Examples Of Atticus Ethos In To Kill A Mockingbird

349 Words2 Pages
With pathos, an emotional argument, Atticus’ speech becomes powerful enough to have the audience feel a sense of guilt of Mayella and pity for Tom Robinson. Atticus’ beginning part of his speech tells the courthouse audience to understand the true purpose of this case, which eventually leads up to the morals of Tom and the courthouse. “The defendant is not guilty, but somebody in this courtroom is.” (271) Atticus is pointing out that Tom Robinson is not guilty, but someone else is. This hits the emotions of the audience because it is insinuating that Bob Ewell could be the one who abused Mayella. The outcome of this case can result in the death of Tom Robinson because the person who is guilty did not admit to the truth. To continue to strike the audience's feelings, Atticus adds the idea of pity to help emphasize the guilt that Tom faces. After giving several reasons why Tom Robinson isn’t at fault, Atticus throws in his pity for Tom Robinson in his speech. “I have nothing but pity in my heart for the chief witness for the state, but my pity does not extend so far as to her putting a man's life at stake, which she has done in an effort to get rid of her own guilt.” (271) The core idea of this part of Atticus’ speech was to both show his sentiment for Tom Robinson and to make Mayella feel ashamed of putting an innocent man in danger. By revealing the truth about Mayella, Atticus hopes that the audience can also take pity on Tom and to be ashamed of Mayella’s actions.
Open Document