In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch employs pathos and diction in his closing argument to the jury and the people of Maycomb in order to persuade them to see beyond their prejudice and free Tom Robinson. Atticus informs the jury about the evil assumptions that society makes about Negroes. Pathos is used to persuade the jury when Atticus says, “Some Negroes lie, some Negroes are immoral, 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” (Lee 273). In saying this, Atticus tries to convince the audience and jury that everyone is capable of making mistakes, and differences in appearance does not mean that groups of people are superior to others. From this, the jury feels as if they have been mistreating Tom. …show more content…
Atticus’s diction strengthens when he says, “Gentlemen, I shall be brief . . .” (271). When he uses the word gentlemen, he obtains the jury members attention and acknowledges them. Atticus appeals to the jury’s sense of dignity and propriety, while subtly saying that they need to make the mature, honest, and respectful decision regarding Tom’s case. Also, while Atticus preaches that all men are created equal, he connects with his audience and court members. When Atticus says, “A phrase that the Yankees and the distaff side of the Executive branch in Washington are fond of hurling at us” (274), by applying the word us Atticus uses a statement of solidarity, while linking the jury and the community. As a result of using this diction, the jury can infer that Atticus binds himself to them to strengthen the validity of his plea. Therefore, in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, the use of pathos and diction in Atticus’s closing argument is used to persuade the jury and people of Maycomb to see beyond their prejudice and free Tom
Atticus's closing argument in To Kill a Mockingbird is a good display of several talking and writing styles such as ethos, pathos, and logos. His closing argument uses a tone that contributes to the persuasive effectiveness of his argument. Atticus Finch’s speech is an attempt to appeal to the jury to look beyond racial prejudice and to do what is right. I am going to attempt to analyze and show how Atticus uses these rhetorical strategies to contribute to the poignancy and effectiveness of his closing argument.
For the closing statement of Atticus was moving speech that could not determine the fate of Tom Robinson’s verdict. Atticus used artistic proofs, anaphora, and multiple other persuasive tools to connect with his audience and to prove to the jury that Tom Robinson was innocent. Even with the substantial evidence against the Ewell’s testimony the prejudice and racism that was being shown to the black community in Maycomb overcame the truth. In Atticus’s closing statement he attempted to create people of all races equal in the court
“She was white, and tempted a negro. She did something that in our society is unspeakable: she kissed a black man .” The way Atticus is speaking he is basically saying yes, that Tom was tempted but he never broke the code. Due to this the jury should do the right thing and look past the fact that Tom is a colored man.
However, Tom is black and he cannot be innocent in the eyes of most people. Throught the closing argument Atticus Finch uses the rhetorical devices -- ethos, logos, and pathos -- to convince the jury of Tom’s innocence. Atticus used ethos to demonstrate his credibility and reveal his opinion about this case. Atticus does not concur with introducing this case to the court. “To begin
At school, Scout nearly starts a fight with a classmate named Cecil Jacobs after he declares that her “daddy defends niggers” (Lee, 74). Scout being too young to fully understand this statement automatically denies it. Atticus, who has been asked to defend Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a white woman has received many controversial remarks on his take of the case. Although Scout does not initiate the fight with Cecil, her “fists [a]re clenched and [she is] ready to let [them] fly” (Lee, 74). This depicts another one of Scout’s un-ladylike reactions because the ladylike response would be to simply ignore the boy and to remain prim and proper.
Racism is one of the most influential concepts that drive people to make the worst of decisions. Atticus Finch in “To Kill a Mockingbird” (TKM), uses rhetorical appeals in an attempt to save a black man from being falsely convicted. I believe that the movie version of Atticus’s closing statement was more convincing than the book version. This essay will discuss the rhetorical appeals used both in the book and movie; and why the movie’s version was more effective.
