Rhetorical Analysis Of Atticus Finch's Speech

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Martin Luther King Jr. gave one of the most significant speeches in American history. Atticus Finch, one of the main characters in Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird, gave a closing argument in a court trial that caused an uproar in the south during the 1930’s. Their speeches were given several decades apart, but talked about the same social issues that come from deep-rooted racism. Both of them used rhetoric that challenged the majority opinion around them.
Atticus Finch was a lawyer that had to be exploitive if he wanted to win cases. When he gave a closing argument for the case of Tom Robinson, he had to find a way to persuade his audience. Instead of making his speech specifically about Tom Robinson, Atticus stated that some people of a race may lie, but that is true for all humans, no matter what the color of their skin is. Atticus said that, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it,” (Lee, 30). He believed that you shouldn’t judge someone’s actions until
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Both of them used rhetoric and persuasive speaking and writing skills to make their cases bolder. Martin Luther King Jr. heavily used anaphora, emphasizing on how him and the people of America “cannot be satisfied” until racism is brought to an end. Atticus uses analogy when he says, “This case is as simple as black and white.” (Lee, 224). Whenever Atticus is presenting a point, he often went about it with a question. He uses this to flow through his speech, such as when he stated: “What did her father do? We don’t know, but there is circumstantial evidence to indicate that Mayella Ewell was beaten savagely by someone who led most exclusively with his left.” (Lee, 272). Martin Luther King Jr. and Atticus Finch knew how to form a speech that would make people think and question if what they were doing was
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