Twelve Angry Men presents the pessimistic view that all humans are flawed Essay
Twelve Angry Men presents the pessimistic view that all humans are flawed
Foreman goes with the majority vote rather than independently forming his own judgement Juror 10 stereotypes all immigrants. Offensive remarks eventually lead to the other jurors turning their backs on him and he finally reflects enough to change Juror 3‘s relationship with his estranged son conflicts with the case and how he is intolerant to young kids (ageism) he also believes that a common way of handling conflict in his family has always been with physical violence. Dependence on violence as a problem-solving strategy.
Juror 7 is more interested in missing the baseball game than the case (selfish) The witness who wears eyeglasses says she saw the last two cars passing the elevated train implying that she has 20/20 vision. Juror 9 “woman who testified she saw the killing had these deep marks on the sides of her nose”. Juror 11 feels ashamed of his German culture and tries to act more American. Juror 12 keeps to himself and seems distracted and not interested. He plays noughts and crosses and draws sketches of his advertisements.
Cannot articulate his reasoning and changes his vote on multiple occasions Juror 5 lived in slums and could relate to the accused but he chose to vote guilty as he felt attacked by the other jurors Guilt or innocence is never revealed Strengths of the jurors Juror 8 wants urges the others to be patient and to contemplate the details of the case. Points out the weaknesses in the other jurors. Paternal instinct to the accused due to the boy having a troubled upbringing. Changes the jurors vote.
Juror 11 can relate to the boy as he lived the same life in terms of the environment in which he was raised. Reminds others of their responsibilities and that personal feeling should not play a role in deliberations. Juror 4 urges fellow to jurors to avoid emotional arguments and encourages them to engage in rational discussion. Foreman takes his role seriously and endeavours to be fair Juror 5 proves key to persuading the votes of the remaining jurors and also has a strong sense of justice Juror 6 is principled and respectful “You oughta have some respect, mister.
If you say stuff like that to him again- I’m gonna lay you out” in response to Juror 3. Paragraph Structure Introduction – setting- author-date- mention a sentence on McCarthyism-answer to question Body Paragraph 1- how the flaws helped the case- yes why it was good Body Paragraph 2- Positive aspects Body Paragraph 3- why it was bad prejudices- sexism-ageism Body Paragraph 4- negative aspect Conclusion- sums the paragraphs. Overall…. What to include in Paragraphs
Jurors debate How the Jury system was proven to be effective Designed by the public Goes beyond reasonable doubt Weaknesses of the system How the jurors were mostly men and women were not important enough to be jurors ‘Twelve Angry Men presents the pessimistic view that all humans are flawed’ Introduction Reginald Rose’s play Twelve Angry Men set in a New York Court of Law in 1957 depicts the hardship of reaching a final verdict based on personal prejudice, opinionated views and false statements of twelve diverse men who are confronted with their views and beliefs that jeopardises the case.
The play was written near the McCarthyism era where accusations of being or supporting communism had resulted in the justice system being abused. Rose had wanted to leave the impression that America’s democratic jury system was effective as it was proven to not fail through Juror 8. Because Juror 8 who was the first to vote not guilty was separated from the strong attitudes of the eleven other jurors who used their personal issues to make a judgement on the accused without examining the evidence before they had made a decision.
These twelve diverse men who are forced to stay in a heated room for a period of time which adds great tension amongst all of them will need to prove the innocence or guilt of a young man who could be looking at capital punishment. The twelve jurors who reveal their weaknesses and strengths throughout the duration of proving reasonable doubt shows that without having a hint of doubt a guilty man may be able to walk free. The play reveals that regardless of age, gender or background the jury system is a struggle when jurors are not one-sided, but it is a process of seeking justice.
Rose demonstrates that all humans reveal their imperfections when they can relate to a situation. Although the eleven other jurors who voted guilty due to ignoring the evidence in order to save precious time whilst Juror 8 presents his argument by stating that the accused is a teenage boy who has “been kicked around all his life”, though this example the 8th juror indicates that a dysfunctional home can have a violent and emotional impact on a child.
