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Lecture 3: Narrative Structure of To Kill a Mockingbird: Plot Structure and Perspective
Recap: What is plot structure? Many plots are designed with a traditional narrative structure that looks like this graphically. Climax Falling Action Rising Action Orientation Resolution
Video Practice: Identifying elements of plot structure http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fHa6FBO1OY
Student-Sharing: Plot structure of To Kill a Mockingbird Step 1: Volunteer to share OR listen carefully Step 2: Think. Step 3: Discuss with partner. Step 4: Critique.
Questions to think about Think (3 mins). Pair (3 mins). Then share. 1. Does TKAM fit nicely into the traditional plot structure we’ve been discussing about? Where can you locate the orientation(s) in the novel? 2. What are the major conflicts in the novel? 3. The novel can be broadly categorised into 2 parts. What might these 2 parts be? Does this mean the novel has 2 separate plots?
Does TKAM have a traditional • plot structure? • No – Numerous sub-plots. Characters tend to • be introduced at start of chapter / main event. • Questions 2 – 4 will shed more light on why • TKAM has an unconventional plot structure.
2. Major conflicts in the novel • Conflicts are not events. • A conflict in a narrative is the problem that • gives rise to the climax and may get resolved at • the end of the novel. • Examples of Conflicts include: • Character vs Character • Character vs Society
2. Major conflicts in the novel Boo Radley vs Society As a mysterious character in the story that nobody seems to understand, Boo Radley is ostracised from society due to the fear of the unknown, and often misunderstood due to his reclusion. Tom Robinson vs White Society Likewise, Tom Robinson is wrongly accused of his alleged crime due to the Blacks being ostracised. Other conflicts?
3. Two parts to the novel May be categorised according to the 2 central conflicts in the novel. 2 climaxes – trial verdict and assault The 2 conflicts are somehow woven together through the reappearance of Boo Radley.
Resolution Revisit how the novel opens off, and how it ends. Does the plot come full circle?
Perspective Whose perspective is the story told from? Why do you think it is told from his/her perspective?
Perspective Is it told entirely from the perspective of a young Scout?
Examples from the film Pay particular attention to whose perspectives and viewpoints are represented in these examples, as well as the shifts in perspective. Example 1: [00:00 – 05:13] Example 2: [39:00 – 41:05]
Interspersing of child and adult voices in TKAM Young Scout vs Older Scout The story is mostly told from the perspective of a young Scout (between 5 and 9 years old), but novel starts off much later in her life Scout vs Others As you read the novel, do you see things only from Scout’s perspective, or do the viewpoints change?
Interspersing of child and adult voices in TKAM TKAM is a coming-of-age kind of novel, also known as a bildungsroman. In a bildungsroman, the protagonist undergoes psychological, moral and social shaping. Can you now reconcile the use of flashbacks, a naive narrator, and the delierate interspersing of child and adult voices in TKAM?