Prejudice and Stereotypes in 12 Angry Men Essay

Stereotypes use generalisations to characterise individuals, and 10th juror is especially susceptible to stereotyping the defendant based on socio-economic background. He routinely makes generalised declarations about ‘those individuals’ (p. 6), without ever validating his opinions with concrete details. Examples consist of:. I’m tellin’ you they let the kids cut loose up there’ (p. 6). ‘… You’re not going to tell us that we’re expected to think that kid, knowing what he is. Listen, I’ve lived amongst ’em all my life. You can’t think a word they say.

I indicate, they’re born phonies.’ (P. 8). The kids who crawl outa those locations are genuine garbage. I don’t want any part of them, I’m informing you (p. 12). ‘Let’s talk truths. These people are born to lie’ … ‘I’ve known some who were OK, but that’s the exception’ (pp. 51-52). ‘They’re violent, they’re vicious, they’re ignorant, and they will cut us up’ (p. 53) The one circumstances where 10th juror uses information is when he argues ‘his type, they’re increasing five times as quick as we are.

That’s the fact.’ (P. 53).

Yet he just uses this fact to ground his own worries: ‘They’re against us, they dislike us, they want to destroy us … If we do not smack them down whenever we can, then they are gon na own us. They’re gon na reproduce us out of presence.’ (P. 53). 10th juror is not the only one guilty of such generalisation and stereotyping. For instance, fourth states: The kid … He’s a product of a dirty area and a damaged house … Shanty towns are breeding premises for lawbreakers. I know it. So do you. It’s clear. Children from slum backgrounds are prospective menaces to society. (P. 12).

Similarly, 3rd juror muses:. sometimes I think we ‘d be better off if we took these hard kids and slapped ’em down prior to they make difficulty, you understand? Save us a lot of time and money. (P. 3) Neither fourth nor 3rd jurors make reference to specific information of the offender’s situation, however rather rely on generalised stereotypes which support their own prejudices versus ‘those individuals’. In reality, 8th is the only juror to thoroughly review specific details from the case instead of turning to general class stereotypes. He notes: … This boy’s been kicked around all his life.

You know– residing in a run-down neighborhood, his mother dead because he was 9. He invested a year and a half in an orphanage while his dad served a prison term for forgery (p. 8). This lists particular truths and variables about the boy’s childhood, rather than distilling him into a non-specific member of a socio-economic group. Similarly, in 8th juror’s speech on page 23, he notes specific information of the victim’s rough presence– his gaming, his convictions, his employment history. This can be contrasted with 10th juror’s simple and prejudiced attitude: ‘listen, we understand the father was a bum’ (p. 24).

This contrast between these 2 attitudes is that 8th juror is attempting to form his opinions based on the particular elements affecting the accused and the victim, and trying to concentrate on the human beings in the case at hand. 10th juror is content to convict the offender based upon stereotypes and generalised propensities of others in similar situations. When once again, by lining up the less simplified mindset with 8th juror, Twelve Angry Guys endorses empathy and condemns prejudice and stereotyping.

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