Juror 3 an emotionally distraught man who has not been in touch with his estranged son votes guilty based on biases to young children who have lack respect to their elders this is shown when he points out to Juror 2 “I’d think we’d be better off if we took these tough kids and slapped ‘em down before they make trouble” this enrage provokes a sense of dislike in the audience to Juror 3 as he believes that violence is the key to problem-solving. In relation to both jurors there is always seems to be tension amongst them when Juror 8 constantly reveals Juror 3’s weaknesses that is delaying them from reaching a final verdict.
Rose uses these two jurors to shows how there is always one juror who will always bring out people’s imperfections. The act of being untruthful in a society may arise when most people present false statements. Although Juror 8 has convinced nine other jurors to see reasonable doubt they further discuss a witness in her forties “making a tremendous effort to look thirty-five for her first public appearance” and states that she lived in the opposite apartment from the accused and his father.
Juror 9 who points out that “the woman who testified that she saw the killing had these same deep marks on the side of her nose” indicating that she wears eyeglasses and the statement in her testimony was inaccurate. This alters the three other jurors verdict of voting guilty as one witnesses testimony could of made the other jurors believe that her memory was accurate and the accused could have received capital punishment.
Rose portrays a sense of concern in the audience if the jurors disregarded the witness’s statement indicating that the justice system could have proven to fail. Rose shows without a flawed society it would be difficult to envision the benefit of the doubt. Through Juror 8 we see him with limitless imperfections as he is characterised as the protagonist always being loyal and fair to those who deserve it. However, in Act II the audience finds out more about Juror 8 when the switch-blade knife has been presented.
In the course of the play the switch knife was the weapon the accused had used and was considered to be a unique object. Juror 8 who had ‘reached into pocket and swiftly withdraws the knife’ portrays a sense of amazement in the juror especially juror 3 who thought the 8th Juror was perfect. The knife been presented depicts juror 8’s who is a trusted citizen in the American society having “broken the law” indicates that he is not perfect and participating in an illegal act makes the audience question whether he should be trusted.
In contrast to the 11th Juror who starts to realise their “it would still be an incredible coincidence for another person to have stabbed the father with the same kind of knife” initially changes his vote to ‘not guilty’ and provokes a sudden change in Juror 9 the eldest of the other jurors decision that makes him vote not guilty however as he still has the slightest feeling that “the boy on trial is probably guilty. But I want to hear more”.
Juror 5 who chose to vote guilty as he felt attacked by the other headstrong jurors seeks reasonable doubt when the switch- knife reminds him of “the neighbourhood where I lived” and demonstrates how to handle the knife to the other jurors. Although the eleven other jurors have come to terms in setting aside their biases and prejudices Juror 3 who holds a pessimistic view of young people initially votes ‘not guilty’ when the other jurors encourages him to give the accused a second chance by “letting him live”.
Throughout the play men were used as jurors to make a judgement within a period of time and women were not as significant to participate in a jury system. It makes the audience believe that women would have voted ‘not guilty’ as they felt a sense of empathy to the accused without examining the evidence. Rose shows that jurors who present themselves as heroic in a democratic justice system have imperfections however; it is a basic part of life and ‘no real damage has
been done’. Overall Rose highlights the importance of the jury system in giving other’s a fair trial irrespective of age, gender and cultural background. Although Rose had used a set of diverse men and not women it shows that women would have appeared more sensitive to the case and would have let the accused live even though he may have been guilty.
The imperfections of the system, indicates that the views and beliefs that are installed in all human beings helps them to make a reasonable judgement when examining the facts. Rose ensures us to not view human imperfections in an undesirable way as all human qualities are the result of who they are and it is their responsibility to perform a duty to protect their society. It is through this play that makes us feel hopeful about the flawed world we live in.