Textual Analysis

Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Rhetoric, Harper Lee Pages: 2 (696 words) Published: September 15, 2013
Textual Analysis of “To Kill A Mockingbird”
In the book “To Kill A Mockingbird” By Harper Lee, Atticus Finch uses all three forms of rhetoric in his defense to persuade the jurors that Tom Robinson is innocent of the raping of Mayella by using his identity as a believer of God, by reminding the jury of their duty, and inquiring the facts that were presented to him in the court case.

Atticus first uses the form of ethos in his speech as he tries to relate to the rest of the jurors by proclaiming that he believes in a deity: “Now I am confident that you gentlemen will review without passion the evidence that you have heard, come to a decision, and restore this man to his family. In the name of God, do your duty. In the name of God, believe... Tom Robinson.” (Page 205) By identifying himself as a believer of God, he is trying to persuade the jurors that he is one of them because he knows that most of the jurors believe in a deity. This is an example of ethos because in this form you are trying to present yourself as a trustworthy factor in order to persuade the audience. In Atticus’ case, he is trying to present himself as a believer by trying to identify himself to the audience as one of their own, a believer. As Atticus continues to utilize ethos to persuade the jurors about Tom’s innocence, he also begins to use pathos to manipulate his audience.

Atticus uses pathos in Tom’s defense by stressing the fact that they jury has an important responsibility to follow. The responsibility for the jury is to make a “pauper is an equal of a Rockefeller” and an “ignorant man the equal of any college president.” (Page 205) By reminding the jury of this important duty, Atticus is trying to give them the feeling of honor that they must do the same for Tom Robinson. The way that Atticus tries to use the jury’s feelings to be convinced is an example of pathos which is the use of emotion in an attempt to persuade the audience. If Atticus’ use of ethos and pathos fails to...
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