Here is my synopsis of Harper Lee’s celebrated novel – ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, breaking it down into the Three Act Structure.
The book won the Pulitzer Prize and was Harper Lee’s first novel.
Mockingbirds are singing birds who make music to make everyone happy and create a joyous environment. They do not harm anyone. They promote a peaceful and productive environment. Hence, for the betterment of the society, it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.
The book was also made into a movie ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’, starring Gregory Peck.
Plot point 1: Atticus takes on the case of a black man, Tom Robinson, accused of beating and raping a black woman, Mayella Ewell.
1. Most of the Maycomb population is convinced that Tom Robinson is guilty and begin to look at Atticus in a negative way for defending Tom.2. Scout and Jem get tormented in school due to their father’s decision3. Atticus proves to the jury that Tom Robinson couldn’t have committed the crime as his left hand is crippled. However, Tom is pronounced guilty by the jury.4. The decision saddens Scout and Jem and begin to realise the town’s prejudices against the blacks. It’s hard for them to understand how people can be so mean to each other.5. Tom tries to escape from prison and is shot and killed in the process.6. The whole thing deeply moves Jem, and It takes him a long time to get over the jury’s decision and Tom’s death.
Plot point 2: Bob Ewell, Mayella’s father, begins threatening Atticus for embarrassing him in court, and resolves that he’ll get him back one way or another.
Climax: Time flies, and finally Bob Ewell is good to his word and attacks Jem and Scout Halloween night with a knife. He breaks Jem’s arm and almost kills Scout, but Boo Radley, of all people, comes to their rescue and saves them.
Resolution: The sheriff, Heck Tate, plays down the whole thing over so as to not drag Boo Radley into the spotlight. Scout is thrilled to get finally to meet the man they for so long fantasized. As Scout walks Boo back home, she realises that all, this time, he was watching her and Jem from his front porch windows.