To Kill a Mockingbird

Topics: Rhetoric, To Kill a Mockingbird, Court Pages: 3 (878 words) Published: February 19, 2013
Matthew Cox
Mr. de Vries
14 February 2012
To Kill a Mockingbird
In the final courtroom scene in the movie “To Kill a Mockingbird”, Atticus Finch is given the case of a lifetime when he gets the chance to defend Tom Robinson, a black man who is being falsely accused of raping a white woman in the 1930’s when inequality and racism was very prevalent during that time in the deep South. The odds he faces are terrible because he is defending an African American which during that time would always be an uphill battle and very few had the audacity to even try. Atticus Finch is delivering a speech trying to encourage and persuade a court who is biased against Robinson to believe that the crime he had been charged with never even took place. Despite the fact that Tom is soon going to be found guilty for a crime he didn’t do, the speech appealed to all of the audience and jury in the courtroom logically, emotionally, and in justice using the appeals of Pathos, Logos, and Ethos (To Kill a Mockingbird).

Atticus Finch’s speech displays pathos by provoking the thoughts and emotion of the jury and audience through persuasive and appealing statements. He stated many important points all while his voice was full of trust; trust in the jury to make the right decision, which had the courtroom stirring and this created favorable emotions. Finch creates a feeling of guilt when he states, “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” (To Kill a Mockingbird). Another emotion brought into play by Atticus was empathy when he says, “There is not a person in this courtroom who has never told a lie, who has never looked upon a women without desire” (To Kill a Mockingbird). With the use of empathy he establishes a relationship between Tom and the audience because they were able to put themselves in Tom...

Cited: To Kill a Mockingbird. Dir. Robert Mulligan. Perf. Gregory Peck, Mary Bedham, and Phillip
Alford. Universal Pictures, 1962. Film.
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