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Author Topic: Twelve Angry Men Practice Essays.  (Read 12150 times)  Share 

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12AM

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Twelve Angry Men Practice Essays.
« on: February 20, 2013, 10:45:01 am »
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I wanted a place in which I could post all of the practice essays I do for twelve Angry Men throughout the year.

I've never been the strongest English student and, being honest, I've found the start of year 12 a really massive step-up in difficulty from previous years. It's quite daunting looking at the way people write by their end of year exams and then comparing that to how I, along with many fellow classmates, am writing at the present.

Anyways, here's the first practice essay of year 12, any feedback would be brilliant, good or bad. I mean, feedback is feedback. Thanks. :D Oh, and the guidelines were we had to be between 600-800 words.

-----------------------------

'Twelve Angry Men is a play about how power can be misused.' Discuss

In Twelve Angry Men, written in a time when many of these men of society used their race, gender and social status to dominate and rule over others, author Reginald Rose presents a narrative that explores both the power that we as people have over others and which others have over us; examining how this power can be completely misused. The members of the jury are "faced with grave responsibility" and yet, we are able to recognise those that use, or rather abuse, power for personal reasons, those that don't acceptably or effectively use the power that they have been given, as well as the power that we have, or don't have, in the everyday interactions with others in our lives.

Through their role as members of the jury, certain characters choose to exploit what has been given to them for personal reasons, rather than fulfill their civic duty. Whilst this not only undermines the American judicial system, it also represents our society as a whole; that is, within our civilisation various individuals abuse the power that has been given to them because of political agenda, prejudice or self-interest; in the same vein that it can be seen that Jurors 3, 7 and 10 placed their personal bias, selfishness and bigotry, respectively, ahead of their responsibility. Through the stereotypes that the three aforementioned jury members represent, we are able to see Rose reflect on those who "don’t give a damn about the law", or rather, those that "don't give a damn" about their duty to society. This is still relevant to Australia's contemporary culture, in which politicians, celebrities, etc. place self-interest above all else and, just as the personal reasons of the assorted members of the jury held back and slowed down the jury from achieving progress and a correct decision, the self-interest that exists within politics and celebrity also hold us back as a society.

Not using the power you have been given effectively in an appropriate way is also an incredible misuse of the authority that you have been delivered. Although this form of misuse is quite miniscule in comparison to the prevalent use of selfishness that exists, it is arguably equally dangerous. This can be exemplified no better than by the defendant's lawyer; whom Juror 8 notes, "wasn't doing his job". The defense counsel, by letting "too many little things go", put the defendant in an incredibly precarious position. Not properly using what has been given to him is incredible misuse because power is opportunity and, despite the boy being found innocent, that's exactly what he gave up when he didn't "tear the prosecution witness to shreds" or challenge the prosecutions narrative; a greater opportunity to let a young man walk free. This enhances one of the great things about the judicial system. That is, as part of the civil duty that accompanies the judicial system, members of the public are forced to make a decision and make full use of the chance that you have, an underlying strength that exists in the democratic system.

During the play we are able to observe the various levels of control or “power” that some characters have over others in regular interactions and how such power could be, and is at times, misused. Throughout the play, Juror 3 and Juror 8 each attempt to control the jury room, although they do so in very different ways.  Juror 3 is somewhat of an aggressive, dominating man, imposing his views on people from the beginning, telling the far more timid, simple Juror 2 that “We’d be better off if we took these tough kids and slapped ‘em down before they make trouble.”  On the other hand, Juror 8 could be seen as manipulative, excellent at the “soft sell”, able to prod and push others to come to their own conclusions that suit his agenda. Both of these jurors use their ability to influence others in an attempt to sway their fellow jury members to their cause. However, it is Juror 3 who represents those that choose to take advantage of their influence on others for personal reasons, being what Juror 8 calls a “public avenger”, and Juror 8 who represents those that use their influence as a beacon of leadership, fighting for the right cause.

