12 Angry Men - Critical Thinkers

Essay by sunflygirlUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, September 2004

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The Jury Who Had To Use Thinking Skills

In Twelve Angry Men, a young man is on trial for stabbing and killing his father. The

movie focuses on twelve randomly selected citizens who are assigned the duty of

determining the fate of this 19 year old man. The jury is supposed to examine certain

facts and determine the truth based solely on the evidence presented to them in court. It is

assumed that the jurors will judge fairly and without personal bias. Basically, the jurors

need to use critical thinking during this trial to figure out what evidence is factual and

what evidence is false. Throughout the film, some jurors were better at critical thinking

than others, some had obstacles to overcome before they could use good critical thinking

skills, and yet others became critical thinkers at different points during the movie.

Critical thinking played a key role in Twelve Angry Men. In order to be able to think

outside the box, one must possess the ability to think unbiaslly, not bring personal

issues into play, not be scared to put the ideas and doubts on the table, and to be level

headed. The juror who possessed these skills the best and applied them better than his

eleven other companions was juror number 8, played by Henry Fonda. At the beginning

of the movie, juror 8 was the only one to vote not guilty on the first vote. Fonda's

character plainly stated "It's not easy for me to raise my hand and send a boy to die

without talking about it first". This shows that he wanted to examine all the evidence and

"facts" before coming to his decision. As the movie went on, juror 8 kept posing

questions like "could it be possible" and "could he...