What are some examples of ethos, pathos, and logos in Chapters 17 to 19 of To Kill a Mockingbird?

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jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ethos involves establishing the credibility of the person making the statement to convince others that the person is reputable and trustworthy. When Heck Tate appears in court wearing a business suit rather than high boots and a lumber jacket in Chapter 17, he is trying to make an appeal to the jury through ethos. After Heck Tate testifies that he found Mayella Ewell beaten up, Atticus asks Heck why he didn't call a doctor if Mayella were so badly off. This is an appeal to the logos, or logic, of the jury that is trying Tom Robinson. If Mayella had been so badly beaten, it would've been logical for her to call a doctor. Atticus is using logic to cast doubt on Heck Tate's testimony about Mayella. Atticus also tries to show that only Mr. Ewell could've beaten up Mayella because Mr. Ewell is left handed, and she was beaten on the right side of her face. This is also an appeal to logos.

When Mayella Ewell appears on the witness stand at the beginning of Chapter 18, she appears afraid of Atticus. This is a way to appeal to the jury's sense of pathos, or emotion. If they feel sorry for her, they might be more willing to listen to what she says. In Chapter 19, after Tom Robinson testifies, Link Deas stands up in court and says that Tom has worked for him for many years and has never caused any trouble. This is a way to bolster Tom's credibility through ethos.  

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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