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January 29, 2022, 06:22:27 am

Author Topic: "Twelve Angry Men" Text Response Essay  (Read 5623 times)  Share 

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Smith.ts

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"Twelve Angry Men" Text Response Essay
« on: May 05, 2013, 11:48:00 am »
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Hey, I've posted a practice essay of mine below, could someone read it and give me some suggestions on areas for improvement? Also, could you give it a mark out of 30 so that I have an indication of how I'm going in my preparation for the SAC?


Why is it so difficult for the jury in “Twelve Angry Men” to reach its final verdict?

It is for a range of reasons that the jury in Twelve Angry Men (Reginald Rose) find it hard to reach a unified decision. Rose uses prejudice to express the challenges that are posed to the jury in reaching a unanimous verdict, which ultimately leads to conflict amongst the jurors. As a result, the jury finds it difficult to agree with one another in terms of a unanimous verdict. Through the jury, Rose portrays a group of different people with differing opinions and experiences. It is for this reason, along with others, that the jury in “Twelve Angry Men” finds it so difficult to reach a decision. Each of these factors contributes to the difficult task of achieving a unanimous agreement.

The theme of prejudice expressed by Rose in “Twelve Angry Men” is personified by jurors 3 and 10. As the play progresses, it becomes more and more blatant to the audience that these characters possess an element of prejudice that cannot be easily overcome. This can be seen to create difficulty in the agreement of a verdict. Juror 3’s prejudice for the accused is illustrated by his own troubled relationship with his son. This is shown when Juror 3 comments that he and his son “had a battle,” two years previously, in which “[his son] punched [him] in the face.” As a result, Juror 3 has not “seen [his son] in two years.” As such, Juror 3 forms a parallel between the boy’s murder of his own father, and his own son’s actions, who he feels has stabbed him in the back (similar to the actions of the accused). This is exemplified by juror 3’s exasperated comment that “[he] can feel that knife goin’ in.” This bias leads juror 3 to vote ‘guilty,’ and he unreasonably refuses to vote ‘not guilty,’ even claiming that he “can sit in this goddamn room for a year.” This, in itself, prevents the jury from producing a unanimous verdict because of the stark contrast between reason and prejudice which causes disagreement within the jury. Similarly, juror 10 is prejudiced towards the accused because he (the accused) is from the slums. Rose demonstrates this multiple times throughout the play, such as when juror 10 claims that “these people are born to lie.” This highlights the main reason for juror 10’s ‘guilty’ vote; that he cannot believe a word “those people” say. As such, the prejudice of both jurors 3 and 10 can be construed as generating difficulty in reaching a final decision due to their refusal to see reasonable doubt in the case.

Moreover, the conflict caused by the prejudice of several jurors further contributes to the difficulty in reaching a final verdict. This is because it creates an atmosphere of anger and distrust between these jurors. For example, jurors 3 and 8 clash when juror 8 calls juror 3 a “sadist,” and a “self-appointed public avenger,” intent on seeing the “boy die because [he] personally want it, not because of the facts.” This creates anger between the two jurors that is not reconciled until juror 3 realises his prejudice and votes ‘not guilty.’ However, this process to convince juror 3 of the ‘reasonable doubt’ in the case is made extremely difficult by his anger towards juror 8. In the end, though, juror 3’s anger ultimately subsides and he is able to perceive his prejudice when it is highlighted to him. This process proves very hard, and therefore contributes towards the difficulty of reaching a final determination.

Juries in the U.S in 1957 were intended to represent a cross-section of society, comprising only white men of different ages, values, and beliefs. This clash of opinions, specifically in “Twelve Angry Men,” inherently leads to disagreement which makes it extremely problematic for the jury to produce a collective decision. For example, juror 11, an immigrant from Germany, clearly values the system of democracy immensely due to his experiences in other undemocratic countries. In contrast, other jurors, such as juror 3, have come to take the system of democracy and the right to sit on a jury for granted. This is exemplified by juror 3’s comment, when asked what he thought of the trial, that “[he] was falling asleep.” Juror 3 has clearly experienced this “social responsibility” many times previously, contributing to his boredom. This dichotomy can be seen by the audience as a demonstration of the variety of opinions evident on the jury. As such, this inevitably causes the process of agreeing on a verdict to be quite immense. 
 