Power itself is a powerful thing. Within the setting of a court case, Rose is able to explore the various powers that exist in the world and the different dangers that surround them. Through Rose, we are able to examine the risks that surround power, both in the democratic system and in society. We are able to view how it can be both used and completely misused.

780 words.
2013: VCE (English | Further Mathematics | Mathematical Methods (CAS) | Specialist Mathematics | Biology | Chemistry | Economics)
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brenden

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Re: Twelve Angry Men Practice Essays.
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2013, 09:31:40 pm »
+2
I actually got about halfway through marking this in so much depth and then I bumped my laptop charger :'''(

/cries out the Nile river/

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Re: Twelve Angry Men Practice Essays.
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2013, 10:53:16 pm »
+1
I wanted a place in which I could post all of the practice essays I do for twelve Angry Men throughout the year.
Exccceeerrent.
I've never been the strongest English student and, being honest your use of language is good, I've found the start of year 12 a really massive step-up in difficulty from previous years. It's quite daunting looking at the way people write by their end of year exams and then comparing that to how I, along with many fellow classmates, am writing at the present. Hahahaha I did this too. One of my friends used to read VCAA high scoring essays with trepidation but ended up scoring higher than most on the exam!

Anyways, here's the first practice essay of year 12, any feedback would be brilliant, good or bad. I mean, feedback is feedback. Thanks. :D Oh, and the guidelines were we had to be between 600-800 words.
Well your new guideline is 800-1000 words, for now. 780 is good.
-----------------------------

'Twelve Angry Men is a play about how power can be misused.' Discuss
This was my exam prompt jajajajaja. I think it's definitely the more 'difficult' prompt of the exam.
In Twelve Angry Men, written in a time when many of these men of society used their race, gender and social status to dominate and rule over others good, author Reginald Rose presents a narrative that explores both the power that we as people have over others and which others have over us; examining how this power can be completely misused. Not bad at all. One thing I always did was 'contextualise' the opening line with reference to the culture or society of that particular stage of history. Starters included "Preceding the civil rights movement of the 1960s..." "In the height of the McCarthyist paranoia..." "Following the second world war..." - I'll demonstrate.. "In the height of the McCarthyist paranoia, the 1950s American Government promoted an obsession over capitalistic values and the underlying focus on the individual therein; propaganda, deceit, and fear of change were rife." (You could pretty much discuss anything of the time period relevant to your prompt in your opening sentence). I did this to provide a framework for future discussion... The above sentence isn't entirely perfect but I  think it's very good (so long as it's matched by the following writing). It provides a base for you to discuss what Rose is asserting in relation to that point in history, warms the assessor into the content-dense nature of your essay, shows off your knowledge and writing skills (as should everything). After this sentence we would work in things very similar to the second clause of your first sentence etc, talking about how 12AM is utilised as a social commentary, or that Rose makes x assertion etc etc. The members of the jury are "faced with (a)? grave responsibility" and yet, we are able to recognise those that use, or rather abuse Don't do this again. you do not get this privilege in the exam unless you want to underline an entire word. I also think it would show that you couldn't use language in a way to achieve what you wanted. , power for personal reasons, those that don't acceptably or effectively use the power that they have been given, as well as the power that we have, or don't have, in the everyday interactions with others in our lives.Nice writing however I'd mention your three main ideas in a more specific sense. I can see what your getting at however at the end of your introduction I should know what you will be discussing, in specific terms, within the essay. Generally, three sentences, three ideas. However you can take a bit of creative license here depending on your needs. I might mention something like 1. Rose puts the adversary system of trial under fire in terms of power abuse of the State. 2. Rose utilises individuals such as 3rd/10th to demonstrate the way personal desire and xenophobia could be used in terms of power abuse (would also discuss societal traits heavily in reference to 10th Juror and some particular xenophobic quotes) and say 3. Rose utilises 8th juror as a demonstration of how power SHOULD be used".
So you'd put those three points in the introduction, after contextualising and providing your contention in the form of "Rose... xyz" (similar to what you have already done).... After those three points you would include a 'thesis statement' which is literally one sentence that states your contention (or thesis) in certain terms. Something like "Hence, Rose asserts that power can corrupt, and utilises Twelve Angry Men as a demonstration of how power can be misused"... or something like that, y'know? Google thesis statement and read all about it.


