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Twelve Angry Men Work book

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Twelve Angry Men Work book

  1. 1. 1 Reading and Responding Year 12 Unit 4 Outcome 1 Twelve Angry Men by Reginald Rose Student Workbook
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  3. 3. 3 Biography of Reginald Rose (1920-2002) Reginald Rose is most famous as a television writer, acclaimed for his teleplays in the "Golden Age" of television. Born and raised in New York City, he lived there until he enlisted during World War II, returning to pursue a career in writing. Among other awards, Rose won three Emmys in his lifetime and was nominated for a total of six. Rose is most well-known for writing teleplays. However, he also found success writing for the stage, as well as for regular television programming. Rose notably wrote teleplays for CBS's Studio One. Plays include 'The Bus to Nowhere,' '12:32 a.m.,' 'An Almanac of Liberty,' 'Crime in the Streets,' and 'Twelve Angry Men,' Rose's most known teleplay. 'Twelve Angry Men' continued to have a remarkable life as a landmark film, greatly expanded upon from the original teleplay, and a successful stage play. Rose's plays are known for their direct handling of social problems and the political arena, uncharacteristic of a medium usually preoccupied with private, interpersonal relationships. Rose's work was unapologetic, confronting these issues directly. While dealing with social issues, Rose was known as a master craftsman for television, as displayed by his incredible mastery of naturalism (exactly like life; stage time=real time; stage space=real space) in this "slice of life" medium. Twelve Angry Men's success as a movie marked a major contribution of Rose and television for film, influencing the future of American cinematography.
  4. 4. 4 Synopsis The play TwelveAngry Men is abouta jurymade up of 12 menwho deliberate aboutthe guiltorinnocence of a youngteenage boy. A dramatictwo-actplay originallywrittenforlive televisionin1954, ReginaldRose’s Twelve Angry Men takesus intothe juryroom as twelve mendeliberate toreacha verdictina capital murdertrial.Through the tense andoftencombative proceedingsinsidethe room, the charactersof the jurymembersare revealedand disturbingquestionsaboutthe Americansystemof justice are raised.The defendantisasixteen-year-oldboy accusedof killinghis father.Althoughthe boy’srace isneveridentifiedexplicitly,it isclearthat he isa memberof a racial minority.Initially,the juryquicklyvotes,almostunanimously,thathe isguilty.A single juror,however,isnot convincedof the boy’sguilt;moreover,he isdeeplytroubledbythe others’rushtojudgment.Calmlypointingout the variousquestionshe feelswerenotsatisfactorily resolvedduringthe trial,he motivatesmembersof the juryto meettheirresponsibilitiesbyactuallyexaminingthe evidence offeredtoconvictthe defendant.Asthe mendiscuss the evidence,theirvariousprejudicesandinternal conflictsare exposed,andwe see thatsupposedlyobjectivefacts are oftencoloredbypersonal attitudesandexperiences.Gradually,one byone,membersof the jury change their votesas theyconsiderthe evidence.Finally,eventhe mostadamantamongthemconcedesthatthe boy’sguilthas not beenprovedbeyondreasonable doubt.The jury’sfinalverdict—notguilty—representsthe triumphof justice overthe injustice thatresultsinthe Americanlegal systemwhencitizensdonotprotectthe principlesuponwhichit isfounded. The play notonly shedslightonthe variousstrengthsandweaknessesof Americantrial byjurybutalsoservesasan allegoryfora nationstrugglingwithitslongandentrenchedhistory of prejudice andracial injustice.Asthe jurors— meantto representacross-sectionof the countryasa whole—considerthe evidence before them,theirprejudices, classdifferences,andpersonal assumptionsare exposedandchallenged.Atthe time TwelveAngry Men was televised,the UnitedStateswasinthe throesof the Civil RightsMovementandwasbeingforcedtoreassess whetherAmericawastrulythe paragonof democraticvirtue itclaimedtobe and to confrontelementsinAmerican societythatunderminedthe principleof equal justice underlaw.Rose makesclearthatprejudice isapoisonous seed;allowedtoflourish,itwilldestroythe entire systemof Americanjustice. Althoughsome aspectsof the playare dated—ajurytodaywouldnolongerconsistof twelve whitemen—manyof the subjectsitraisesare timeless:the differentkindsof prejudice;the importance of social responsibility;the elusive,confusingnature of truth;the notionof reasonable doubt;andthe value of reasonand logic.The playalsoraisesimportantquestionsaboutthe fair administration of justice,and perhapsmostimportantly,aboutthe fitnessof ordinaryindividualstojudge theirpeers.AlthoughRose exposesthe uglinessof prejudice andthe flawsinourlegal system, his messageisultimatelyapositive one:Whenwe honorour civicresponsibilitytothe countryand toone anotherashuman beings,justicecan—andwill—prevail. Note1: Studentsundoubtedly willwonderwhy thejury is composed entirely of whitemen. Although somestates began earlier to give women theright to serve on juries, women wereonly officially given the right to serve on federaljuries afterthe passageof theCivil RightsAct of 1957, and it wasn’tuntil 1973 thatwomen could serveon juriesin all fiftystates.Only in 1975 did the SupremeCourtfinally rule thatexcluding women froma jury pool violated a person’srightto a fair trial. Minorities also had to fightfor the rightto serve on juries.Finally, in 1979, the SupremeJudicial Courtruled that race and gendercould notbe used to strike potentialjurors. Note2: There are severalversionsof the play in existencetoday.A year afterit originally aired on television, Rose wrotea new version of the play forprint publication (theversion on which this lesson guideis based).Two yearslater, in 1957, he wrotethe screenplay fora film adaptation.Thefilm,starring Henry Fonda,washighly successfuland nominated forseveralAcademy Awards.
  5. 5. 5 Background Context Naturalismand theAmerican Style Twelve Angry Men has hada longhistoryof productionandrevision,fromshortteleplaytomajorBroadway productions.ReginaldRose firstfoundinspirationfor TwelveAngry Men whenhe servedona juryina manslaughter case,overwhichthe jurors foughtbitterlyforsome eighthours.Thisbecame the impetusforthe teleplay, Twelve Angry Men,whichairedonCBS as a live one-hourdrama.Itwasimmediatelysuccessfulandledtofurther development,culminatinginitsfilmversionin1957, starringHenryFondaand directedbySidneyLumet.Itwasfirst producedforthe stage in1964. It wasfilmedagainfortelevisionin1997, starring George C.Scott and Jack Lemmon, and firstappearedonBroadwayin2004. Dramatically, TwelveAngry Men isan excellentexampleof the mid-20thcenturyAmericanstyle of socially conscious,psychologicallydrivenrealism,depictingeverydayindividualsineverydaysituations.Inform, the playisa perfectpiece of naturalism, occurringinreal time andrunningcontinuously,evenbetweenacts,forthe lengthof the drama. Historically,we canlookatthe playinthe contextof its original filmreleasedate,1957. The UnitedStateswasina politicallytransitional time.The CivilRightsMovementwaswell underwaywiththe Brownvs.Boardof Education decisionpassedin1954 and the MontgomeryBus Boycottof 1956. Many of the themesof racial and social inequitybeing playedoutinthe drama were being playedoutonthe national scene Thisplayis bothcharacteristicof the Americanstyle of the time andalso fairlyunique.Anunderstandingof the style of theaterfromwhichthisplayemergedallowsustohave a very interestinglookintoit. Thisplay wouldbe considerednaturalistic,takingplace over one continuousspanof time andin one place.Furthermore,it featureslanguage thatisnatural-styleprose (itsoundslike how normal peoplespeak).The goal of thisisnot justto showhowpeople are butalsowhytheyare the way that theyare.For example,we findoutthat3rd Juroris impactedbythe experience of havingason.Physical factorsare takenintoaccount as well,suchasthe temperature of the room.All of these are takenintodirectconsiderationandimpactthe story. The prevailingAmericanstyle atthe time wasrealism, whichismuchlike naturalism, exceptthatitismuchmore apt to deal withtime disjointedly.However,itisveryimportanttonote thatthe firstincarnationof thisfull playwas,in fact, as a playfor television.Althoughwe are now accustomedtotelevisionprogramsusingmanylocationsand sceneslike moviesdo,atthe time itwas far more commonfor teleplaysandepisodicdramastotake place onsingle sets,like astage play.Therefore,the teleplaytakesadvantage of the limitationsof itsformattoenhance themesand presentanarrative that shouldtake place injustone room. On one hand,courtroomdrama "who-dun-its"are certainlyafavorite formof storytelling forAmericanaudiences. However,thisplayturnsthaton itsheadby not showingthose involvedoreveninvestigatingthe case,butthose whoare sequesteredtoreview the case,the jurors.Thisisafairlyabnormal choice,butwhatit doesischange the focusof the play.We are no longerwatchingaplayabout figuringoutwhetherornotthe defendantkilledhisfather, a fairlysimple model,butratherwe are tryingto figure outhow these menwill learntoworkwithone anotherand whetherornot they'll be able toovercome themselvesanddowhatisright.
