‘Prejudice is the only obstacle to discovering the truth in ’12 Angry Men’? Discuss
Reginald Rose conveys a tainted society, where truth is contaminated by irrationality and ignorance, and justice is repressed by prejudice and egotistical motive. The fragile bias state of the American Justice System is exploited, and the warped, bigoted condition of society is exposed, as a 1957 New York jury is forced to decide the fate of a young, delinquent on trial for the murder of his hostile father, on a coinciding ‘hot summer afternoon’. ‘Twelve Angry Men’ exhibits the deluding powers of excessive emotion, compelling those affected to misconstrue reality, and repudiate their own identity. Rose comments on the dominant force of one’s ego, and its potential to destroy ones yearning for justice. Preconceptions and generalisations are also vastly accountable for the hardship veracity faces throughout this play, as they thrust narrow-mindedness upon all those who fall victim to them. Rose exemplifies how fragile truth and justice can be , and how easily these qualities can be overlooked when manipulated.
Irrational emotion and blatant prejudice blind several jurors form the truth and facts of the case. Juror three’s highly apparent grudge on his ‘rotten’ son obscures his entire sense of reality, forcing him to proclaim the defendant ‘guilty’ with insufficient thought. It is thevident that juror three genuinely believes all young boys to be ‘angry, hostile’, ‘tough kids’, who ought to be ‘slapped down before they make trouble, due to his prejudice. The defendant therefore becomes a metaphor, for juror three’s son, and consequently juror three feels obliged to seek revenge, wanting the defendant to ‘burn’ for his son’s ‘disrespect’. Juror three plainly uses this case to settle an emotional grudge rather than to seek justice, this is evident when juror three finally changes his vote to ‘not guilty’, acknowledging his motive. It is clear that Reginald Rose condemns Juror threes emotionally driven approach to the case, as his entire persona contrasts juror eights, who is the first juror to Base his verdict on Both logic and reason, and therefore appears the most rational of all the jurors. Through juror three’s mission of his appointed position, Rose comments on the vulnerability of the justice system, and therefore depicts the dangers associated with such vast prejudice, and compelled emotion, for both ones self, and their society.
It is evident in this play that one can easily be deluded in relation to the nature of their identity. Through juror tens lack of perception and state of denial, he convinces himself that he embodies the denearl view of the American public, prompting his extreme racial discrimination, preventing an impartial honest verdict. Due to juror tens irrational fabricated beliefs, he considers all those from slum backgrounds to be ‘trash’ who ‘don’t know what truth is’ and ‘don’t need any Big excuse to kill; yet ironically juror ten is the one who is blinded, ignoring blatant facts presented to him from other jurors, and condemning the defendants to death with negligible justification. AS juror ten sin’t aware of his own sense of sef, and therefore lacks his own values and morals, he attempts to take on the persona of what he believes to be the ‘American majority’, merely fighting for the ‘good of America’, yet he completely disregards justice. Through juror tens obscure actions, Rose comments on the stereotype, and in some case sad truth of ‘racist Americans’, whose ignorant views, supported by their mislead sense of self, prove chaotic for the justice system.
The overwhelming yearning for recognition and self pride, prompted by egocentric desire, compel the ‘witness’ of the case to offer faulse testimony in court, despite its ilegality, and regardless of the damage it may Inflict. Particularly the elderly male witness, who claims to have seen the defendant ‘run out the door’ a ‘split