In To Kill a Mockingbird, what is Atticus Finch's diction at the closing argument?

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tdeady eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Atticus Finch is a well-educated man and a lawyer. Harper Lee properly uses these facts to present Atticus effectively through his diction. In all of his dialogue, Atticus speaks with thoughtfulness and clarity. Through the narrator (Scout) his diction is described in the novel as "last-will-and-testament diction."

His speech is in sharp contrast to the diction of many of the characters, who exhibit a dialect attributed to the poor and uneducated. Where Atticus speaks in complete, grammatically correct sentences, many of the other characters speak using slang, inaccurate contractions and incomplete sentences. Harper Lee uses this contrast brilliantly to set Atticus apart from the majority of the characters, symbolizing his advanced opinions and righteousness, aligning his speech with his actions.

To simplify, Atticus Finch's diction is that of a well-educated southern gentleman.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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