12 Angry Men

Two Angry Social Classes 12th Grade

In a hot, 1950s jury room overlooking the financial district of a city, tensions arise as 12 jurors must decide the verdict for a boy accused of murdering his father. In Reginald Rose’s Twelve Angry Men, the equilibrium between the social classes in the courtroom and the social class of the accused determines the final verdict given by the jury. Coming from different ethnic and social backgrounds, the men struggle for a consensus on the ruling. Their interactions inside the jury room represent how the different social classes treat each other in everyday life.

Inside the realm of the courtroom, the jurors are “cut off from the world” and from the substance of their everyday lives” (Munyan 1997). The trial forces them to create their own world in which they bring forth their experiences to solve the case. “The experiences, perceptions, and attitudes accumulated over a dozen disparate lifetimes [rush into a] comparatively few shared hours” (Munyan 1997). The jurors derive from different backgrounds and their decisions throughout the play reflect the social classes in which they grew up. Juror 8, who implies that he endured the slum life as a younger man, has sympathy for the accused because he recognizes how negatively the rich...

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