12 Angry Men Literary Analysis

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Don’t Believe Everything You Hear
12 Angry Men by Reginald Rose is a twisting story where a son is accussed of stabbing his father to death. Twelve strangers are told to listen to this court case and are then stuck in a small, hot room where they are told to decide on a verdict, whether or not the kid lives or dies. The jury finally decides on the verdict of : Not Guilty. Three major facts that influence the juries agreement that the accussed is not guilty include doubts of the murder weapon, doubts of the old man’s testimony, and doubts of the lady across the street’s testimony. The first major fact that influences the juries agreement that the accussed is not guilty is the doubts of a key piece of evidence; the murder weapon, a switch knife. While discussing and examining the evidence, the switch knife that the accussed supposedly used to kill his father, Juror 8 flicks out his own switch knife to prove a point. “(Eight swiftly flicks open the blade of a switch knife, jams it into the wall next to the first knife and steps back. They are exactly alike. There are several gasps and everyone stares at the knife)” (562). This is very significant in persuading the jurors for the simple reason that Juror 8’s switch knife is exactly the same as the switch knife used in the murder; the same switch knife that is supposed to be “one-of-a-kind.” But it is now proven by this that anyone could have a knife like that, not just the accused young man. This situation starts to persuade the jurors that the acussed young man may not have killed his father, but rather someone else with the same knife. The second major fact that influences the juries agreement that the accused is not guilty are the doubts of a witness’s testimony; the old man who supposedly heard the boy say, “I’ll kill you!” to his father, and a body fall to the floor. In order to settle the argument the jurors are having about the old man, who is a cripple, going to his door fifteen seconds after he heard the...
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