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Author Topic: 12 Angry Men Text response  (Read 1936 times)  Share 

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12 Angry Men Text response
« on: October 19, 2014, 12:06:49 am »
“To what extent does the entrapment of the jurors in the jury room intensify their essential qualities and beliefs?” [written within 1 hour]

During the 1950’s, when cold war tensions were high and suspicious of communist activity were prevalent, strong values and characteristics based on fallacious government propaganda lead to the development of intense attitudes and prejudices within society. Reginald Rose’s depiction of a cross-section of society through ‘Twelve Angry Men’, exposes the attitudes and beliefs of the juror to their full extent by containing them within the jury room, which manifests a source of tension that exposes these qualities. However, the revelation of characteristics that uphold the values of justice are championed, while those that subvert it are condemned, in an effort to communicate an ideal model of how justice should be served to society.

The containment of the jurors within the jury room, manifests a sense of tension, revealing and testing characteristics and qualities of the jurors. The jury room is described as being the “hottest day of the year” and initially, the fan doesn’t work, demonstrating that the increase in temperature acts as an irritant for the jurors, exposing tensions within later deliberation. Preceding the ending of the first act, the tension is at an all-time high as juror 3’s desire to “burn” the boy and “kill” juror 8 reaches its climax. The play’s 2 part structure is composed of the first act in which tension is increasingly high and the 2nd act in which tension begins to lower as the juror’s try to re-establish objectivity and the rain falls, indicating a reduction in tension with lowering temperature. As the play occurs in real time, the tension builds within the jurors and the audience experiences this same tension allowing for the audience to be more personally engaged within the play. Rose aims to allow the audience to experience entrapment within the theatre room in order for them to realise their own heightened personal characteristics so consideration about societal issues can be achieved. In addition to this, Juror 4’s inability to remember the movies and “suddenly sweating forehead,” indicates that the tension in the room, incited by jury deliberation has caused juror 4 to exhaust his logical capabilities as he is “straining” and “trying to remember” the movies. Through this, Rose highlights the ways in which tension can test the jurors’ essential qualities and characteristics in order to show that everyone is susceptible to mistakes and that people can falter once their true beliefs and values are called into question.

Rose condemns negative qualities of bigotry and hatred within juror 10’s intensification of character. Throughout the play, 10 is seen to be a despicable and unpleasant man as he “laughs until he begins to cough” and his subjective perception of reality which is an embodiment of the principles of McCarthyism – a fear of anyone different and those who sympathise with communist ideologies. The intensification of his hatred reaches its pinnacle when his tirade against the boy appears. He believes that the boy and is kind wan to “cut [them] up” and want to “destroy them”, showing his prejudice has completely dominated any sense of objectivity, inciting fear and bigoted attitudes within the jury room. Rose condemns his raging speech evidenced by jurors “moving to the window”, to show that they have gained a more objective perception of reality and are not influenced by juror 10’s hate speech. Rose suggests that these behaviours are detrimental to the justice system and within society, with the further dramatization of juror 10’s qualities aimed to show how a prejudicial way of thinking can corrupt the soul. In this, Rose hopes that the audience will be disgusted by 10’s behaviour and assess their own prejudices and change their attitudes. Ultimately, Rose condemns prejudicial attitudes by intensifying juror 10’s hatred against the boy.

Rose champions an intensification of qualities and characteristics when it upholds the principles of the legal system in securing justice and fairness. Juror 2’s transcendence from a character who has “never been on a jury room before” and “looks around helplessly” to a champion of objectivity and reason is a demonstration of a positive intensification of qualities. Initially, the entrapment of juror 2 causes him to be “flustered” and shy, not really contributing to the jury’s deliberation. He even aids juror 10’s tirades by offering cough drops, further perpetuating injustice through juror 10’s hateful and subjective arguments. However, as tensions rise and clear deliberation occurs, Rose reveals juror 2’s true qualities of fairness and justice that aid “thoughtful and honest” deliberation. He brings up the point about the downward knife wound, prompting deliberation and discussion of the boy’s ability with a knife and he condemns juror 10’s behaviour by saying “now just stop all that,” causing juror 10 to want to “cave [his] head in.” In this, juror 2 has revealed his ability to contribute to deliberation which promotes a fair trial and stopping injustice by standing up to juror 10. Rose has revealed and intensified his initially hidden qualities in a positive way, supporting it to reveal to audiences that the ability to stand up for what is morally right should be reflected within society. Ultimately, Rose shows that intensification of certain qualities can be helpful to securing justice and these qualities should permeate society in order to promote a change in xenophobic attitudes.

By the denouement of the play, the tension has been absolved and the values of the legal system have been upheld. Rose intensifies the qualities of certain jurors through the tension caused by containment within the room, showing that some are helpful to society while others are damaging to a positive way of life. Ultimately, rose reminds the audience of attitudes and values that need adjustment so that prejudice can be minimised and justice achieved.

« Last Edit: October 19, 2014, 12:42:28 am by Jason12 »
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