  6. 6. 6 Joseph McCarthy Joseph McCarthy was born to Irish parents in the state of Wisconsin in 1908. He dropped out of school aged 14 to work on his father’s farm, returning to high school to graduate as an adult. McCarthy then began an engineering degree at college before switching to law and obtaining his degree in 1935. McCarthy had by then set his mind on a career in politics, and he chose his jobs accordingly. He lobbied unsuccessfully to become a district attorney, before becoming Wisconsin’s youngest judge at age 30. His contemporaries describe McCarthy as a fast-moving, no-nonsense judge, not fond of overseeing long cases or delivering wordy judgements. With the outbreak of World War II McCarthy left the judiciary and joined the Marines, again because he believed this would help his political ambitions in the future. His war service was unremarkable, though he later exaggerated it to the point of telling outright lies, such as falsely claiming that he was injured during an aerial battle. Upon returning from the war McCarthy ran as a Republican candidate for one of Wisconsin’s seats in the US Senate. He won this election in a landslide, but his first years in the Senate were entirely unremarkable. In 1949 a group of political journalists voted McCarthy the ‘worst senator currently in office’, while his fellow senators found him stubborn, hot-tempered, aggressive and thoroughly unlikeable. There were also reports from his first years in the Senate that McCarthy was an alcoholic: he rarely missed social functions and was often seen drinking in his Senate office. His mediocrity came to a sudden end in February 1950, after McCarthy delivered a speech in Wheeling, West Virginia, where he claimed the State Department was filled with fully-fledged communists. With the ‘Red scare’ in full swing, this pronouncement caused a sensation, and the press began to show much more interest in the junior senator from Wisconsin. On the attack “McCarthy not only made news, he made news-makers. Whenever he accused an opponent by name, he thrust his target into the public eye. Obscure government functionaries and behind-the-scenes players would become celebrities and sought-after guests on the forum shows. Once dragged into the spotlight by McCarthy they gained a television platform to attack McCarthyism. No target of McCarthy better exploited the ricochet effect than James Wechsler, editor of the anti-McCarthy tabloid, the New York Post. In September 1951 the paper ran a 17-part series that for sheer vitriol probably ranks as the nastiest hatchet job on any American politician during the 1950s, a blistering assault on McCarthy’s personal finances, military record and patriotism. ‘Three things are clear about Sen. Joe McCarthy’ the series asserted in summation: ‘He’s a bore. He’s a fake. He’s trouble.’ Thomas P. Doherty, historian Emboldened by the attention, McCarthy continued his attack on communists and suspected communist agents in US government departments. McCarthy named hundreds of people as communists, in public speeches, press conferences and senate hearings. His allegations were rarely supported by any evidence of substance, but in a time when being identified as communist was akin to having the plague, the mere suggestion of links with communism was sufficient to dramatically alter your life. McCarthy’s allegations went all the way to the top. He slandered Secretary of Defence George C. Marshall, claiming he was responsible for the victory of communists in China and that his ‘Marshall Plan’ was a product of “minds in Moscow”. His attack on executive government also extended to president Harry Truman, who he considered soft on communism and unfit to lead McCarthy’s favourite tactic was to produce a document or “listof names”, though it was rarely verified
  7. 7. 7 America’s military campaign in the Korean War. These slurs prompted a sharp response from Truman himself: in a March 1950 press conference Truman described McCarthy as “the best asset the Kremlin has”. When Dwight D. Eisenhower replaced Truman in 1952 McCarthy was no less severe on him, even though both men were of the Republican party. Many were concerned about the extent of McCarthy’s influence McCarthy’s predilection for making claims without evidence gave rise to a new concept: ‘McCarthyism’. This phenomenon wasn’t purely political: it seeped into all corners of American life. Individuals became all too willing to make political allegations about their work colleagues, their neighbours, even members of their family. McCarthyism was also a useful weapon against unpopular developments or reforms; vaccination, abortion, contraception, homosexuality, racial integration and water flouridation were all declared to be communist plots at one time or another. McCarthyism had a divisive effect on American communities, as people lost their jobs or became social outcasts because of tenuous doubts about their political views and loyalty. McCarthy vs. the US Army In 1953 McCarthy was shuffled into the leadership of a Senate committee on government operations, his fellow senators believing this would keep him busy enough that he would tone down his demagoguery. But the committee’s terms were so broad that McCarthy was able to use it to continue his war on suspected communists. His committee investigated government agencies, the Voice of America (the US government’s international radio network) and State Department libraries; McCarthy even had these libraries extract and burn left-wing books. In late 1953 McCarthy went so far as to pick a fight with the US Army over the political affiliations of several officers. When their commanding officer General Ralph Zwicker, a decorated war hero, appeared before the committee, McCarthy engaged in a barrage of bullying and abuse: McCarthy:All right. Youwill answer that question unless youtake the Fifth Amendment. I don’t care how long we stay here, youare going to answer it. Zwicker: Do youmean how I feel towards communists? McCarthy:I mean exactly what I asked you, General, nothing else. And anyone with the brains of a five-year- old child can understand that question…. Zwicker: I do not think he should be removedfromthe military. McCarthy:Then, General, youshould be removedfromany command. Any man who has been given the honour of being promotedto general and who says‘I will protect another general who protectscommunists’ is not fit to wear that uniform, General. ‘You’re not fooling anyone’ McCarthy’s treatment of Zwicker was covered widely in the press. In March 1954 a television journalist, Edward R. Murrow, took McCarthy to task for ignoring the American rights and values he claimed to be defending: The following month McCarthy again embarrassed himself in a televised committee hearing with the Army. For many Americans this was their first chance to see McCarthy in action – and with his questioning and tone even more aggressive and malicious, many didn’t like what they saw. One senator noted portentously: “The American people have had a look at you for six weeks and you’re not fooling anyone”. Later, the army’s chief lawyer stood up to McCarthy’s brow-beating and asked “Have you no sense of decency?” McCarthy was now subjected to attacks from other politicians and the
  8. 8. 8 press, now confident that his star was fading and that he was unable to return fire. In December 1954 the Senate voted 67-22 to censure McCarthy for bringing the Congress into disrepute. McCarthy no longer had a public platform to reel off names of suspected communists with barely a shred of evidence. He returned to life as an ordinary senator, though he was an outcast, shunned by his colleagues. This – and probably his heavy drinking – took a toll on McCarthy’s health, and in January 1957 he died from liver disease. Despite widespread rumours that he was homosexual McCarthy had married in 1954; six months before his death the senator and his wife had adopted a baby daughter. To many observers, McCarthy epitomised the Cold War – a man so determined to defend the values of his country that he forgot to uphold them. To others he was little more than a self- serving bully, determined to exploit national paranoia to make the most of his time in the spotlight. 1. Joseph McCarthy was a Wisconsin lawyer, judge and World War II war veteran who entered the US Senate in 1946. 2. In 1950 he gave a speech in Wheeling and claimed to have a list of communists employed in the State Department. 3. McCarthy became a prominent ‘communist hunter’, making regular allegations about public officials and departments. 4. McCarthy’s claims were often unsupported by reliable evidence, while his questioning was intimidating and provocative. 5. In 1954 McCarthy was exposed to public view when his interrogation of US Army officials was televised live. This, along with a rising tide of criticism, led to McCarthy’s censure by the Senate and an end to his credibility. Introduction and Background Information Link to Study Design: to understand and analyse the social, historical and/or cultural values embodied the text Twelve Angry Men. Twelve Angry Men is set in America in the mid-1950s. America was experiencing the Civil Rights Movement which was concerned with ending racial discrimination, and with issues of freedom, respect and equality. In Twelve Angry Men, these issues form the historical context for the legal and personal conflicts which take place in the jury-room. The conflicts between jurors are sometimes personal, but also represent larger cultural conflicts over belief systems and social class. Rose had a particular interest in social justice and Twelve Angry Men is an example of how he explored these concerns in his work. For example, the issue of prejudice is at the centre of many of the conflicts between characters and also forms the basis of some characters’ world views. The central characters in the play do not have a complex understanding of the law. They are ordinary people, just like members of the audience which allows us to form a strong connection with the characters and their concerns.
