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Rhetorics in Tom Robinson's Trial
Updated: 4/23/2020
Rhetorics in Tom Robinson's Trial
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Storyboard Text

  • Before the Trial of Tom Robinson
  • Questioning Mr. Ewell
  • "Did you run for a doctor?"... "Weren't you concerned for Mayella's condition?"... "Did you not think the nature of her injuries needed immediate medical attention?" (175).
  • ..."wadn't no need to" ..."I most positively was" (175).
  • Mayella Cries
  • "Mayella stared at him and burst into tears. She covered her mouth with her hands and sobbed" (179).
  • Pictured from left to right is Atticus, Tom Robinson, Bob Ewell, and Mayella in front of the courthouse for Tom Robinson's trial--where he has been falsely accused.
  • Mayella Objects to the Kindness of Atticus
  • "He's not trying to mock you, he's trying to be polite. That's just his way"(182).
  • "Long's he keeps on callin' me ma'am an sayin' Miss Mayella. I don't hafta take his sass, I ain't called upon to take it" (182).
  • Atticus uses LOGOS in this scene by showing how illogical Mr. Ewell's actions were that night. He wanted to show to the jury and the reader that if her father was truly concerned for her and trying to do the right thing, then he would have sought out medical attention immediately. He says this because it exposes some of the fallacies of that night's story, and plants doubt in the minds of the jury as to the treatment Mayella gets at home.
  • Atticus Proves Mayella Wrong
  • "His left arm was fully twelve inches shorter than his right, and hung dead at his side" (186).
  • Mayella bursts into tears during the trial and it could be for many reasons. While she is trying to manipulate the jury, she also may feel sorry for what her father is making her do to Tom Robinson. This action shows the readers a more human side of Mayella while it also allows her to make an emotional connection with the jury (PATHOS).
  • Showing the Ewells' are Liars
  • "Did you ever go on the place again?" (191).
  • *Talking about Robinson returning to the Ewell house*
  • "Well, I went lots of times" (191).
  • Mayella uses PATHOS by utilizing her emotions to try and make the jury feel as if Atticus is being rude to her and has wronged her, when in reality he was trying to be polite. However it also shows how mistreated Mayella is and how little respect she normally gets.
  • Before this, Atticus had proven that Mayella's attacker had to be left handed. With the new evidence that Tom Robinson had no left hand, Atticus says this to attempt to lead the jury and reader to the conclusion that there is no way Robinson could have committed this crime. He uses LOGOS to show that, because Robinson is incapacitated, he is innocent.
  • Previously the Ewells had stated that the night of the case was the first and only time that Robinson had been on the property, however Tom Robinson's testimony proves them wrong. Using facts, Attcius is able to disprove and discredit the Ewells to both the audience and the jurors.
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