What are the key conflicts and plot developments (sequence and events)?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

    There are two key plots that eventually intertwine in Harper Lee's novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. The first half of the novel involves the mysterious character Boo Radley, and the pursuit of the three children--Jem, Scout and Dill's--to draw him out into the open. The second half of the novel concerns the rape trial of the obviously innocent black man, Tom Robinson, and Atticus Finch's efforts to acquit him. The jury inevitably believes the purported rape victim, Mayella Ewell, and convicts Robinson, who is later killed trying to escape. The two plots eventually crisscross when Mayella's father, Bob, attempts to manhandle and murder the Finch kids in retribution for Atticus's strong cross-examination of he and his daughter. But Boo, who has not been seen by any of the townspeople in many years, comes to the rescue, subduing Bob Ewell and saving Jem and Scout.
    By finally making his presence known, Boo proves to Scout that he is not a monster, but a "nice" man, just as Atticus had told her all along. She is witness to yet another of life's evil ways, but in Boo she has discovered the good in someone long feared for his own inhumanity.   

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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