  9. 9. 9 Differences between plays and novels Whenwe read novelswe are givensomuchinformationaboutthe characterfromthe narrator. The authoris able to give the readmore obviouscharactertraits because novels are made upof more than justdialogue.The only informationthatwe canget fromplaysare inferredfromwhatthe characterssay or the stage directionswhichdo not give usall that much information.Therefore,whenone readsaplaytheyhave manymore responsibilitiestotry and understandwhatthe playwrightistryingtoconveyandaboutthe characters and the plot.In novelsthe author tellsyouwhathe wantsyou to know.There ismuchlessroomfor imagination.He tellsyouhow the characterslook, whattheirpersonalitiesare like andexactlywhattheyare doing.Inplaysonthe otherhandthere ismuch less information.The onlyinformationthe readergetsisfromthe dialogue.Theymustuswhatthe characters saysto infertheircharactertraits.For thisreasonreadingplaysare much harderfor the readerthanreadingnovels. Fill in the Venn Diagrambelow with the similarities and differences….
  10. 10. 10 Analysing a play When you are writing an analysis of a play, remember that a play is meant to be performed for an audience, therefore, stage directions must be taken into consideration as to their impact on the plot. An analysis breaks a play into parts and then discusses how the parts contribute to the whole effect or theme. Overview When beginning, it’s helpful to identify the play’s key elements, just to organize your thoughts. 1. Title and playwright ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ 2. Setting/time Period ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ 3. Main characters/supporting characters ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ 4. Main conflict ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ 5. Resolution ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________
  11. 11. 11 ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ 6. Climax ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ Types of Plays Plays can fall into one of several genres—comedy, tragedy, melodrama, romantic comedy, satirical comedy, or tragicomedy. These categories usually have specific features that define them, so you’ll want to identify the type of play you’re reading and consider how it meets or deviates from the expectations for that genre. For instance, what would it mean if the hero in a tragedy lacked a tragic flaw?  What type of play is Twelve Angry Men? Why do you think this? ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ Historical Context Considering the play’s historical context can also be helpful. Many plays make a statement about the time in which they’re written. For example, The Crucible by Arthur Miller was written during the Red Scare of the 1950s, a time of great fear in the United States about the spread of communism. Although Miller’s play is about the Salem Witch Trials, he intends his audience to see parallels between the treatment of witches in the early American colonies and the treatment of communists in his own time.  In your own words, describe the historical context of the play ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________
  12. 12. 12 Themes Themes are topics or ideas threaded throughout a play that tie it together. In Shakespeare’s Henry triad (a story in which the crown of England goes to three different men) power and kingship are repeated themes.  What are the major themes in Twelve Angry Men? Why are these themes important to help tell the story? ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ Characters Characters act out the author’s themes and are sometimes the manifestation of them. It’s helpful to identify which theme a character represents. In Twelve Angry Men, for example, Juror 8 represents the ‘man of integrity’ who tries to uphold the law and takes his responsibility as a citizen and a juror seriously. To discuss this characterization of Juror in an essay, you might cite descriptions of him from the text and quote some of his more relevant dialogue. For example, Juror 8 possesses a clear understanding of the law and it is his role to defend the role of the jury system and the importance of deliberation and discussion in a democracy. He continually focuses on “reasonable doubt” which is a “safe-guard and has enormous value in our system” as he encourages the other jurors to also uphold their responsibilities as jurors.  Analyse one of the other characters in relation to one of the themes present in the play. ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________
  13. 13. 13 Dramatic Devices Dramatic devices are strategies used by a playwright to add interest to the work, create a particular effect on the audience, or enhance the work’s major themes. Some dramatic devices include: rising action monologue lighting falling action foreshadowing*  The jury’s decision must be unanimous, and  If there is any ‘reasonable doubt’ about whether the defendant committed the crime, then the jury’s verdict must be ‘not guilty’ soliloquy costumes an aside flashbacks**
  14. 14. 14 *Also referred to as “planting and payoff,” foreshadowing is a highly effective plot device that makes the story plausible. It consists of an implication or introduction early in the movie of something that will be extremely relevant as the plot unfolds. Without foreshadowing, the audience would reluctant to accept a part of the story, deeming it implausible. ** fiction, a foil is a character who contrasts with another character (usually the protagonist) in order to highlight particular qualities of the other character It is useful to identify places where devices are used in a play. Consider whether any are particularly effective in advancing or reinforcing a playwright’s themes. In Shakespeare’s Othello, for example, the villain, Iago, often speaks in asides (i.e., addresses the audience directly). Pragmatically, this serves to give the audience information the characters don’t have, providing dramatic irony. In your essay, you might explore other reasons Iago connects to the audience in this way. Othello is primarily about social taboos and the punishments inflicted on those who break them, and it is Iago who contrives these punishments. In linking the villain and the audience through asides, Shakespeare may be suggesting that his audience should examine the vicious enforcement of social norms in their own society.  Fill in the table above as to how these dramatic effects unfold in Twelve Angry Men. Plot, Setting, Organisation A play’s general organisation is controlled by plot and setting. Consider whether the play employs realistic or non-realistic conventions. Does it present a surrealistic or metaphoric world, or does it attempt to depict reality? What is the dramatic effect on an audience of the setting? Also, consider the significance of the events the author chooses to present versus the ones occurring offstage.  Describe the setting and atmosphere of the play ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ It’s also important to consider the stage’s appearance as an element of setting. If you’re reading a play, you can examine the stage notes at the beginning of each act. If you’re watching a play, you can see the stage. Consider the placement of objects and the proximity of actors. Is the whole stage used or just part of it? Are bright colors used, or is everything gray and brown? What’s the weather like? How are characters dressed? Think about the significance of these things as they pertain to the themes. (Keep in mind that the choices made by the director and stage designer for a particular production may or may not follow the author’s suggestions.)
