic moment in the novel.  The climax is defined as the point of highest emotion or the turning point.  This event would definitely be a turning point.  The three boys decide to forget about their own lives and risk themselves to save these school children.  Because they have done this, many things in their lives have changed.  Ponyboy is reunited with his brothers; Johnny dies; Dally shows his emotional side; Ponyboy realizes that the Socs are more like the Greasers than he could ever have imagined and he realizes the value of his life.  None of these things would have occurred if they had not gone into that church – hence, this is why this event is the climax.

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Do you think when Pony, Johnny and Dally rescue the children in the burning church is a climax point of The Outsiders? Why or why not?

When I  teach plot to my students, I always use the analogy of a roller coaster. Just lika a roller coaster, a novel starts off slow and builds momentum before finally reaching the apex/climax where the most intense part of the story is. This is the part of the story where our protagonist finally faces his nemesis, overcomes his struggle , or deals with the story's main conflict. After the climax, the action begins to wind down as our author brings the story to an end.

I would say that the boys' rescuing the children from the church is more rising action rather than the story's climax. It is very exciting, however, none of the conflicts in the story are being resolved. The incident is actually adding momentum to our "roller coaster". If we had to identify this story's climax, I would say that it would be the time between the rumble and Dallas' death.  There is still lots of action, but the story also begins to wrap up. The Greasers defeat the Socs in the rumble, Johnny passes away, Ponyboy not only realizes that Darry loves him, but that he wants be be just like Darry when he grows up. Ponyboy sees the Socs for what they really are and he and his brothers are allowed to stay together.

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