Twelve Angry Men Text Response

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How does Twelve Angry Men suggest that deliberating on a jury is tough and confronting work that challenges the individual to force his/her deep-seated beliefs? Reginald Rose's play 'Twelve Angry Men' was written in a period in which the United States of America were witnessing the widespread, catastrophic misuses of the judicial system. The play begins with all but one of the jurors certain of the defendant's guilt. As it progresses, individuals such as jurors seven and ten reveal the potential flaws of the jury system with their plethora of bigoted views, accompanied by preconceived notions. Furthermore, it outlines how such prejudice and personal experience can impact on an individual’s actions, and can even pressure others to change their own opinions and act on conformity, thus undermining the principles of their social responsibility and active citizenship. While this is the case, Rose's foremost message lies not on the faults of the jurors but on their power to achieve stunning results. The diversity within the jury room allows all facts to be scrutinized and accordingly, justice prevails. Hence, despite the limitations of the jury system and although the work is at times threatening and challenging, Rose shows that it will always achieve a just result if allowed to operate in the fashion intended. Rose urges the audience to consider the dangers that the corruption of justice that prejudice and predetermined ideas can lead to. Each of the jurors and the defendant in the play exist as a stereotype, representing a larger group in society. The difference in their personalities is thus utilized to expose how racism and prejudice can subvert the jury system. Prejudice is pervasive, often based on past experiences and it has the ability to blind individuals. Such racism can be seen between the jurors themselves and is often used to try and undermine a juror's
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