  15. 15. 15  Describe he stage’s appearance according to the director’s notes in the play and how they were depicted in the movie. ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ Thesis Once you have analyzed the play, write out a thesis sentence that explains some aspect of it. In the example, below, the thesis explains a theme: Ex. In The Crucible, Arthur Miller draws a parallel between the Salem Witch trials of 1692 and McCarthyism of the 1950s, when communism became the devil and a community of people used “evil” as an excuse to take out their personal spite on those they had always wished ill. You might want to make some notes about how the playwright achieved this. Ex. Miller sets up the parallel by showing Salem to be a theocracy, which would make the devil and those communing with him enemies of the town; it follows that America, then, is a democracy, which would make communism the modern devil and communists enemies of America (“The House of Un-American Activities”). Reverend Hale’s books are similar to the books, lists, and pamphlets of the McCarthy era that listed communists. Next, combine these ideas into the main claim you want your paper to make. You may have to rephrase or omit some information as you streamline the thesis statement. Ex. Arthur Miller’s The Crucible draws a parallel between the Salem Witch trials of 1692 and McCarthyism of the 1950s, when communism became the devil and a community of people used “evil” as an excuse to take out their personal hatred on those whom they had always wished ill. Miller creates this parallel by presenting Satan as the affront to a society’s way of life, as communism was, and by including details such as Reverend Hale’s books that mirror McCarthy propaganda. Before you write, check your assignment for particulars. Make sure that when you develop the supporting paragraphs that you provide support drawn from the text of the play itself. Ex. The books starry-eyed Reverend Hale has brought with him mirror contemporary events: “In these books the Devil stands stripped of all his brute disguises. Here are all your familiar spirits—your incubi and succubi; your witches that go by land, by air, and by sea; your wizards of the night and of the day” (ln 24).
  16. 16. 16 These lines mirror the sentiments surrounding McCarthy’s published pamphlets listing those who were communists. The play suggests the ridiculous nature of the pamphlets by over-dramatizing Hale’s books. Note any changes in setting and their effect on the play. Ask yourself if it's necessary and transitions smoothly. Also write down how the act's setting contributes to the play's central theme and what part of that theme shows itself in this segment.  Write a thesis of Twelve Angry Men ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________
  17. 17. 17 Anticipation Guide Directions: Do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements? Be honest! We will come back to this activity after we read the play to see if any of your thoughts have changed. Prior to reading After Reading Agree Disagree Agree Disagree Everyoneis prejudiceagainst someone Getting to the bottom of a complicated issue takes time and patience. One very determined person can havea lot of power over other people It’s okay to have stereotypes Firstimpressions areusually right It’s okay to be a bully when you know you are right Where a person grows up tells you a lot about a person People are who they are, and never really change People always mean exactly whatthey say Everyonehas a right to a lawyer, even if they can’t afford one. Write down why your opinions and understandings may have changed after reading Twelve Angry Men… _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________
  18. 18. 18 Legal Terms and Vocabulary Term Definition judge jury crime verdict defendant reasonable doubt trial abstain alleged circumstantial conscience coroner forgery executioner sanctimonious acquittal alibi
  19. 19. 19 infallible prosecution acquit burdenof proof hung jury Setting  Physical: The claustrophobia of a jury room; sparse room; outside the window is the New York skyline  Atmospheric: A hot and steamy summer’s afternoon in New York  Social Setting: The McCarthy Era  Time: Late in the day  The question at the heart: The functioning of American democracy and justice  Cultural: The West Coast of the United States (New York) in the mid-1950s  Genre: Courtroom drama and a socio-political Polemic or discourse Style Naturalism and Realism(or in TV it is called a ‘slice of life’). Naturalist theatre is confronting striving to present real life in its grittiness, interpersonal conflicts and everyday detail without theatrical artifice. It is also realist in that the narrative is carried by concrete action on stage and is rarely supported by theatricality or symbolism. Language The patterns are in keeping with the style and are natural to the social milieu and geographical setting represented. The style of dialogue The style of dialogue is concrete and the vernacular makes reference to the common aspects of their lives. Legal terminology is used with familiarity.
  20. 20. 20 Different Interpretations Different interpretations arise from different responses to a text. These responses can be published in newspapers, journals and books by critics and reviewers, or they can be expressed in discussions among readers in the media, classrooms, book groups and so on. Productions of stage plays, or screen adaptations of stage plays, are also interpretations of the text (the script). While there is no single correct reading or interpretation of a text, it is important to understand that an interpretation is more than an ‘opinion’ – it is the justification of point of view on the text. To present an interpretation of the text based on your point of view you must use a logical argument and support it with relevant evidence from the text.  Is Twelve Angry Men relevant to today’s sense of democracy and the legal system? Why / why not? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________
  21. 21. 21 Themes, motifs and symbols As you read through the play, note these themes, or universal ideas, that will be addressed in the play:  The jury system  “Reasonable doubt”  Prejudice  Class  Reason vs. emotion  The nature of truth  Social responsibility A motif is a recurring pattern or repeated action, element, or idea in literature. As you read, pay attention to the following motifs and write how the motifs impact on the plot:  Sweat _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________  Heat _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________  Knife _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ A symbol is a concrete object or place that has significance in a literary work because it communicates an idea. How does Rose develop the following symbols, then look for other symbols on their own:  The jury itself
  22. 22. 22 _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________  Eyeglasses _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________  Rain _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________  Other: _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________  Other: _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________
  23. 23. 23 ABOUT THE CHARACTERS Juror #1 is the Foremanof the jury.He is seriousabouthisrole andtriesto run the proceedingsinanorderlyfashion, remindingthe jurors“Justlet’srememberwe’ve gotafirstdegree murdercharge here.If we vote guilty,we send the accusedto the electricchair.” Juror #2 is timid,quietandunsure of himself,findingithardto maintainanindependentopinionuntil he findsthe courage to pointout an importantquestionabouthow the murderwasactuallycommitted. Juror #3 is the antagonist.He isa forceful,intolerantbullywhoseesthe case assimple andbelievesthe accusedis absolutelyguilty.He isquicktolose histemper.Hisdesire toconvictandpunishthe defendantisdirectlyrelatedto hisfeelingsof angerandbetrayal inregardto hispoorrelationshipwithhisownson. Juror #4 is a stock broker,well-dressed,logical andwell-spoken.He urgeshisfellow jurorstoavoidemotional argumentsinfavourof rational discussion.He alsobelievesstronglyinthe defendant’sguiltuntil the one piece of evidence onwhichhe baseshisvote isdiscredited. Juror #5 is a youngman whois nervousaboutexpressinghisviews,particularlyinfrontof the oldermembersof the jury.Whentwo jurorstalkdisparaginglyof kidsfromslumbackgrounds,he finallyspeaksup,sayinghe haslivedina slumall hislife.He haswitnessedknife fights,anexperience thatwill laterhelpotherjurorschange theiropinions aboutthe guiltof the accused. Juror #6 is a housepainter,aman whoisusedto workingwithhishandsratherthan analyzingwithhisbrain.He is more of a listenerthanatalker.He does,however,standuptothe bully,Juror#3 whenhe speaksrudelytoJuror#9, an oldman, threateningtohitJuror#3 if he ever speaksto the oldman like thatagain. Juror #7 is a slick,obnoxioussalesmanwhose onlyconcernistogetthe deliberationsoverquicklysohe canget to that evening’sbaseball game.He assumesthatthe defendantisguiltyandhasnointerestindiscussingit.Atone pointhe makessome prejudicedremarksaboutimmigrantsinreference toJuror#11. Juror #8 is a quiet,thoughtful manwhose mainconcernisthatjustice be done.Anarchitectbyprofession,he isthe firstjurorto vote “not guilty”onthe veryfirstballot.He isa natural leaderwhodoesnotargue thatthe accusedis innocent,onlythathe cannotcondemnsomeone todeathwithoutdiscussingthe case first.Ashe probesthe evidence,he managestocastreasonable doubtonmanyaspectsof the evidence givenduringthe trial.Althoughthe evidence maysuggestguilt,itispossiblethatthere are otherexplanationsforwhathappenedonthe nightof the murder. Juror #9 is a mild,gentle oldman.He isthe firstto agree withJuror #8 andchange hisvote to notguilty,sayingthat he wants a fullerdiscussionof the case since he isconvincedthere isnotenoughevidence tosentence the accused boyto deathfor allegedlymurderinghisfather. Juror # 10, whoruns three garages,isa bitterracist.He isprejudicedagainstanyone whocomesfromaslum.He believesstronglythatthe defendantisguiltybecause he insiststhatpeoplefromslumsare all drunksandliarswho fightall the time. Juror #11 isa watchmaker,animmigrantfromEurope.Havingwitnessedgreatinjusticesinhishome country,he feelsfortunate tobe livinginacountry knownforitsdemocracyand he has great respectforthe Americanjudicial system.He takeshisresponsibilityasajuror veryseriously. Juror #12 worksfor an advertisingagency.He isarrogantandimpatient,anxiousforthe trial tobe overso he can returnto hiscareer andsocial life.He isclever,butseespeopleasstatisticsratherthanhumanbeings.
