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In the final courtroom scene in the film “To Kill a Mockingbird”, Atticus Finch is given the case of a life time when he gets the opportunity to protect Tom Robinson, a black male who is being falsely implicated of raping a white female in the 1930’s when inequality and bigotry was extremely prevalent throughout that time in the deep South. The chances he deals with are awful because he is safeguarding an African American which throughout that time would always be an uphill fight and extremely few had the audacity to even attempt.
Atticus Finch is delivering a speech trying to motivate and convince a court who is prejudiced versus Robinson to think that the crime he had been charged with never ever even happened. In spite of the reality that Tom is soon going to be found guilty for a criminal offense he didn’t do, the speech attracted all of the audience and jury in the courtroom rationally, mentally, and in justice utilizing the appeals of Pathos, Logo Designs, and Values (To Kill a Mockingbird).
Atticus Finch’s speech displays pathos by provoking the thoughts and feeling of the jury and audience through convincing and attractive statements. He stated numerous important points all while his voice had plenty of trust; rely on the jury to make the best decision, which had the courtroom stirring and this produced beneficial emotions. Finch creates a sensation of guilt when he specifies, “I have nothing but pity in my heart for the primary witness for the state, however my pity does not extend so far regarding her putting a male’s life at stake, which she has actually performed in an effort to get rid of her own guilt” (To Kill a Mockingbird). Another feeling called into play by Atticus was compassion when he says, “There is not an individual in this courtroom who has never ever informed a lie, who has never looked upon a women without desire” (To Kill a Mockingbird). With making use of empathy he develops a relationship between Tom and the audience since they were able to put themselves in Tom Robinsons’ shoes and feel the exact same pain. Atticus’s use of the rhetorical appeal pathos was extremely powerful in creating sensations within the courtroom in an attempt to get the audience to think in what he is stating and ultimately see past their prejudice methods.
This piece of rhetoric also gives a logical appeal through logos which makes the speech a solid logical argument; facts are used in Atticus Finchs’ closing argument to portray a more logical appeal. He starts his speech out by saying there isn’t enough medical evidence to prove that the crime even took place. Finch has a very solid point and statement when he proceeds to say, “Now there is circumstantial evidence to indicate that Mayella Ewell was beaten savagely by someone who led, almost exclusively, with his left hand. And Tom Robinson now sits before you, having taken “The Oath” with his only good hand he possesses, his right” (To Kill a Mockingbird). Atticus Finch backs this up in the first sentence of his speech when he says, “It has relied instead upon the testimony of two witnesses” (To Kill a Mockingbird), stating that this is the only solid evidence that they have in place. Atticus Finch does a good job of presenting a logical argument while backing up everything he says.
Atticus Finch also displays ethos in his speech through his tone and style which also has a major impact on his audience. Atticus Finch having lived in this culture during this time of segregation also gives him a sense of what Tom Robinson and his audience was feeling. By using ethos, he makes a statement that shows how society looks at a white women kissing a colored man, “Now what did she do? She tempted a Negro. She was white and she tempted a Negro. She did something that in our society is unspeakable” (To Kill a Mockingbird).
All throughout the speech Atticus sounds very professional and knowledgeable on the information he is talking about, he seems as if he invested much of his time to that one case and is determined to free Tom Robinson. During the court case, Atticus Finch states, “Now, gentlemen, in this country, the courts are the great levelers. In our courts, all men are created equal” (To Kill a Mockingbird). Atticus uses this very statement in order to elevate the importance of maintaining equality and unbiased opinions to the jury and show his understanding of the court system. Atticus Finch, by using ethos; has proven himself to his audience.
I feel that if I was in the audience during the time that Atticus Finch was giving his closing argument I would be utterly and totally convinced because in the speech he uses the rhetorical appeals pathos, logos, and ethos very well which made his speech fit and connect together. Atticus knew just exactly how to appeal to his audience through logic, emotion, and in justice so that an innocent black man isn’t falsely accused.
To Kill a Mockingbird. Dir. Robert Mulligan. Perf. Gregory Peck, Mary Bedham, and Phillip Alford. Universal Pictures, 1962. Film.
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