Ultimately, there are a myriad of reasons that contribute to the jury finding the task of deciding on a verdict so difficult. These range from the prejudices of jurors, which prevent the jury from deciding on a verdict, to the conflict between jurors. In essence, this conflict stems from the prejudice of juror 3, which precludes the jury from deciding on a collective verdict. Additionally, the fact that a jury is meant to represent a cross-section of society, suggests Rose, inevitably lead to disagreement and difficulty in reaching a verdict.


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Smith.ts

Smith.ts

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Re: "Twelve Angry Men" Text Response Essay
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2013, 12:05:04 pm »
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Sorry, the post just cut off the rest of the essay. Here's the rest:

it, not because of the facts.” This creates anger between the two jurors that is not reconciled until juror 3 realises his prejudice and votes ‘not guilty.’ However, this process to convince juror 3 of the ‘reasonable doubt’ in the case is made extremely difficult by his anger towards juror 8. In the end, though, juror 3’s anger ultimately subsides and he is able to perceive his prejudice when it is highlighted to him. This process proves very hard, and therefore contributes towards the difficulty of reaching a final determination.

Juries in the U.S in 1957 were intended to represent a cross-section of society, comprising only white men of different ages, values, and beliefs. This clash of opinions, specifically in “Twelve Angry Men,” inherently leads to disagreement which makes it extremely problematic for the jury to produce a collective decision. For example, juror 11, an immigrant from Germany, clearly values the system of democracy immensely due to his experiences in other undemocratic countries. In contrast, other jurors, such as juror 3, have come to take the system of democracy and the right to sit on a jury for granted. This is exemplified by juror 3’s comment, when asked what he thought of the trial, that “[he] was falling asleep.” Juror 3 has clearly experienced this “social responsibility” many times previously, contributing to his boredom. This dichotomy can be seen by the audience as a demonstration of the variety of opinions evident on the jury. As such, this inevitably causes the process of agreeing on a verdict to be quite immense. 
 
Ultimately, there are a myriad of reasons that contribute to the jury finding the task of deciding on a verdict so difficult. These range from the prejudices of jurors, which prevent the jury from deciding on a verdict, to the conflict between jurors. In essence, this conflict stems from the prejudice of juror 3, which precludes the jury from deciding on a collective verdict. Additionally, the fact that a jury is meant to represent a cross-section of society, suggests Rose, inevitably lead to disagreement and difficulty in reaching a verdict.


Thanks,
Smith.ts

HossRyams

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Re: "Twelve Angry Men" Text Response Essay
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2013, 02:22:48 am »
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I am in no place to give you a mark out of 30, and I can't decide what grade it'd be either - I can point out a few suggestions just from what I think though:

1. I'd cut out the last sentence in your introduction, it doesn't really say much
2. Your introduction could probably use some contextualising in terms of the social/historical context although I noticed it later on in the piece. However I still think it's better addressed in the introduction - just perhaps mention the play was written in the backdrop of the civil rights movement, or in the height of McCarthyist hysteria or even that Rose, having personally experienced being on a jury etc.
3. Don't use evidence in your topic sentences (I've been told off for this by a very experienced teacher who has corrected exams)! You should start off with an idea in your first sentence, elaborate and explore your point in the second sentence (if you feel like you really said it all in your topic sentence then omit this) and then start bringing in specific jurors and examples. Just mention that prejudice -> difficult to reach a verdict, then elaborate why - because they fear the impoverished background of the defendant, embittered by their own relationships, stereotyping etc. Otherwise I'm liking the evidence in the paragraph and how you demonstrated that parallel relationship as well as showing that Juror 10 too also is blinded by his prejudice. Perhaps you could add something like "the irrational prejudice or Juror 10 prevents him separating the facts from his xenophobia and thus has difficulty reaching..."
4. "As such, this inevitably causes the process of agreeing on a verdict to be quite immense." - immense?? I don't know if immense is an appropriate word or maybe I'm crazy because it's 2AM
5. Minor point - usually I'd expect a text response to be a bit longer, but I don't know if that's really an issue...

I hope that's helpful ^_^ Just some points to consider... In due time more experienced people will correct this so you're probably better off reading their comments. :P
Arts & Law student @ Monash.