What is the plot analysis for To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee?Things like, exposition, inciting incident, conflicts, climax, resolution, and Point of View.   Thank you very much!

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Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

First of all, the novel features a retrospective point of view. Scout, as an adult, looks back on two critical years in the life of her family and serves as the first-person narrator of the story. Once the novel gets underway, it develops both a plot and a subplot. Also, the novel is enriched with numerous separate episodes that occur in the lives of Scout and her brother, Jem; through these episodes, Harper Lee brings many memorable minor characters into the story. These episodes, such as the children's visit to Calpurnia's church, capture the daily life of Maycomb and underscore the novel's themes.

The main plot of the novel concerns the trial, conviction, and tragic death of Tom Robinson. The subplot consists of the children's efforts to understand Boo Radley and the mystery of his life. In the novel's conclusion, both of these story lines are brought together in a stunning dramatic climax. Finally, while telling both of these stories, Harper Lee tells a third story--Scout's and Jem's loss of childhood innocence as they deal with the ugly realities of racism and hypocrisy. This is a beautifully constructed novel.

With so many stories developing in the novel, numerous conflicts exist. The major conflict concerns Atticus's efforts to overcome the racism of Maycomb and achieve justice for Tom Robinson. In regard to the children, they deal with daily conflicts as they try to grow up and understand the adult world. What they observe in Maycomb conflicts frequently with what they know to be true and just.

Because of its complex structure, the novel does not follow a simple chronology of dramatic structure. The dramatic climax, however, occurs when Boo Radley kills Bob Ewell, saving the children's lives.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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