Twelve Angry Men: a critical review

Essay by rcheer8302A, February 2004

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Is it really possible for one person with a belief that is found inferior to the majority to persuade that majority to change the way they think and feel and take on a completely different perception? Politicians would like us to believe so with advertisements and slogans like "your vote counts." And environmentalists would like us to believe so with "only you can prevent forest fires." These sayings lead the public to believe that it is up to them to change the minds of each and every person out there that disagrees with what they feel is right and pursue them to conform to their convictions.

But in a realistic world, is that possible? Can one person change the minds of eleven others when what they feel and believe has already been set in stone and engraved on their hearts? Twelve Angry Men poses this question and provides an answer.

And although it is obviously done with a Hollywood spin, the situation is fairly credible.

In this scenario, the only thing that juror number eight had going for him was reason, the force behind group polarization. He went in with doubts on his mind with eleven other men that had no doubts what-so-ever and came out having sueded the majority to conform to his perception of the story. Never did he once say that he believed the boy to be innocent, yet it almost seems as if the eleven other men walk out of that room believing that he was.

Although each juror stood out in his own right, they were each able to catch my eye for different reasons. It was almost as if a smaller drama was being played out in cahoots with the overall picture. Almost every juror went into that room with a preconceived notion and/or...