What would be a major turning point in the beginning of Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird?

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A turning point, by definition, follows a set of plot points that make up the rising action. As such, there are no turning points at the beginning, as the early section of the novel leads up to turning points specific to a particular character or set of characters, theme, plotline, etc.

The novel's central climax or turning point relating to the theme of good and evil occurs in Chapter 28. Bob Ewell attacks Jem and Scout as they walk home from the Halloween pageant. Boo Radley comes to the children's defense, and Ewell is found dead under an oak tree. Sheriff Tate writes in the official report that Mr. Ewell died by falling on his own knife, however, Boo may have killed Ewell (the novel makes it unclear).

As part of the falling action, Scout recognizes Boo as the man who saved her and Jem. Scout treats him like an old friend in an affectionate and heartfelt moment, greeting him with a "hey, Boo." She walks Boo home and never sees him again, but the experience teaches Scout a valuable lesson. Boo is not the dangerous degenerate that Maycomb society believes him to be. It occurs to Scout that Boo had been the person hiding gifts for herself and Jem in the tree. For Scout, this is a lesson not to accept societal judgments at face value.

Going back to the rising action associated with this theme, the lead up to Boo Radley's true nature being discovered features him leaving presents for the children and folding and fixing Jem's pants after he sneaks into the Radley's yard. In the case of Bob Ewell, his violent nature is featured when Atticus proves that he attacked his own daughter Mayella during the trial. After Atticus humiliates him in court, Bob Ewell publicly threatens him. This provides motivation for Ewell to attack Atticus' children in revenge.

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A turning point in a story is the moment the rising action becomes falling action, leading to the story's resolution. The turning point is the most intense moment of the story, also called the climax. In the beginning of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, all action is still considered rising action. There are, however, two central plots in To Kill a Mockingbird, and it is in the middle of the book that one plot reaches its turning point, while the other does not reach its turning point until the end.

The main plot concerns the children's coming-of-age story. While Scout and Jem reach their greatest points of maturity in different parts of the book, it's not until the very end of the book that Scout, the main protagonist, reaches her greatest point of maturity; therefore, the turning point concerning the children's coming-of-age story does not occur until the end of the book. The second plot concerns Atticus's decision to defend Tom Robinson, a decision that significantly influences the children's maturity.

The turning point concerning Atticus's defense of Tom Robinson occurs in Chapter 22, at the trial, the moment Judge Taylor reads the jury's guilty verdict. Prior to that moment, the reader hopes as Jem hopes, which is that all circumstantial evidence Atticus revealed during the trial pointing to Robinson's innocence and Bob Ewell's guilt is enough to convince the jury. The evidence that is most damaging for the Ewells is the fact that Mayella had been bruised in her right eye by a left-handed man standing before her; Robinson is completely crippled in his left arm and hand, whereas Ewell is left-handed. Jem expresses his confidence that Robinson will be acquitted when he says to Reverend Sykes, " ... but don't you fret, we've won it ... . Don't see how any jury could convict on what we heard--" (Ch. 21). Yet, the jury returns with a guilty verdict, sealing Robinson's fate. While Atticus hopes there is a chance at appeal, all action upon hearing the verdict turns to falling action, culminating in the resolution of Robinson being killed attempting to escape prison, desperate to take matters of justice into his own hands. Since all action concerning Robinson's trial turns to falling action the moment we learn the verdict, we know this is the turning point or climax concerning this particular plot line within the story.

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