  24. 24. 24 Put in printed page from Insight Text Publications
  25. 25. 25 Jurors Table Write wordsnextto the jurors’ numberstodescribe theminmore detail. Juror 1 Forman Juror 12 Works in advertising agency TABLE Juror 2 Bank clerk Juror 11 Immigrant watchmaker Juror 3 Businessperson Juror 10 Garage / petrol station owner Juror 4 Stockbroker Juror 9 Elderly man Juror 5 Young man from a slum Juror 8 Architect Juror 6 House painter Juror 7 Salesperson and sports fan
  26. 26. 26
  27. 27. 27 Act I – Opening Scenes Act One, Unit One: First Vote (pp.1-7, ends when the Foreman “resumes his seat”) Summary: Judge reminds the Jury of their task; Guard brings jurors in; jurors vote informally, by show of hands; vote is eleven to one (8th Juror) in favour of guilty. 1. Describe the room the jurors are in. What is the atmosphere like? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 2. What is the crime the defendant is accused of? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 3. What evidence is there against him? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 4. Restate the instructions the judge gives the jurors. _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 5. Who do you think is the protagonist? Why? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________
  28. 28. 28 _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 6. How does he differ from the other jurors? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 7. Explain in your own words the concerns Juror 8 has about the trial. Use quotes to support your response. _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 8. What prejudice is revealed by the 3rd juror? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 9. What is the general feeling of the jury in regard to their verdict? Why do you think this? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________
  29. 29. 29 10. We never learn the character’s names. Why does Rose choose to identify the men only by jury number, and how does this affect the way we related to the characters? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ Act One, Unit Two: First exhibit – the knife (pp.7-15, ends when the guard exits) Summary: 8th Juror defends his vote; the jurors agree to one hour’s discussion, with each to explain their reasons for their vote; 8th Juror requests tosee the knife. 1. What conflict is emerging in the room between the jurors? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 2. What is Juror 8s main argument for his verdict of ‘not guilty’? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 3. Why does Juror 5 act defensively toward the accusations and generalisations of Juror 10? How does Juror 10 react? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 4. Describe Juror 8s attitude at this stage.
  30. 30. 30 _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 5. How is the audience encouraged to sympathise with 8th Juror at this stage of the play? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ Act One, Unit Three: Second Vote (pp.15-19) Summary: Guard delivers the ‘unusual’ switch-knife; 8th Juror produces an identical knife; jurors discuss the difference between ‘possible and probable’; 8th Juror calls for another vote; in a secret ballot a second juror votes “not guilty”. 1. What is the symbolism of the knife in this scene? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 2. What is the role of the knife and its significance in regard to the trial? What is the impact on the jurors determining ‘reasonable doubt’? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 3. Define the words ‘possible’ and ‘probable’ in relation to the evidence of the knife. _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 4. Does 8th Juror’s revelation of the second knife change your opinion at this stage about the defendant’s guilt or innocence?
  31. 31. 31 _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ Act One, Unit Four: Third vote (pp.19-31, ends when Foreman announces the vote is “eight to four, in favour of “guilty”) Summary: Jurors respond aggressively tothe outcome of the second vote, accusing 5th Juror of weakness; 9th Juror volunteers that it was he who changed his vote; the knife is returned to the Guard; several Jurors retreat tothe wash-room for discussions; 8th Juror questions evidence and witness testimony, then calls another vote; 11th Juror changes his vote. 1. Outline how the conflict and tension escalates in this unit. _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 2. What are the implications of the jury delivering a ‘not guilty’ verdict? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 3. Describe the stage direction happening at this point and why Rose makes specific directions. _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________
  32. 32. 32 4. Why do the characters in this unit exit to the washroom? How does this affect the scene? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ Act One, Unit Five: Second exhibit (pp.31-33) Summary: 11th Juror cites ‘reasonable doubt’ as his justification for changing his vote; 8th Juror requests to view another piece of evidence; the Guard brings in a diagram of the apartment. Key Vocabulary Dempsey-Firpo fight: a notorious 1923 New York boxing match, won by Jack Dempsey, although there was some controversy about a refereeing decision and the result has since been disputed. Luis Firpo was the first Latin-American boxer to challenge a heavyweight champion. As well as suggesting that 8th Juror is twisting accepted ‘facts’ in his argument, 7th Juror may be implying that 8th sympathises with social and cultural minority groups. 1. Why have the Jurors requested the diagram of the apartment? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 2. What are some of the other Jurors starting to believe? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 3. Sketch the diagram as described on the following page:
  33. 33. 33
  34. 34. 34 Act One, Unit Six: First demonstration (pp.33-37) Summary: 8th Juror reconstructs a physical scenario to test the strength of a witness’s testimony; the re-enactment suggests possible witness error; 3rd Juror’s frustration peaks, climaxing in a verbaland attempted physical attack on 8th, who calmly uses the event to support his own argument. 1. What impact does Juror 8s reconstruction of the crime have on the other jurors? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 2. Juror 3 angrily exclaims, “Let go of me, God damn it! I’ll kill him! I’ll kill him!” Why? What impact does this reaction have on the jurors? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 3. Imagine you are in the audience at a production of the play. What kinds of conversations might you have in the foyer at interval – how would you predict the play might end? Which characters are you drawn to, and why? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 4. If you were in the jury, what would you vote be at this point? Why?
