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January 29, 2022, 06:48:51 am

Author Topic: 12 ANGRY MEN text resonse  (Read 3106 times)  Share 

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12 ANGRY MEN text resonse
« on: October 15, 2014, 08:17:57 pm »
Written under exam conditions. Feedback would be much appreciated:)

‘8th Juror is able to change the minds of eleven jurors not because he is right but because he is persuasives. Discuss.
During the 1950s in America, McCarthyism still loomed in the shadows amongst society as individuals often refrained from voicing their opinions as they were afraid of persecution. Written against the backdrop of the civil rights movement and McCarthyism hysteria, Reginald Rose’s play ’12 Angry Men’ illustrates the logic and reason possessed by juror 8 which allows the other members of the jury to put aside their preconceived notions and biases and look at the case objectively.
Juror 8 is a logical architect who rips apart the testimonies which encourages the other jurors to look at the flaws in the testimony. The guard ‘locks the door’ of the ‘drab bare room’ which heightens the claustrophobia felt in the room. Also the ‘sound of the door’ is heard ‘through the silence’ which exemplifies the closed mindedness of several of the jurors. Juror 8 is the only juror who votes ‘not guilty’ as he is incapable of sending ‘a boy off to die without talking about it first’ This encourages the other jurors to fathom that this decision that they are going to collectively make could very well end a possible innocent man’s life. Juror 8 forces the other members of the jury to ask whether ‘They think the boy is guilty?’ and ‘why?’ which involuntarily pushes the jurors to think as to why they voted ‘not guilty’. This highlights how some members of the jury like juror 2 voted with the majority as he is incapable of holding any opinions of his own. Rose highlights his discomfort through stage directions and how he ‘hesitates’ and speaks ‘quietly’. However through the use of logic and encouraging the jurors to elaborate objectively Juror 2 is able to establish reasonable doubt and vote ‘not guilty’. Thus juror 8 is able to change the minds of the jurors not because he right or because his persuasive but rather dissecting the evidence and looking at the case sensibly.
Juror 8 creates possibility in the minds of the other members of the jury as he rips apart the evidence, through physical enactments and physical objects. Juror 8’s re-enactment of the old man’s testimony allows the jurors to comprehend that the old man could not have possibly seen the young boy running down the stairs as it would take ’42 seconds’ rather than the stated ’15 seconds’. Through this re-enactment, juror 8 is able to highlight the flaws in the testimonies which encourage several of the jurors to change their vote to ‘not guilty’ as they now have ‘reasonable doubt in their mind’. Juror 8’s compassionate for the accused who has been ‘hit’ all his life is so great that his able to stomach that he may very well he striving towards the release of a murderer. Rose highlights Juror 8’s internal battle by acknowledging ‘that this is the thing that has been tormenting him, he does not know and never will’. The ‘New York Skyline’ can be seen through the window to allow the jurors to fathom the implications that their decision will have on the broader society. Hence, juror 8’s intention is to ‘never change the mind’ of the jurors as he doesn’t know whether the defendant is guilty or not, but rather if there is reasonable doubt which is the safeguard of the judicial system prevalent they vote not guilty. Juror 8 breaks the law and purchases a switchblade just like the murder weapon that was claimed as ‘unusual’ and ‘rare’. This causes unease amongst the jurors and questions the liability of the ‘facts’ presented by the attorney. Hence, through logic and rationale juror 8 is able to allow the other jurors to establish reasonable doubt and thus allow the defendant to go free.
Juror 8 allows Juror 3 to fathom that his acrimonious relationship with his son has prevented him from reaching reasonable doubt. Juror 3 is the last juror to change his vote as believes that his son is a representation of a contemporary generation who lacks respect for their elders. Rose utilises Juror 3 to emphasise how personal prejudices and preconceived notions will inevitably come out when asked to unite 12, different angry men to determine the guilt of innocence of a young man. Juror 3 is so consumed with hatred to his son that he ‘did everything for’ he is incapable of looking at the case objectively. He believes it’s the ‘way kids are nowadays’, ‘hostile’ ,his generalisations that has rooted from his relationship with his own son has blinded him from searching possible alternatives. However, juror 8 has acknowledged this mix up and provokes heightened emotions amongst Juror 3 by calling him a ‘sadist’ to release Juror 3 of the emotion that he has bottled up. Juror 8 urges him to release these personal prejudices by publicly telling juror 3 ‘that his not your boy, his somebody else’s’. This allows Juror 3 to comprehend that he has been so consumed with his preconceived judgements that it’s clouded his judgement. Thus resulting in him voting ‘not guilty’ allowing the members of the jury to reach an ‘unanimous decision’ and allow the accused to be free. Hence, through the use of reason and rationality the other members of the jury are able to establish possibility and thus allow the accused to be let go.
Rose utilises Juror 8 to symbolise the educated, reasonable American man to show that logicality and reason always overpower the power of bigotry and personal prejudices. Through the use of logic and reason Juror 8 is able to encourage the jurors to look at the case objectively and thus establish reasonable doubt.
957 words. 55 minutes.