illustrated close-up of Kenny Watson with fire in the background behind him

The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963

by Christopher Paul Curtis

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What is the rising action in "The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963"?

Expert Answers

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I would say that the rising action occurs when By is set by his parents to Burmingham to live with his grandmother . This move sets the stage for the action that is to follow, that is, moving By away from himself and his narrow world and locating him into the consciousness of the civil rights movement.

Here is an excerpt from the "overview" page here at eNotes that should help you identify the rising action (climax) and the falling action (denouement) that follows:

"Dad and Momma, as the Watson children call their parents, are determined to raise respectful, well-behaved children who make good choices and possess high moral standards. Realizing they have been unable to instill fully their standards in their oldest child, Dad and Momma decide to take By to Birmingham and leave him with his Grandma Sands, a strong woman who will bring him to his senses. They know there is some violence in the South with the beginnings of the Civil Rights Movement, but have been assured by Grandma Sands that it is quiet around her."

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