Through their role as members of the jury, certain characters choose to exploit what has been given to them for personal reasons, rather than fulfill their civic duty. Yeah okay, not bad. You could defs write T.sentences like this if you wanted to. The way I usually wrote mine (just as an alternative for you, if you please) was I'd split it into two parts, and it would usually be rather lengthy (This was the only piece of advice I didn't take from the AN study guide). I'd have a two part topic sentence, one part addressing the prompt, and one part addressing Rose and some verb pertaining to him. Didn't matter which came first. I found it really shaped my paragraphs and kept me strictly on topic and read well, with my writing anyway. For example. "Rose condemns the adversary system of trial as implemented in 1950s American society, demonstrating the ways in which it promotes misuse of power and hinders justice." .. Not entirely perfect, but imo, a pretty good sentence. Now we can easily discuss power in relation to justice and all sorts of values etc throughout the paragraph.  Whilst this not only undermines the American judicial system, it also represents our society as a whole;[/b] that is, within our civilisation various individuals abuse the power that has been given to them because of political agenda, prejudice or self-interest; in the same vein that it can be seen that Jurors 3, 7 and 10 placed their personal bias, selfishness and bigotry, respectively, ahead of their responsibility. Semi-colons are going to be a trend, huh? I'd improve the sentence by saying "respective personal bias...." etc, to avoid that sort of disjointed flow created by the commas. Through the stereotypes that the three aforementioned jury members represent, we are able to see Rose reflect on those who "don’t give a damn about the law", or rather, those that "don't give a damn" about their duty to society. This is still relevant to Australia's contemporary culture, in which politicians, celebrities, etc. place self-interest above all else and, just as the personal reasons of the assorted members of the jury held back and slowed down the jury from achieving progress and a correct decision, the self-interest that exists within politics and celebrity also hold us back as a society.NNNNNNNNNNNNNEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEVVVVVVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRR. Your job is to analyse the wonderful play, not draw parallels between the play and Australian society. Unless you wanted to say "Rose makes the play timeless and relevant to any society through the lack of names" or something something. But you never need to do this. Furthermore, your paragraph is shallow on analysis (this is to be expected, don't stress, just work at it).
Words you might be interested in: embodiment. personification. And all of the different forms therein. Eg; 10th juror embodies xenophobia, 7th is a personification of self-interest, 8th is the embodiment of the values that Rose holds highest; objectivity, compassion etc etc etc. This could be extremely dense. I would be analysing the 3rd juror's desire to vicariously punish his son through the defendant, quoting "we had a battle", "I'm one of [his executioners]" etc and using many author verbs to demonstrate that Rose is utilising this character to convey power misuse etc. Analyse more. Analyse the quotes you provide as well. At the moment your quotes aren't terrible but they are just there because you know they should be there. Like, is him saying he is one of his executioners not some fucking morbid shit?