23, P.295) In this quote, Atticus saying that there's just something about race that makes white people crazy. He also acknowledges, in case it wasn't already clear, that law is not pure realm free of the racial prejudices that plague everyday in life, it's subject to the same problems as society at large. Usually Atticus is a voice of hope for change the idea of racism, but here he flatly says that racism is a "fact of life," suggesting that losing Tom's case severely reduced his hopefulness concerning human nature, or else that, having sat through the
Atticus starts off the speech saying “gentlemen,” “I shall be brief, but I would like to use my remaining time to remind you that this is not a difficult one.” Atticus's tone sheds a few layers, too, becoming conversational rather than businesslike. He uses figurative language when he says “This case is as simple as black and white.” Basically, he points out that there's no evidence and that the prosecution is banking on the stereotype that all African-Americans are immoral liars who rape white women whenever they get the chance. He goes on to say that Tom is not guilty but someone in the room is.
He uses this by saying “ there is not a person in this courtroom who has never told a lie =, who has never done an immoral thing, and there is no man living who has never looked upon a woman without desire.” By saying this Atticus is forcing the jury to feel compassionate because they realize their own fault. Atticus also says “All men are created equal, a phrase that the Yankees and the distaff side of the Executive branch in Washington are fond of hurling at us.” When Atticus says this it reminds the jury to have compassion because all men are created equal. Even the black
Though people are fond of Atticus himself, his decision to aim for Tom Robinson’s justice causes discomfort, “ ‘Lemme tell you somethin’ now, Billy’ a third said, ‘you know the court appointed him to defend this nigger.’ ‘Yeah, but Atticus aims to defend him. That’s what I don’t like about it” (186). The quote exposes that everyone understand the fact that he is assigned to the case but do not understand as to why he is so intent on proving a black man’s innocence. Since Atticus exceedingly expresses his thought on Tim’s innocence and involves so much of himself in the case with a black person, he obtains negative feedback and gets called a nigger-lover.
Heroes are not invincible, and certainly are not the ones who always win; however, a hero is someone who, despite this, is courageous enough to fight for what is right. Atticus Finch, one of the most inspiring literary characters from the highly acclaimed novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, written by Harper Lee, is an example of such. This classic novel is told from the perspective of Scout Finch, Atticus’ daughter, a young girl who lives in the town of Maycomb County, Alabama, in the 1930s, a town where prejudice and discrimination is rife. Rather than succumbing to societal expectations and adopting the extreme animosity held by the other citizens, Atticus views and treats all with the dignity and respect that they are entitled to, guiding his
In Atticus’ closing argument, the prejudice against Tom Robinson is that he is black, and that any crime that he commits thus must be true, “ the evil assumption - that all Negroes lie, that all Negroes are basically immoral beings…” (Lee).This affects the possibility of Atticus proving Robinson not guilty because of the prejudice that everyone in the courtroom has against him. The case is revolving around that Tom Robinson is accused of beating and raping Mayella Ewell, the counterargument that Atticus presents shows that Mayella was beaten with the left hand, but Tom Robinson is only capable of using his right hand because his left hand was caught in a cotton gin completely disabling it. Atticus incorporates the use of both logical and emotional appeals in his speech to convince the courtroom that Robinson is not a guilty man. Atticus shoots all the evidence he has at the courtroom and tells them, “In the name of God, do your duty,” (Lee).
Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird famously said in his closing arguments: "You know the truth, and the truth is this: some Negroes lie, some Negroes are immoral, 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 no particular race of men." (pg 232) What Atticus is trying to convey is a foreign concept to most people in Maycomb county. Atticus is trying to convey a point of equality and no prejudice in a world of social inequality which, as one can imagine, didn 't go over so well.
Atticus Finch’s summation speech to the jury at Tom Robinson’s trial is successful because of the elements of literary style he employs in these closing remarks. The four different types of literary devices that Atticus employs are: diction, syntax, imagery, and irony. These four literary devices strengthen Atticus’ closing remarks by giving it more diversity and depth.