  35. 35. 35 _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ Act Two, Unit Seven: Fourth vote (pp.38-40) Summary: Evening arrives and the storm approaches; another vote is called; the vote now stands at six votes each way. 1. What is the general atmosphere is the jury room? How are the jurors’ feeling? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 2. Why has Rose decided to put a storm in at this stage? How does it connect to the atmosphere in the room? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 3. What verdict is reached at this stage? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________
  36. 36. 36 Act Two, Unit Eight: Second demonstration (pp.40-47) Summary: The storm breaks; 3rd Juror defends his earlier outburst; the jury’s arguments begin to get personal; 8th Juror conducts another demonstration (this time with 4th’s help) to support his argument for ‘reasonable doubt’. 1. The storm is one of few symbolic strategies Rose uses to enhance themes and action in this play. Why is the approaching storm important and how does it help us understand what is going on in the play at this point? Name the figurative language technique used. _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 2. What demonstration does Juror 8 perform? Why? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 3. Why does Rose include the Foreman’s long speech about the baseball game (p.41), and what can we learn about the play and its individual characters from this apparently unrelated anecdote? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________
  37. 37. 37 Act Two, Unit Nine: Third demonstration (pp.47-50) Summary: 2nd Juror questions the prosecution’s argument about the direction of the stab wound; 3rd demonstrates the stabbing motion using 8th Juror (stopping just short of stabbing him); 5th Juror contradicts this with his knowledge of switch-knives; 7th Juror decides to vote ‘not guilty’; 8th Juror calls for another vote. 1. The visual image of 3rd Juror almost stabbing 8th (p.48) is a powerful moment of drama in this play, why? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 2. Now that 3rd and 10th Jurors are in a minority and not a sage majority, what changes are evident in their speech and behaviour? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ Act Two, Unit Ten: Fifth vote (pp.51-54) Summary: The jury votes by show of hands; 12th Juror and the Foreman change their votes so the vote stands at nine to three in favour of ‘not guilty’; 10th Juror resorts to class stereotypes and aggression in an attempt to frighten others and win the argument; another vote is called for. 1. What is 10th Juror trying to do in this unit? Why do think he does this? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________
  38. 38. 38 2. In this unit the extent of 10th Juror’s prejudices are revealed. How does Rose relate prejudice to fear? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ Act Two, Unit Eleven: Sixth vote (pp.54-58, ends when 10th Juror says, “Not guilty. Do whatever you want.”) Summary: 12th Juror changes his mind back to ‘guilty’; they agree to discuss a hung jury if they can’t resolve the vote by 7pm; 9th Juror deduces that the second witness needs glasses and thus her testimony is questionable; 12th Juror changes his vote again; 10th Juror changes his vote to ‘not guilty’. Key Vocabulary: J. Walter Thompson: an American advertising pioneer around the turn of the twentieth century. Clarence Darrow: an American defence lawyer best known for some of his successful 1920s cases, including one in which he defended two teenage boys who pleaded guilty to a murder charge. The case is renowned for Darrow’s long, emotive, persuasive and poetic summation, after which the judge sentenced the boys to life imprisonment instead of the electric chair. 1. Explain in your own words the significance of Juror 4 rubbing his nose (where his glasses pinch him). _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 2. 12th Juror is the only one to change his vote more than once. What does this tell us about his character, and how is he different to the others? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________
  39. 39. 39 Act Two, Unit Twelve: Verdict (pp.58-59) Summary: 4th Juror changes his vote; 3rd makes a last stand then changes his vote; the Foreman informs the Guard and they exit todeliver their verdict; the rain has ceased. 1. Who is the last Juror to change his mind? Why? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 2. What actions happen at the denouement (very end) of the play between 3rd and 8th Jurors? What is the significance symbolismof this act? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 3. What is the significance of the rain ending? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 4. What is the symbolism of the knife being left stuck in the table? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 5. To what extent is its historical period relevant to a discussion of Twelve Angry Men? _______________________________________________________________________________________
  40. 40. 40 _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 6. What point do you think the play may be attempting to make about leadership in a democracy? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________
  41. 41. 41 Themes Complete a Lotus diagram of the major themes in the play, e.g. relationships, aggression and violence, stubbornness, fallibility and memory, prejudice and stereotypes, decisions, civic duty and social responsibility, justice, the rule of law, doubt and certainty, etc. Include key quotes, with page numbers, to support your ideas. Essay Topics 1. ‘The relationship between 3rd and 8th Jurors is the most important element in Twelve Angry Men.’ Discuss. 2. 3rd Juror say that ‘Everybody deserves a fair trial’. Does the defendant in this case get a fair trial? 3. ‘Twelve Angry Men shows that personal experience is the strongest factor influencing human decision-making processes.’ Discuss. 4. ‘In Twelve Angry Men, the characteristics of gentleness and rationality are valued above all else.’ Discuss. 5. ‘8th Juror has no character flaws, just as 3rd Juror has no redeeming features.’ Discuss. 6. 10th Juror says, ‘What you want to believe, you believe’. How does Twelve Angry Men show that we believe what we want to believe? 7. ‘Twelve Angry Men presents the pessimistic opinion that all humans are fallible.’ Do you agree? 8. ‘Twelve Angry Men demonstrates the weakness and dangers of the jury system.’ Do you agree? 9. Discuss how Rose’s setting and stage directions in Twelve Angry Men facilitates an exploration of the key concerns of the text. Essay Planning Tips for respondingto Text Response prompts Knowing how to break down Text Response topics can often make or break your essay. Although you only need to spend a few minutes per essay organising a plan, it is in this short period where you will define how your essay will turn out – whether or not your brainstorm addresses the question being asked, or whether or not you have focused and will discuss all of the keywords in the prompt. This month, a recent high-scoring VCE graduate Lauren was kind enough to share her knowledge with us in regards to how to approach all different types of Text Response prompts. 1. Reread the prompt multiple times to ensure you have a grasp on what it is asking. Read every word carefully, as many students will neglect some of the implicit or even explicit ideas raised by the prompt. 2. Underline key terms, e.g.: ‘The kingdom of Henry IV is a world of shifting power and uncertainty.’ (Henry IV, Shakespeare). It may seem redundant, but it already it provides a general focus, and ensures you won’t leave out a critical component of the prompt.
  42. 42. 42 3. Watch for any traps, eg: ‘In Henry IV, we see the detrimental effects of paranoia and mistrust.’ The prompt is asking you to discuss the character of Henry IV. If it had read: ‘In Henry IV, we see the detrimental effects of paranoia and mistrust,’ you would be required to discuss the entire world of the play and various characters. Titles are usually italicised, underlined or written within quotation marks; this goes for referring to the play within the essay too. 4. Don’t be afraid to spend a few minutes during reading time deciding between the two prompts offered to you. It’s better to think it through properly and take 5 minutes out of planning time than to start an essay immediately and try to switch later. SACs can be good for experimenting with difficult or left-of-field prompts, but in the exam you should be playing to your strengths, whether it’s the type of question, or the way you plan out your approach. 5. There are 4 main prompt types, each with their own sub-types: a. Character E.g. ‘It is Mompellion’s own needs, not the needs of community, which drive his actions.’ (Year of Wonders, Geraldine Brooks) These responses must invariably centre around the core character(s) mentioned in the prompt, but the role of other characters cannot be ignored. In fact character-based essays are generally enhanced through parallels drawn or comparisons made between characters, however minor they may be. Nonetheless, your focus should always return to the prompt’s primary point of discussion. Structuring such essays is most easily done through thematic conceits, or by challenging different elements of the prompt. The first is quite simplistic (e.g. for the prompt above, ‘selfishness’, ‘compassion’, ‘need’, and ‘consequences’ could form 4 body paragraphs.) This is easy enough to start with, but more work is required throughout the essay to uncover the nuance of these tropes. The latter involves asking implicit questions (e.g. Were Mompellion’s needs greater than that of the community? Were the citizens unfair in their demanding his leadership? Was Mompellion driven by more than basic self-preservation?) This approach is more difficult with certain prompts, particularly the shorter/ more simplistic ones (e.g. ‘Change is never very reluctant’ (The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Mohsin Hamid)) and may require more planning in order to wring out the questions. b. Thematic E.g. ‘Is Cosi more about love than madness?’ (Cosi, Louis Nowra) This can involve a single theme, a comparison (as in the above) or even multiple (e.g. ‘Along with confusion, pain and despair, there is a strong message of hope in these letters.’) Closely linked to the character prompts, theme questions can be relatively vague in terms of what needs to be addressed. Dealing with different themes not mentioned in the prompt can be useful as a point of contrast, but rarely should a response stray too far from the dominant conceit. Even if it is phrased as a question (e.g. the above) and your contention is that Cosi is actually about sadness or comedy, your response cannot neglect the aspects of love and madness, lest you seemto evade the task entirely.
