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12 Angry Men Thesis Paper

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Rebecca Hovatter Mrs. Bickel English II. 5 18 November 2014 12 Angry Men Thesis Paper If prejudice can start a war between brothers, then it definitely can lead 12 different jurors to hating each other in a confined space. 12 Angry Men, written by Reginald Rose, looks at the clash of ideas and opinions in the jury system to come to a unanimous vote to decide if a boy was innocent or guilty of murder to his father. In the play we see different accounts of prejudice. Do people’s backgrounds, acquaintances’ ideas, etc. influence an individual’s ideas? This question brings up the classic argument of nature vs. nurture. Does nature or nurture have more of an influence on a person? Nature lays the base of a person’s being. It’s the DNA and instinct of a person. It tells you if you can roll your tongue or not or, for example, it’s the reason someone has a mental disease. It's the born with instinct's of a person that describes a person's nature. People make the argument that a person’s nature is more of an influence become if someone has a disease, they will be plagued with the effects for their life. Scientists are trying to find “behavioral genes” that explain why a person acts the way they do (decision making, personal views, treatment to others, and any other behavioral attitudes). However, nothing has been found yet that exemplifies these genes. An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older or about one in four adults suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a year. This can be translated to 57.7 million

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people. This is the most evidence a nature supporter could have that would influence a person’s being the most. Nurture is the developmental process of a person. It’s the cause that teachers, psychologists, lawyers, and other specialists have based a part of their career on. The argument is that a person’s environment they grow up in and are surrounded by on a daily basis means more. The tendency to please others makes people act a way. The raising of a human being places a large influence. For example, if a person grows up in a city full of crime with parents that are rarely around or have negative histories, this person could grow up in spite of their parents and city or could grow up to turn out the same. The future of this being has just experienced the effects of nurture. What your environment is (ex. family, schooling, friends, and any other outside influence one i exposed to) can truly lead a person to make certain personal decisions because nurture is the influence of anything on a person. This idea says that nurture can mask a person’s nature and in turn have a greater influence. Not only can we look at nature vs. nurture and the affects it had on the boy in 12 Angry Men but also on the affects it had on each individual juror. In 12 Angry Men, there are 12 jurors trying to decide if this boy killed his father. Many of the jurors are focused on the boy’s background, where he lived, what color skin he is, what he did, etc. It was Juror 8 who had to tell the others that they weren’t discussing the boy’s previous crimes but only this particular one. In many crimes, lawyers, judges, and the jury investigate a person’s mental being and if said person has a, by nature, mental illness. If a person does this very well leads people to do certain things. In a study of crimes committed by people with serious mental disorders, only 7.5 percent were directly related to symptoms of mental illness, according to the American Psychological

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Association. That means that the rest of the untested for crimes had to be do to some other cause. This is why the jurors debate the boy’s background and make assumptions. Nature vs. nurture is classic argument that many people debate. Nature is our DNA and born instinct, and nurture is the influence to our development as individuals as we grow. Nurture plays the big role of shaping you as a being all throughout your life, and a person’ s nurture never truly stops growing. The influence of others on us shapes what we think and how we see other people. That influence can be seen in 12 Angry Men when we see that Juror 5 grew up in a bad neighborhood forcing him to say things he did and Juror 3 to respond with the ideas he was raised to believe. This all being effects of our nurture.

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Bibliography ● "Nature and Nurture Debate." ­ Genes or Environment? Explorable.com, n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2014. ● "Mental Illness Not Usually Linked to Crime, Research Finds."Http://www.apa.org. American Psychological Association, 21 Apr. 2014. Web. 17 Dec. 2014.…...

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