The text under study belongs to famous American writer Harper Lee. It’s a passage of her novel “To kill a mockingbird”, but as the extract is rather complete we can define it as a short story. The extract under analysis depicts a trial of Tom Robinson who is accused of assaulting a white girl. So we can easily define the following theme: the trial of a Negro man who has supposedly raped a white girl. The problem raised by the author is an issue of justice. The main idea the author tries to reveal is in spite of the fact that people are different according to their age, sex, education, social status, colour of skin etc., all should be treated equally and honestly when they go before court. The main conflict is between the defence and the prosecution.
It’s obvious and external. We observe the events through the eyes of Jean Louise, seven years old daughter of Atticus, who is present at trial. Though Jean’s observations and views are important, the essential part of the passage is dedicated to Atticus’s speech which is worth considering as it’s a bright example of an oratory. Public speeches in general are being given by all kinds of people to many kinds of audience. But the aim of the speech is always the same — the speaker must win the audience heart, must make it believe him, support him, and stand by his side. Logically organized speech, which would sound convincing, is the only way to succeed.
And such oratory has certain features that are also present at Atticus’s speech. Throughout Atticus’s speech the author uses different CDs of different language levels to make the speech coherent, convincing, and emotionally appealing. As the most features of the oratory are present at Atticus’s speech, we can conclude that it has an argumentative power and is logically built.
I think this was achieved due to that fact that Harper Lee herself studied law at university so she knew full well what she was writing about. As for the main character we can say that even he didn’t win this trial he made everybody, both black and white people, respect him. We can say beyond all the reasonable doubt that at the introduction to the story Atticus was by rights called an experienced lawyer and a smart and wise person.