Not using the power you have been given effectively in an appropriate way is also an incredible misuse of the authority that you have been delivered. Stop using 'you'. It's too conversational. A master essay writer will write in a way that articulates exactly what is in his mind and leave the reader with no questions as to what he means. In contrast to conversation, where people can ask questions and jump from topic to topic left right and centre.Although this form of misuse is quite miniscule in comparison to the prevalent use of selfishness that exists, it is arguably equally dangerousDon't tell me what it arguably is; argue it. Don't say things 'although...' that could detract from your own contention.. This can be exemplified no better No! Don't use negatives like this in your writing. The reader never wants to know what isn't, they always want to know what is. Subconsciously so. "The man is not tall or  blonde. He doesn't wear a green jacket to work." or "He is a stout man with brown hair. He wears a grey suit jacket trimmed with black to work every morning." - what sentence do you like more? Say "best exemplified" (your break of this rule was pretty minor, though) than by the defendant's lawyer; whom Juror 8 notes, "wasn't doing his job". The defense counsel, by letting "too many little things go", put the defendant in an incredibly precarious position. Not properly using what has been given to him is incredible misuse because power is opportunityseems a bit weak. (omfg lol I just wrote seams. my mind is jelly) and, despite the boy being found innocent, that's exactly what he gave up when he didn't "tear the prosecution witness to shreds" or challenge the prosecutions narrative; you use of evidence is better in this paragraph, it builds your argument.a greater opportunity to let a young man walk free. This enhances one of the great things about the judicial system. That is, as part of the civil duty that accompanies the judicial system, members of the public are forced to make a decision and make full use of the chance that you have, an underlying strength that exists in the democratic system.What do you mean? How does it enhance a great thing about the judicial system? It shows a flaw in the judicial system, that someone can argue without conviction because of their own beliefs. That sentence is contrary to your argument of this paragraph, really. You're talking about a shitty lawyer and power abuse, you don't want to bring up how everything is okay because people are forced to make a decision. They also aren't force to make full use of their chances, so a bit weak here. Does your teacher use the phrases 'civil/civic duty' a lot in regards to the play?

During the play we areavoid it. There are better ways to say these things and whilst 'we' is probably acceptable in reference to humanity, just don't do it. able to observe the various levels of control or “power” that some characters have over others in regular interactions and how such power could be, and is at times, misused.hm, not a bad idea. Am interested to see what you say here. I'm guessing Juror 2 is mentioend. Throughout the play, Juror 3 and Juror 8 each attempt to control the jury room, although they do so in very different ways.  Juror 3 is somewhat is the somewhat really necessary? be definite.of an aggressive, dominating man, imposing his views on people from the beginning, telling the far more timid, simple Juror 2 that “We’d be better off if we took these tough kids and slapped ‘em down before they make trouble.”  On the other hand, Juror 8 could be seen as manipulative, excellent at the “soft sell”, able to prod and push others to come to their own conclusions that suit his agenda. Both of these jurors use their ability to influence others in an attempt to sway their fellow jury members to their cause. However, it is Juror 3 who represents those that choose to take advantage of their influence on others for personal reasons, being what Juror 8 calls a “public avenger”, and Juror 8 who represents those that use their influence as a beacon of leadership, fighting for the right cause. Fantastic interpretation. Would like more depth of analysis (I know you were aiming for 600-800 but ditch that please.) You could also improve your sense of language although it's pretty good. Read essays by EvangelionZeta on the worked examples threads to see how it should be done.. (For anyone watching... I haven't actually read Stonecold's etc etc... I just recommend EZ's because they're the only ones I ever read due to interest, so they're the only ones I know for a fact have great expression/flow)

Power itself is a powerful thing. What are you trying to say? Apples are also tasty. Within the setting of a court case, Rose is able to explore the various powers that exist in the world and the different dangers that surround them. Through Rose, we i really just don't like we. are able to examine the risks that surround power, both in the democratic system and in society. We are able to view how it can be both used and completely misused. Not bad. I'd provide a neat sum of my three main points and end on something that could give shivers like "Ultimately, Rose defines many ways power can taint people, and encourages a more compassionate humanity."
Okay so it couldn't give much shivers but it's a nice cap-off line.


780 words.
[/quote]
I'd like to see how you would handle a longer essay. It would also mean I could give you more feedback. Some good ideas! I would like to see you re-attempt this prompt at the end of the year when you are practicing. I don't think it's well suited to a beginner. Keep posting essays and I will make you amazing.
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12AM

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Re: Twelve Angry Men Practice Essays.
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2013, 11:48:56 pm »
+1
I... just... woah.

