What Is A Reversal?

In Literary Term: The point at which the action of the plot turns in an unexpected direction for the protagonist

In Sports Terms: A maneuver in wrestling in which a competitor being controlled by the opponent suddenly reverses the situation and gains control. "Reversal"

In Literary Works

The reversal, also known as peripeteia or the falling action usually occurs after the climax of the narrative. Consider the fact that the climax is essentially the most exciting point of the narrative and at that point everything leading up to it suddenly “makes sense” so then the reversal happening would be logical because it is the reverse of the rising action that led to the climax.

The genre in which the narrative is categorized determines how the reversal functions within the narrative. The direction the rising action is going determines whether or not it is a negative or positive turn for the protagonist. An example of a reversal in literary terms would be when two characters decide whether to work on a relationship when prior they were friends, or vice versa, when the hero encounters the villain, or when a lesson is learned.

In Wrestling

A wrestler can successfully complete a reversal move by first escaping his/her opponent. He/she must then go from the bottom position to the top position, gaining control of their opponent either on the mat or on their feet. As long as one of the wrestlers is within the set boundaries then a reversal can be obtained. A wrestler is awarded two points for a reversal by the referee. Some examples would be the Switch, Side roll, and the Peterson roll.