12 Angry Men

Ky Truong

Prejudices in The Twelve Angry Men
      In Reginald Rose’s play ’12 Angry Men’ the jurors not only let their prejudices affect their opinions they have towards the accused, but also their opinions of each other. Jurors three, ten and four show strong prejudice against the accused purely as he is from the slums and claim that he is guilty on this point alone, whereas juror five is more reluctant to think badly of the boy as he also grew up in the slums. Many of the juror’s prejudices against people from the slums make juror five too nervous to initially speak or express his opinion and his opinion is not taken as seriously because he is seen to be just trying to defend the accused as they both grew up in the slums. Many of the jurors also do not take juror nine seriously and do not believe he will have any valuable points to make purely because he is an elderly man. Conflict is started when juror seven changes his vote. As he originally stated that he wanted to get out of the jury as soon as possible to watch the ball game the other jurors have the preconception that anything he does will be a strategic move so that he can leave, rather than doing what is best for the case. Throughout the play juror three makes comments about his son and towards the end it becomes clear that he was being prejudiced towards the accused purely because it reminded him of his son, who he does not get along with.
Most of the jurors are prejudiced towards the accused based on the fact that he has grown up in the slums, some prejudices favourable and others not so favourable. Jurors three, four and ten are very rigid minded about people that grew up in the slums, thinking they are all “potential menaces to society”, as stated by juror four. He believes that “slums are breeding grounds for criminals. They are. I know it. So do you,” He is very close-minded, as he talks about people from the slums as though he is certain that everybody shares his opinion and that growing...