Ethos In To Kill A Mockingbird

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In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch uses several forms of persuasion to convince his audience of Tom Robinson’s innocence. These forms include Pathos, Logos, and Ethos – although he uses them all multiple times, Pathos is the form that is most used. Atticus is trying to provoke guilt out of the jury, and wants them to push aside their prejudice and see the obvious fact that Tom Robinson did not commit the crime of raping Mayella Ewell. The most powerful Pathos phrase he uses is, “…the truth is this: some Negroes lie, some Negroes are immortal, some Negro men are not to be trusted around women – black or white. But this is a truth that applies to the human race and to no particular race of men. There is not a person in this…show more content…
For example, when talking about the raping of Mayella, he states that “Mayella Ewell was beaten savagely by someone who led almost exclusively with his left…and Tom Robinson now sits before you, having taken the oath with the only good hand he possesses—his right hand”(pg.272). Atticus uses this piece of evidence to show that Tom Robinson couldn’t possibly have held Mayella’s throat and beaten her with his left hand at the same time like she claimed – for he only had one good hand, and that hand was his right hand. This opens the jury’s eyes to the fact that the crime clearly wasn’t committed by Robinson, for it wasn’t possible. Atticus also uses Ethos in his speech. By stating, “I am confident that you gentlemen will review without passion the evidence you have heard, come to a decision, and restore this defendant to his family”(pg.274), Atticus is putting all of his faith into the jury, and used his respectable reputation to convince the jury to make the right decision(though they still didn’t). Also, since Atticus is so respected by the people of the town, he technically uses Ethos for the whole speech; for he knows that everyone is listening to him and deeply considering his
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