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Use of Persuasive Argument in 12 Angry Men Essay

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The movie “12 Angry Men” examines the dynamics at play in a United States jury room in the 1950’s. It revolves around the opinions and mindsets of twelve diverse characters that are tasked with pronouncing the guilt or innocence of a young man accused of patricide. The extraordinary element is that their finding will determine his life or death. This play was made into a movie in 1957, produced by Henry Fonda who played the lead role, Juror #8, and Reginald Rose who wrote the original screenplay. This essay will explore some of the critical thinking elements found within the context of this movie, and will show that rational reason and logic when used effectively can overcome the mostly ineffective rush to judgment that can be prevalent in…show more content…
The old man gave evidence that he heard the boy say “I’ll kill you” from his apartment below and that he saw the boy running from the down the stairs from the apartment after rising from his bedroom. The old lady saw the boy kill his father through her window, whilst a train was passing. Juror #8 analyses each of these points and makes credible arguments that the conclusion is flawed based on incorrect reasoning, by pointing out inconsistencies in the conclusions reached. The other jurors are content to believe that their reasoning is solid, as they have used examples of deductive reasoning to reach their conclusion. Juror #3 gives his reasons for reaching the conclusion that “It’s quite clear that the boy never went to the movies that night, returned home and killed his father with the knife as identified in Court” (Fonda & Lumet, 1957). Until Juror #8 takes out a similar knife and poses the question that it was possible that another knife was used, Juror #7 calls it a million to one however Juror #8 persists in saying it was possible. He also uses this analysis method to cast aspersions on the second point and third points raised by systematically analyzing each component.
During the course of the debate within the jury room Juror #8 summarizes the evidence presented and the conclusions drawn by his fellow jurors, by asking questions. He analyzes the content, by breaking down the component parts and analyzing each
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