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Atticus Finch Closing Argument in To Kill A Mockingbird

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Taylor Hicks

on 10 July 2015

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Transcript of Atticus Finch Closing Argument in To Kill A Mockingbird

Atticus Finch Closing Argument in To Kill A Mockingbird
Atticus Finch uses pathos, logos, and ethos to try and persuade the jury that Tom Robinson is innocent.
Pathos
Atticus starts by building pity for Mayella Ewell. Then he uses pathos to build a connection with Tom by mentioning that "a quite, respectable, humble Negro who had the unmitigated temerity to 'feel sorry' for a white woman has had to put his word against two white people's" he does this to get the jury to pity Tom and relate the jurors to Tom because they all share pity for Mayella.
Logos
At the beginning of the speech he proves that Tom could not have commited the crime using logos. He explains why Tom could not have been guilty: "There is circumstantial evidence to indicate that MayellaEwell was beaten savagely by someone who led almost exclusively with his left... and Tom Robinson now sits before you, having taken the oath with the only good hand he possesses - his right hand"
Ethos
Atticus uses ethos to prove Toms innocence by acknowledging the credibility of the courts: “Our courts have their faults, as does any human instiion, but in this country our courts are the tutgreat levelers, and in our courts all men are created equal" (205). Atticus uses words like "honorable" and "great" because they elevate the importance of maintaining the long lived code of equality in the courts.
Charlton Heston; On Gun Control
Today I want to talk to you about guns: Why we have them, why the Bill of Rights guarantees that we can have them, and why my right to have a gun is more important than your right to rail against it in the press.
Pathos
He instills fear in his audience by emphasizing that without guns we would not have the freedom we have today. He also says that we would not feel protected without guns. Ex. "Please, go forth and tell the truth. There can be no free speech, no freedom of the press, no freedom to protest, no freedom to worship you god, no freedom to speak your mind, no freedom from fear, no freedom for your children and for theirs, for anybody, anywhere without the Second Amendment freedom to fight for it."
Logos
Throughout the speech, Charlton refers straight from the constitution. Like in the beginning, he states: "I say that the Second Amendment is, in order of importance, the first amendment. It is America's First Freedom, the one right that protects all the others. Among freedom of speech, of the press, of religion, of assembly, of redress of grievances, it is the first among equals. It alone offers the absolute capacity to live without fear. The right to keep and bear arms is the one right that allows 'rights' to exist at all."
Ethos
Charlton doesn't really give his opinion from a trusted source, he gives his own opinion and tells the audience to believe him or not it wouldn't really change anything.
Full transcript