Structure

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Beginning

The short story begins with a catchy statement: “That summer, I was sure someone would die” (l. 1). The opening line functions as a narrative hook, exciting readers’ interest in who is going to die and how it will happen.

The exposition introduces some of the characters and setting elements: “Ivan reckoned too much sun had gone to my head, like those fellas in the films, hallucinating i…

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Middle

The middle of the story starts with some background on the people in town: “The Walshes were the only Catholic family in our red, white and blue North Down stronghold. There’d been no violence against them…” (ll. 20-21). In this way, the story introduces the idea of tension and conflict between Catholic Walshes and the rest of the Protestant community, which helps construct the rising action. The focus on the extremely hot whether helps with setting a tense atmosphere: “It was late afternoon, yet the sun’s infernal rays felt like hundreds of hot pinpricks on the back of my neck” (ll. 34-35). The idea of tension is also suggested by: “Noel grinned, showing the gap where Roland Hill had knocked out his tooth on the last day of s…

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Ending

The falling action presents the events following Mrs Walsh’s death. She is buried in Belfast, and the rest of her family moves away: “The van’s engine choked into action and the last man emerged from the front door at the Walshes’ ” (ll. 105-106). The narrator is the only person who observes the family’s possessions being taken away, and he is sad to see that no one in town tried to comfort the Walsh family. He also regrets not having played with the Walsh children.

The reso…

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