Richard in his grandparents house, and out of boredom, lit the curtains on fire. He got scared because of the flames and ran and hid under his bed to avoid punishment.
The climax of the story is when Richard leaves the south to move to Chicago to become a writer. This is the climax of the story because Richards life does a complete 180. This pivotal moment with Richard experiences changes the entire novel. He realizes that he can be viewed as a dignified person in the North and his progressive thoughts can not be oppressed like they were in the South. With this story being a bildungsroman, this act is when Richard beings to mature and move forward with his life.
Richard comes to understand the pain of growing up black in America and realizes his duty to record his experiences through writing; he enters the Communist Party and W.P.A. programs, coming into contact with serious writers and outlets for writing about his experiences. He begins to become an important voice in the communist party.
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