  43. 43. 43 Thematic prompts are some of the most common on end of year exam papers, and in instances where students are given a choice between a character/theme topic and a structural/v&v, the former is almost always more popular. c. Structural E.g. ‘Discuss how Louis Nowra uses the opera Cosi Fan Tutte within his play.’ (Cosi, Louis Nowra) Also known as ‘How’ questions, these prompts are debatably the most difficult of the four major types. Often they incorporate the more ‘left-of-field’ elements of a text which students have scarcely considered before approaching these types (e.g. ‘How does Brooks develop a sense of time and of place in this novel?’) This type can involve specific characters or themes, but most often it is linked to an interpretational/ v&v question (e.g. ‘In what way might A Farewell to Arms be described as an anti-war novel?’ (A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway). This prompt requires you to deal with how such a message is achieved (or not) and thus what the author is implying about the nature of war, or what we as an audience take from such a novel. It is worth practicing a few of these structural questions, as what you uncover in this discussion may be of use in other responses. However, they are one of the rarest prompt types, and VCAA tend to favour the other major three, so they’ll most often be seen in hybrid form with v&v or thematic elements woven in. d. Views & Values/ Authorial and Reader based E.g. ‘The poems condemn those who encourage young men to go to war.’ ‘Although Dickens’ story is entertaining, even enthralling, it is mainly intended to educate.’ (A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens) These prompts will either focus on an author’s intention, or an audience’s reception. It is the type most dependent on your interpretational abilities, and with certain texts requires some background knowledge of the author’s life and times (e.g. Shakespeare, Dickens.) These are also quite rare, but can make for some excellent responses provided you are comfortable with them. Though familiarity with the context of the book/film is necessary, there is no need to provide a biography of the author, or discuss major events of the time in any great detail. For instance, if you are writing on a Shakespearean text, some awareness of the values of Elizabethan/ Jacobean audiences could add sophistication. Sometimes these questions can be closely linked, or even disguised as a thematic prompt, but unlike theme topics they require a discussion of the world outside the text as well as in it. Elements of Views and Values can be incorporated in other essay types, for conclusions in particular, so these are also worth practicing even if they are more uncommon for certain texts. 6. The VCAA Study Design states the criteria your essay must fulfil: a. “That the text is open to multiple, varied interpretations, which, provided they are supports with quotable textual evidence or examples, are not entirely preposterous, are justified.”
  44. 44. 44 b. “That the text is a construct. That is, it has an author – somebody who wrote it, and made certain artistic, literary and socio-political decisions while doing so, that you need to show an implicit or explicit awareness of. Also, that the writer who constructed the text had certain authorial intentions and used certain literary techniques to communicate these. Therefore, you as a reader critiquing the text in your essay, must employ the use of metalanguage to show evidence of this. Metalanguage is basically defined as ‘language about language’.” These prerequisites are important, but ideally they will be expressed naturally once you can respond to prompts concisely and insightfully. Avoid being too explicit in trying to fulfil the VCAA awareness requirements, eg. ‘There are many metalanguage techniques evident in the novel…’ or, ‘The novel is a construct full of themes and social concerns open to multiple interpretations.’ This is more eloquently achieved through subtler means; even simple verbs or adverbs like ‘The author encourages/ harangues/ critiques the idea of...’ can be sufficient.
  45. 45. 45 ‘Twelve Angry Men’ Using the criteria to improve text response skills: March 19, 2014 by estathatos · No Comments · Uncategorized Knowledge of the ideas, characters and themes constructed and presented in the text Showing your knowledge in relation to the topic is very different to summarizing all you know about a character, theme and idea. The language of analysis is different to summary. In an introduction do not re-write the topic. Identify the key words and use synonyms to put forward your point of view or interpretation. Make sure your knowledge is accurate. Avoid ifs- ‘If he had thought he was guilty that would have meant no discussion, not even a single question, just the end of a life for a potentially innocent boy from the slums.’ (Real example from a prac sac) This can be re-crafted into a powerful analysis- Juror 8s assertion, ‘I just want to talk’ in the already combative atmosphere ‘did you ever hear so much talk about nothing’ highlights the perilous nature of freedom of speech as Juror 8’s lone voice stands against the majority. By raising the importance of discourse in the jury room, Rose sets the standard of fairness for all in a 1950s society that is slowly altering as the post war boom and immigrant population make their mark. Make topic sentences work in your favour. Instead of making tenuous or implicit connections to the topic or not making a connection at all, use an explicit connection to let the reader know that you wholeheartedly support the stance you have taken in the introduction. Through topic sentences you will show your arguments. The topic sentence ‘Rose’s construction of Juror 3 exposes an emotionally broken man who has everything except a strong moral compass. Juror 3’s relationship with his son is somewhat strained since he last saw him.’ (Real example from a prac sac) Try not to use the jurors in the topic sentence. Bring the jurors into your next sentence. Moreover use terms properly – instead of ‘Rose’s construction of Juror 3…’ try
  46. 46. 46 ‘One of the perils in having a justice systemin which peers judge each other is the notion of how personal prejudice has a detrimental effect on the quality of the discussion. Juror 3’s fractured relationship with his son epitomizes a conflict of the most personal kind, ‘he hit me in the face’, one which drives Juror 3’s extreme view of teenagers and their place in the world.’ Try not to use a scattergun approach to ideas. Don’t just dump the term McCarthyism in a sentence and hope for the best. Here were a few sentences on McCarthyism. ‘Rose uses Juror 8 as a symbol of McCarthyism during the play, one juror against the rest standing up for his beliefs and his beliefs were that the boy deserves a fair trial and there was enough evidence to have reasonable doubt that he didn’t do it.’ Instead try this, ‘The insipid nature of social repression which hangs in the air silently and prevents some of the jurors from speaking without fear is exemplified by Rose through his characters. In particular, the stifled utterances of Juror 2 and the stage directions which highlight his discomfort ‘he pauses nervously’ show just how difficult it is for some members of society to express their opinion, particularly while there is the fear for some of being locked in the hot ‘drab’ room for an indefinite period of time. Or ‘Rose utilises the shadow of McCarthyism to repress the ability of some of the jurors to express openly their opinions without the fear of ridicule and persecution.’ Bring Rose into your essay- use his name Analysis of the structures, features and conventions used by the authorto construct meaning Using the ideas from the following information purposefully and accurately will be helpful in your analysis when you are addressing this criterion. Use the language of construction to show that you understand the structures, features and conventions. E.g. ‘Rose’s characterization of Juror 2’ ‘or the discomfort is further heightened by Rose’s deliberate placement of Juror 3 along Juror 2’. Twelve Angry Men is part of a realist style known as a ‘slice of life’ because it presents an honest look at a realistic situation. The writing and staging of Twelve Angry Men relies on some metaphor and symbolism to connect the play with the audience. The play is set up as if the audience and the readers are about to make judgment along with the members of the jury. By eliminating the outside dramatic influences the focus is on the jurors themselves and their own process of discovery. This adds to the appeal and engagement of the theatre experience. There aren’t distinct scenes, but the play can be measured by the votes which serve as markers for the audience in the journey through the play and which help to structure the action. There is anticipation each time a vote is called for.
