Study Guide

Hoot Plot Analysis

By Carl Hiaasen

Plot Analysis

Exposition (Initial Situation)

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go

Hoot wastes no time in bringing on the action: Roy almost immediately sees the strange running boy from the bus window and is determined to figure out why.

This becomes the only goal for the new kid at school, and he's resolute in achieving it. Even a threat from Beatrice doesn't scare him off…and Beatrice is pretty scary.

Rising Action (Conflict, Complication)

Something To Give A Hoot About

When Roy finally does meet the strange running boy (affectionately nicknamed Mullet Fingers), he learns about the burrowing owls living on the Mother Paula's construction site. But more importantly, he realizes that the owls will be buried once construction begins.

And these owls are way too cute to be buried.

Complication

Aw, Snap.

Roy tells Mullet Fingers to take pictures of the owls to prove they live on the land. Only problem is that all the pictures turn out to be blurry and useless.

This was supposed to be Roy's ace-in-the-hole. Now what's a young owl-lover to do?

Climax (Crisis, Turning Point)

Mullet Fingers To The Rescue!

When it looks like nothing can stop the groundbreaking ceremony, Mullet Fingers appears lodged in one of the owls' burrows.

When Chuck Muckle tries to attack him with a shovel, Roy and Beatrice (and eventually everyone else) protects Mullet Fingers, staging an epic demonstration against the construction.

Falling Action

Standing Their Ground

Chuck Muckle loses all control over the groundbreaking ceremony as the crowd around Mullet Fingers joins hands and the media begins to air the demonstration live on the news. It looks like the demonstration against construction is winning.

Resolution (Denouement)

...And They All Burrowed Happily Ever After

Roy and the gang are local celebrities with their faces plastered all over the newspaper. But to really make sure Mother Paula won't be building on the owls' homes, Roy gives a news reporter a copy of the company's permit file, which is missing the Environmental Impact Statement.

This blows the story wide open…and keeps the owls snug and warm in their burrows.

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