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Where are the Children by Mary Higgins Clark

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by

Lexington Germosen

on 12 September 2014

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Transcript of Where are the Children by Mary Higgins Clark

Exposition
Protagonist
The protagonist of the story is Nancy Eldredge. Nancy is a loving and caring woman who loves her family very much. The story starts out by telling that seven years before she was accused of murdering her own children. She is found guilty in court yet manages to escape her sentence when a crucial witness leaves the country. Seven years later she is living a completely different life in Cape Cod Bay and one day finds her children missing. She knows that her past is about to repeat itself.
Antagonist
The antagonist is Carl Harmon a.k.a. Courtney Parrish. Carl Harmon is Nancys ex-husband who was believed to have killed himself because of the fact that his children were murdered. Instead, after Nancy moved and changed her identity he did the same and followed her. He was the one who originally killed the children so since he was believed to be dead they found Nancy guilty of murdering the children.
Plot
Nancy Harmon lives with her family in Cape Cod Bay. Her children get kidnapped and she is reminded of what happened years earlier which causes her to become hysterical. They begin a search for her children while they try to think about where the kids could possibly be. After gathering many clues they find out where the children are being held. Nancy goes to rescue her children and discovers her ex-husband, Carl Harmon, is the one who kidnapped her kids. She rescues the kids but Carl dies and admits to his crimes.

"The boy tried to pull away, stiffened, then crumpled noiselessly to the ground.
Lexington Germosen
Where are the Children by Mary Higgins Clark
Conflict
Rising Action
Climax
Falling Action
Resolution
Theme
The setting of the story Where are the Children is in a place called Cape Cod Bay. Sometimes this place is just called Cape Cod and other times it is simply called the Bay. The story is set in a present-day time period
"From this side of the house it was often possible to see Province town, on the opposite shore of Cape cod Bay."
"Was it something red... another mitten... Missy's hand? She plunged into the icy water as far as her shoulder and reached down. But there wasn't anything there."
"Every day for a month straight he'd watched them."
The conflict of Where are the Children is when Nancy's kids are kidnapped and they need to find them so that Nancy will not be accused of murdering her children again. This is a person vs. person conflict since it was another person who had kidnapped them. It was Carl Harmon, the same person who killed her kids seven years beforehand.
"'Michael. Missy. Come here. Come in now!' Her wail heightened to a shriek. Where were they?"
The rising action of the story begins after the children are taken. This is when the police are called and a search begins for the children. After seeing the children are gone it brings back memories from the first time she lost her children and she becomes hysterical. Ray's assistant Dorothy brings a person to come look at the house which Carl Harmon is hiding the children in. She finds the pink glove that belonged to Missy in the garage and she doesn't know it yet but it is a clue. Other clues are found which helps them find the children.
"'Pick her up, ray. Take her to the house. We have to get help looking for the children.'"
The climax of the story is when Nancy finds out that the kids are being held at The Lookout. After putting all the clues together she discovers that a man named Courtney Parrish is keeping them at The Lookout. She also gets a phone call from Michael who tries to tell her their location but is cutoff right before he gets to finish. However, Nancy is able to put all the clues together and finally figures out their whereabouts.
"With a sob, Dorothy covered her face. 'I know where they are. Oh God, I know... and I was so stupid. Oh, Nancy what have I done? Oh, what have I done?'"
The falling action of the story occurs when Nancy goes to The Lookout to find and rescue her children. Once she gets there, she tries to be quiet. She goes upstairs to find Michael with a plastic bag over his head. Carl takes Missy and goes onto the roof with her, threatening to hurt her if Nancy got too close. He begins to step over the railing of the roof and tells Nancy to stay back.

"'Let go of him, Carl!...'"
Carl Harmon is on the roof of The Lookout holding Missy. He begins to step over the railing while Nancy is trying to reason with him and get him to hand over Missy. A cracking noise comes from the railing and the wooden posts gave under Carl's weight. He releases Missy and Nancy quickly grabs her but Carl then grabs Nancy's leg. She was being dragged forward but suddenly someone grabs hold of her waist from behind. Ray pulls them up and Carl falls off the roof.

"Then she heard it... a cracking, breaking sound. The railing was breaking!
Throughout the book, they spend most of the time looking for the children. They couldn't get any information out of Nancy because she was hysterical, yet they did not give up. They continued to search for the children, continued to look for any clues that could help them. This shows that the theme for this book is perseverance. In the end their determination for finding the children all worked out since they were able to find them before they could be harmed.

"'Wait... I really think if just keep at it we could get some info out of her.'"
Full transcript