You completely destroyed that. Never had that much feedback on anything I've written in my life. Thank you very, very much.

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brenden

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Re: Twelve Angry Men Practice Essays.
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2013, 12:07:37 am »
+1
I... just... woah.

You completely destroyed that. Never had that much feedback on anything I've written in my life. Thank you very, very much.

"I will be back, with a vengeance."
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
Omfg am actually shaking with laughter right now lol.
You're totally welcome, man! Keep posting, and I will keep destroying. I am Le Essay Destroyer.
I'm always true to my word ;)


Edit: I look forward to having discussions with you when your knowledge of the play develops along with your ideas. It's very worth looking into the history of the time. For a week or so in 2010 my History teacher covered American culture post WW2, things like materialism et al but I still googled it. Learn about McCarthy and stuff. Just Google fucking everything. I googled the fucking Dempsey-Firpo fight lol.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2013, 12:10:23 am by Brendinkles »
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Re: Twelve Angry Men Practice Essays.
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2013, 12:27:07 am »
+1
Edit: I look forward to having discussions with you when your knowledge of the play develops along with your ideas. It's very worth looking into the history of the time.

In fact, it's critical. If you're writing an essay on Twelve Angry Men, you must discuss the social and historical context of 1950s America vis a vis McCarthyism and HUAC.

If you're super-keen (and you should be, this is the second still second-best text ever offered for VCE English), ask your teacher if they could put together a mini-lecture on 1950s American politics and society.


Made this post better - Brenden

No you didn't; Sometimes Gladness was better :P - Alon
« Last Edit: February 26, 2013, 12:38:38 am by alondouek »
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brenden

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Re: Twelve Angry Men Practice Essays.
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2013, 12:31:17 am »
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>doesn't know what HUAC is.
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Re: Twelve Angry Men Practice Essays.
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2013, 12:37:17 am »
+1
HUAC was the 'House Un-American Activities Commission' - they ran the McCarthyist show trials as well as general anti-Communist fear-mongering amongst the American population at the time.

Edit: So many hyphens, I ain't even mad, yo.
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Re: Twelve Angry Men Practice Essays.
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2013, 12:40:45 am »
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Oh okay fair enough - I guess I hit that mark by talking about McCarthy/communism/propaganda in a general sense. How would you work HUAC into an essay?
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Re: Twelve Angry Men Practice Essays.
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2013, 12:46:35 am »
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Well, I always referred to it in the intro/as a topic sentence/beginning of conclusion along with McCarthyism, generally along the lines of

Rose utilises Twelve Angry Men to criticise the McCarthyistic jury system of the 1950s, where anti-Communist fear-mongering by the House Un-American Activities Commission (HUAC) subjected the American population to the threat of imprisonment at unwinnable show trials.***


***Bear with me, it's ~1am and I'm not feeling particularly creative
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Re: Twelve Angry Men Practice Essays.
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2013, 12:47:53 am »
+1
Oh okay, so it never formed the basis of very content-dense discussion?
I must research.
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Re: Twelve Angry Men Practice Essays.
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2013, 12:51:10 am »
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Nah, there really wasn't too much to say about HUAC unless you were going to make the argument that Rose, in 12AM, is providing a criticism of political Conservativism as a whole through the words and actions of certain Jurors (3rd, 4th, 10th) - but then you'd need to discuss how the play was didactic in that Rose was promoting a Liberalist message through the 8th Juror etc. etc.
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Re: Twelve Angry Men Practice Essays.
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2013, 12:54:38 am »
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Sounds cool! Did you write on 12AM? If so, which prompt?
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Re: Twelve Angry Men Practice Essays.
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2013, 12:57:03 am »
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I did! The only other option was OTW, and nope.

IIRC, the topic was the very same one OP just wrote on.
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Re: Twelve Angry Men Practice Essays.
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2013, 01:00:47 am »
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You remember correctly indeed! Do you remember your points?

(also lol OTW)
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