Ethos, Logos In Atticus: To Kill A Mockingbird

Decent Essays
Atticus Finch was involved in a very controversial case that arrived in Maycomb county. During this case, Atticus, a white man, was chosen to defend a black man named Tom Robinson. Tom Robinson was accused of raping and abusing a white female, Mayella Ewell. In the 1960s, southern life was divided between colored and non colored people. Atticus’ challenge was to convince the white jury and a white judge that Tom Robinson was shall not be pleaded guilty. This challenge was difficult to complete, hence why Atticus was unable to convince the jury even though he put up a good fight. Within that fight, he used different types of appeals that were able to persuade the jury in a variety of ways. Atticus used the appeals of ethos, logos, and pathos…show more content…
Ethos refers to the writer’s credibility on a given topic. In Atticus’ speech he states “I shall be brief, but I would like to use my remaining time with you to remind you that this case is not a difficult one, it requires no minute sifting of complicated facts, but it does require you to be sure beyond all reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the defendant… This case is as simple as black and white.” Atticus supporting Tom Robinson automatically gives him credibility because he is a lawyer, with a certain level of intelligence. Being a lawyer allows Atticus to gain support from the jury. Also, Atticus is using the idea of racism to show how everyone is so quick to judge the case since it is between a white individual and a black individual. Most would side with the white woman as a result to the divide between blacks and whites in the 1960s. When Atticus mentions that the case is “black and white”, he is leaving it up to the jury to make an ethical decision to chose who is to blame. In the end, the jury must establish whether to “save” the black side or the white side. Atticus will attempt to persuade people to pick the innocent man based on what they think is right in their heart as opposed to picking the person with the same skin color as them. As a result to Atticus’ occupation, many of those on the jury believe Atticus and the points he makes, moving some to join/support Tom
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