12 Angry Men Conformity Essay

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Reginald Rose’s play 12 Angry Men was written to highlight flaws in the judicial system of the United States of America and to discuss the issue of social conformity vs. individuality. Reginald Rose is trying to make a point that the judicial system of the United States is not always reliable when it comes to deciding justice. The author is also displaying to the audience a scenario where social conformity and individuality are opposing each other. The play 12 Angry Men allows the audience to view an ordinary jury discussion about the life of a young boy being accused of murder. The author places the readers in this position to be able to witness the events that occur once the jury has been enclosed behind locked doors. This jury seems to have come to an almost unanimous decision of guilty at the beginning of the play without much discussion of the case. “One. OK, eleven to one— “guilty.”” (Rose 11) This quote shows that nearly all of the jurors had decided the boy’s fate, to be killed, before they could even be sure that they have no possible doubt. This is pointing out…show more content…
In this play it is clear that many of the juror’s decisions are highly influenced by social conformity. Juror three plays a large role in displaying social conformity when, at the end of the play, he changes his vote from a firm “not guilty”, to “guilty” after being pressured by all of the other jurors who had changed their votes to “not guilty.” “How come I’m the only one who sees? Jeez, I can feel that knife goin’ in. 8th Juror: It’s not your boy. He’s someone else. 4th Juror: Let him live. There’s a long pause. 3rd Juror: Alright, “Not guilty.”” (Rose 72) Juror eight expresses individuality by choosing “not guilty” in the beginning even though everyone else had done the opposite. At the end of the book, however, conformity does win because all of the jurors conform to the vote of “not guilty” instead of

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