Compare Two Speeches

Seen in the larger context of the plot, it is noteworthy that the two defendants whom the lawyers voicing the two specific speeches are trying to protect stand a potential chance of getting convicted owing to the jury possibly being biased with respect to their race and ethnic identity. Hence, no wonder, the two speeches are indeed moving texts that intend to persuade the jury against succumbing to the prevalent racial biases and prejudices. Yet, there is no denying the fact that both these speeches tend to differ in their structure, form and content, and the strategy they resort to while trying to move the conscience of the jury. While the speech mad by Atticus in To Kill a Mockingbird is expansive, elaborate and emotive, the speech made by Charlie in the defense of Reverend Andrews is more factual, terse and tactical. The speech made by Atticus in To Kill a Mockingbird does indeed have an organic structure with a beginning, middle and an end. The character of Atticus systematically moves about to make an impression on the jury by making his speech to be placed at the end of his systematic enunciation of the facts and the available evidence before the jury. This strategy has a twin fold advantage in the sense that it not only segregates the two pivotal issues involved in the concerned trial that are the technical aspects associated with the trial and the larger issue of racial bias that could have a detrimental impact with regards to the defendant. Hence, without any doubt, this approach allows Atticus to methodically and systematically bring to fore the simmering issue of racial prejudice in the court house, which was not only till now being sidelined or taken for granted, but is also bound to have a decisive impact on the trial. The character of Atticus astutely adapts one’s mannerisms and body language to suit the gravity of the situation as is evident from, … he did something he didn’t ordinarily do. He unhitched his watch and chain and placed them on the table…. In terms of content, the speech made by Atticus could be regarded to be emotive, while at the same time being factual in the sense that it lays bare the incidence and prevalence of racism in the society of his times, while urging the jury to rise above such narrow considerations, so as to decide the case while taking into consideration the available factual evidence. Commensurately, while making this speech, Atticus comes out as an authoritative speaker who has a firm grip over the social undercurrents of his times as he says, She has committed no crime, she has merely broken a rigid and time honored code of our society…While doing so Atticus rises above the role of an ordinary lawyer intending to protect one’s client to be a voice of reason and sanity, not only having a firm grip over the essentials of the law of the land, but also symbolic of an attitude that supports an objective and unbiased approach towards legal issues that he believes to be the guiding principle behind the law that he intends to uphold. It goes without saying that Atticus is amply aware of the mindset of his audience that is the jury and hence had tailored his speech to usher in a voice of reason and fairness into an opinion that had already been presumed to be calcified and crystallized, in an informal if not in a solemn manner. The speech made to the jury