The plot of any piece of literature consists of the exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and denouement. The exposition offers background information and an introduction to the characters and conflicts. The rising action is the complication of the events, where the conflicts become more involved. The climax is the most intense moment of the story, and the falling action is what happens after the climax. Denouement ties up any loose ends and clarifies any events.
The climax of this story is when the two women find the dead bird and realize that John Wright had broken its neck, taking away from Minnie the only joy she had in her sad life. The exposition starts at the beginning of the play, giving us the background of how John Wright's body was discovered and how they found Minnie sitting in her rocking chair. The rising action begins when the men go to look for "important" clues upstairs, leaving the two women in the kitchen.