  47. 47. 47 The nameless characters allow each character to function as part of the larger allegory for society in its time. It gives the sense that the jurors could be us, regular everyday people. Rose’s characters use naturalistic, everyday language. They speak in concrete terms about the details of the case. Differences between characters are established through subtle variations in speech – for example, Juror 8 sometimes pauses while he speaks, demonstrating his calm, reasoned nature as well as the fact that he is exploring uncertainties about the case. Whereas Juror 3′s speeches are punctuated with exclamation marks and he frequently interrupts other characters, demonstrating his impatience and hotheadedness. The play follows the three classical unities – rules of drama derived from basic principles explored by Aristotle. Twelve Angry Men obeys the unity of time: there are no shifts or disjunctions of chronology, and the action takes place over a confined and continuous period of time. Similarly the unity of place is fulfilled, as the entire play occurs in a single location. Finally the unity of action dictates that there should be a single central plot around which the play revolves. Twelve Angry Men satisfies this condition: the central issue of the play is the jury’s decision-making process in reaching a verdict. The relationships between characters, and details of their personal lives, serve this central plot. The jury room table is the main setting of Twelve Angry Men, but there is also the window, the water- cooler and the washroom. The window is a place of refuge and thought, likewise the washroom and washbasin offer jurors respite and clarity as well as undermining the official deliberations that occur around the table. Notice when a juror retreats ‘cross away’ to escape into the wash room. The table is a combative space. The light enhances the mood and often reflects the emotions of the jurors throughout the play. Rose’s stage direction that the room begins to darken perceptively conveys the despondent and frayed atmosphere that begins immediately in Act 2. The darkness is balanced by Juror 11’s reprimand. ‘This is not why we are here, to fight. We have a responsibility.’ The setting could be anywhere as there are almost no factors which force it in that setting, except perhaps that the defendant had gone to a ‘double feature’
  48. 48. 48 The play begins to divide the jurors into 3 categories- fighting for the boy, Jurors 8 & 9, those convinced about his guilt, Jurors 2, 4, 5, 6, 11, 12 and those who have prejudiced views or are indifferent 3, 7 10. The challenge for them is greater than changing their minds about the case, it requires them to challenge notions held deep within themselves. Rose has Juror 8 as a protagonist. He is characterised as level headed and fair. He is a classic hero faced with an overwhelming challenge to convince men. In Act 1 we see him remain stoic and steadfast in his quest for justice, in the face of much opposition and nastiness. The antagonists are Jurors 3 and 10. Group psychology is broken down into individual psychology. Initially the group of men seemto speak with one voice using the same logic. However, as the play progresses we see that each juror came to their decisions in a different manner, e.g. Juror 2 seems to be swayed by the tone of the courtroom which is reflective of his characterisation as meek, perhaps susceptible to popular influence. Juror 3 ‘s opinion seems to be influenced by his bad relationship with his son while Juror 4 seems completely reliant upon the facts. Their individual beliefs and motivations are put on trial so it is more difficult to convict the defendant jointly. Act 2 operates as a reversal to Act 1 The characters are reduced to their basic composition based on how they process the evidence. The vote is 6-6, a half way point and half way mark. At the beginning of Act 1 with an 11 -1 vote it seemed impossible to shift jurors. Now they are on even footing. In Act 2, Juror 3 and 10 are given long monologues which fully outline the prejudices that govern their decisions. Juror 10 speaks about the danger of the defendant but everyone in the room, even the audience, realises that he is the danger, polluting society, the legal systemand way of life. This is an incredible discovery dramatising the strong prejudices that lay hidden in the subconscious of people. Juror 3 gives in to reason- ‘It’s not your boy’- the play seems to be saying that if we recognise our prejudices we are able to defeat them and do what’s right. The temperature in the room decreases so does the temperature of the jurors and the jurors can operate more rationally. Then the silences which follow the monologues show a humiliation and humbling of their characters.
  49. 49. 49 The end highlights Juror 3 facing his internal conflict and winning against it. It is about a group of men trying to do what is right and ultimately succeeding. So an example of addressing the above criterion: ‘Rose makes it unclear whether the defendant really did murder his father to highlight the strengths of the American justice system. Juror 8 epitomises the qualities that Rose believes jurors should posse. His strength lies in personal integrity, ‘It’s not easy for me to raise my hand and send a boy off to die without talking about it first,’ and by reasoned logic and compassion, ‘I don’t know, it doesn’t sound right to me,’ he convinces the other jurors that they cannot be absolutely certain of the boy’s guilt and that convicting him with such circumstantial evidence is a travesty and a disservice to the justice system.’ ‘The hot, muggy weather depicted at the beginning of the play is used to reflect the heated conversations of the men and restlessness in the jury room. Rose describes the day as “a very hot summer day” in “the jury room of a New York Court of Law, 1957”. Many of the jurors throughout the first act make complaints about the hot weather, ‘This is the hottest day of the year’, and as the temperature rises inside the jury room, the intensity of the discussions increase after each vote as the men begin to attack one another, ‘I mean we’ re all going crazy in here or something?’ Analysis of the ways in which social, historical and /or culturalvalues are embedded in the text Use the information for this criterion in a natural way Socially- cold war, McCarthyism, post-World War 11 boom, eve of the Civil Rights (not the middle) – leads to a mood of suspicion of ones neighbour, exemplified by Juror 10( notice how at the end of the play the others ‘ turn their backs’ which symbolizes a rejection of his views, ) fear of the unknown, conservatism, materialism, social movement and the growth of the Middle class Culturally- consider America as a melting pot where everyone lives harmoniously is an ideal – New York in the 1950s – (consider the reality with slums and on the eve of the civil rights movements some jurors may feel uncomfortable with the changing cultural landscape so they retreat into conservatism instead of liberalism) , immigrants-low socio economic status, the Great American dream, everyone working hard to achieve success through their own efforts- resentment would come from some sections of society – America as the land of opportunity and freedom and founded on the notion of equality, of giving its citizens ‘a fair go.’ The focus on individual comforts, the rise of advertising and the hollowness of the jingles exemplified by Juror 12 compared to the seriousness of the task before the jury.
  50. 50. 50 Rose uses the jury as a microcosm of society- do not write that it is an unfair composition as there are no women and African Americans on the jury so the defendant will not get a fair go The jurors’ professions separate them- the architect, the self-made man, the worker… so there is a cross section of positions and views in the jury room Think of the views and values Rose is trying to instil with Juror 8 regarding duty, responsibility, citizenship, acceptance/tolerance compassion. Construction of an interpretation… Address the whole topic Show your point of view, your interpretation of the topic Use paragraphs as mini arguments leading back to your contention Don’t change your mind half way and argue a different point of view Don’t completely agree or disagree with the topic Stay relevant at all times Plan your response before you write Selection and use of textual evidence and use of relevant metalanguage to support analysis Use quotations to support your arguments Don’t use long quotations Weave quotations expertly into your arguments Avoid the use of the word quote or quotation in your response Use words such as Rose reveals, suggests, … the symbolism of Juror 8’s profession enables the audience to surmise…, Juror 10’s vitriolic attack illustrates…Avoid using the same verb Expressive fluent and coherent writing. Spelling, punctuation and syntax controlled
  51. 51. 51 Use strong vocabulary Write sentences that make sense and are controlled- don’t waffle Use punctuation properly Spell words correctly
  52. 52. 52 References: InsightTextGuides,ReginaldRose’s TwelveAngry Men,AnciaBoulanger-Mashbery,2012 NEAP:Twelve Angry Men,SmartStudyEnglishTextGuide,Rachel Kafika,2010 Twelve Angry Men,byReginaldRose,Samuel French –London,1977 VariousWebsites:VCEStudyGuides, Twelve Angry Men,movie/DVD,MetroGoldwynMayer,1957 PowerPointbyChristopherCreek, ‘Reginald Rose’sJuryRoomClassic12 AngryMen’ PowerPointonMcCarthyismand Americainthe 1950s

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