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I need help with an essay outline on “To Kill a Mockingbird” ACT 1 This is an introduction to Theatre class?


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Answer #1

To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the most beloved books and movies of all time, making it no surprise that it has become a popular theatre production.  There are so many issues that arise in the novel, movie, and screenplay that even seemingly insignificant things, such as Atticus allowing his children to call him by his first name, take on a significance in the story.  If you were working on a narrative criticism or essay, you would highlight that significance.  However, in outlining an act from a play, you do not want to include your commentary.

To tackle the outline, it would make sense to break it down into scenes.  You could introduce the setting of the scene, and then describe the events that occur in that setting.  As an outline, you want to keep it brief; you do not need to recreate the screenplay.  However, you do want to try to include any details that you think are critical in that scene.  Which details you choose to include might depend on what character you are playing or what you want to emphasize in the screenplay.  On its surface, To Kill a Mockingbird is a coming-of-age story, and it is certainly possible to outline it as such. 

However, it is also an exploration of social justice issues, particularly race though gender issues also play a major role in the play. If you want to focus on the social justice issues, you might include different details in the screenplay outline.  The one thing you want to make sure and do is provide some detailed introductions to your characters.  Give their names, their ages, the role in the play, and their relationships to other characters. 

To Kill a Mockingbird Essay Outline Template

I. Setting

A. Character

1. Trait

2. Trait

B. Character

1. Trait

2. Trait

C. Action

To Kill a Mockingbird Essay Outline Example

I. Maycomb Alabama Daybreak

A. Finch household

1. Mostly rural setting

2. In small town

B. Scout

1. Jean Louise Finch

2. Six years old

3. Daughter to Atticus

4. Sister to Jem

C. Mr. Cunnigham

1. Farmer

2. Giving Finches some type of nuts

3. Seems embarrassed by the gesture

D. Atticus Finch

1. Lawyer

2. Gentleman

3. Father to Scout and Jem

4. Kind

5. Widow

E. Calpurnia

1. Housekeeper for the Finches

2. African American

3. Motherly towards Scout and Jem

F. Jem

1. Ten years old

2. Son to Atticus

3. Brother to Scout

4. Somewhat somber and serious

G. Jem refuses to come out of his treehouse for breakfast because Atticus won’t play football with the Methodists

II. Outside of Jem’s treehouse

A. Scout is fetching things for Jem

B. Maudie Atkinson

1. Neighbor

2. Kind

C. Jem is continuing to stay in the treehouse 

D. Dill

1. Charles Baker Harris

2. Seven years old

3. Neighbor

4. Staying with his Aunt Stephanie

E. Mr. Radley

1. Neighbor

2. Elderly

3. The kids think he’s mean.

4. Father to Boo

F. Introduce the story of Boo

1. He tried to kill his father

2. They say he’s locked in the basement

III. Finch Yard

A. Why the kids call Atticus “Atticus” 

B. Mrs. Dubose

1. Elderly

2. Mean 

3. Neighbor

4. Charmed by Atticus

C. Conversation with Miss Maudie

1. Introduces conflict between Tom Robinson and Mayella Ewell

2. Mayella has accused Tom of rape

IV. Inside Finch Household

A. Bedtime routine

B. Finch children discussing their mom as Atticus sits on porch

C. Judge Taylor 

1. Seventy five 

2. Male

D. Judge Taylor joins Atticus on porch

1. Atticus is going to represent Tom

2. Jem comes out to join Atticus

V. Finch kitchen the next morning- breakfast

VI. Finch yard

A. Kids meet up together

B. They roll Scout in a tire into the Radley front step

1. Scout is frozen in terror

2. Jem rushes in to get her

VII. Courthouse square

A. Four men sit outside

B. Kids go in to see Tom’s arraignment

C. Atticus comes outside and orders kids to go home

D. Robert E. Lee Ewell 

1. Father to Mayella

2. Confronts Atticus over his representation of Tom

E. Atticus and Ms. Stephanie discuss Atticus representing Tom

VIII. Atticus returns home

A. Kids are playing Boo Radley

B. Atticus stops them and is clearly disappointed by that behavior

C. Scout and Miss Maudie talk about the Radleys

D. The kids go to the Radleys’ and discover things hidden in the tree

E. Night comes and the kids continue to play outside

F. The kids decide to peek into the Radley house

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