Examples Of Self Image In 12 Angry Men

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Angry Men Everybody on this earth is unique unto themselves. Think about it! Each individual has their own personality, agenda, and history, the same is true of the characters portrayed in 12 Angry Men. Roger Ebert, an American film critic for The Chicago Sun-Times says, the movie 12 Angry Men was the first of forty-three films in the career of director Sidney Lament, who often sought controversial issues (Ebert). This movie focuses on a jury’s deliberation in a capital murder case, where a guilty verdict means an automatic death sentence. “As the deliberations unfold the story quickly becomes a study of the jurors’ complex personalities” (Rathjen). Bernard Roth, author of The Achievement Habits says, “Using rationalization, people can justify any action or inaction in an attempt to bring it into accord with their self-image (Roth 199). 12 Angry Men forces the characters in the movie, along with the audience, to evaluate their own self-image. Consequently, it becomes a necessity for them to comprehend, through the stress of the situation, if their self-image is true, questionable, or false.
The character that has the most accurate view of his self-image in this movie is Juror 8, Mr. Davis played by Henry Fonda. Being the first juror to vote not guilty, Davis does not want to be the one whose vote sends a young man to his death. It is obvious from the beginning that Juror 8 is in command of the situation through his demonstration of confidence and self-reliance. Furthermore, he is characterized as being respectful, honest, logical, methodical, and ethical. Lament uses subtle techniques to convince the audience that Juror 8 has an accurate grasp of his self-image. For example, Fonda is the only person dressed in a white suit, indicative of a “good guy”. He finds ways to be inclusive rather than competitive, thus helping the “whole team win” rather than just an individual (Roth 171). Juror 8 demonstrates understanding after Juror 10 delivers a dramatic prejudiced rant, by speaking quietly about the evils of prejudice. Moreover, after Juror 3 reveals to the others and himself that he is projecting the anger and frustration that he is feeling toward his estranged son to the young man that is being accused of
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