Twelve Angry Men and Democracy Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Democracy: Hughes vs. Rose

We celebrate democracy in America every day. Whether we are pledging allegiance to the flag or honoring the achievements of our nation's veterans, the idea that America is the greatest country in the world is something most people do not question. However, writers such as Langston Hughes and Reginald Rose have presented challenges to the idea that democracy is something which is good in a straightforward and uncomplicated way. Democracy requires good people to function; it is something that must be fought for every day.

Rose's drama Twelve Angry Men depicts the jury deliberations of a group of men who are deciding the fate of a young man that allegedly committed murder. Only one of the jurors questions the supposedly obvious fact that the defendant is guilty. Gradually, the juror wins more and more men over to his side until they finally come to a decision that there is not enough evidence to condemn the teenager. On the surface, this seems to suggest that democracy, or the 'one man one vote' idea is a good one. However, over the course of the play, many of the jurors express extremely racist views and show evidence that they are not giving full consideration to their duty as citizens. One man has baseball tickets and wants to leave for the game. Another man is very easily bullied by others. This questions the idea that people are always capable of deciding the truth in an unbiased and objective fashion.

But even though Twelve Angry Men suggests that democracy is difficult, justice ultimately wins in the end. Although not every man is good, the majority opinion eventually shifts to what is clearly shown to be correct by Rose. Democracy is seen as something all of us must work to achieve. All men have their prejudices. Some men, such as Juror 7, do not take their responsibilities very seriously. But this does not mean that the system does not have a future and cannot function. This could also be said to be true of voting. While many men and women do not give enough time and attention to their vote or may make decisions out of personal prejudices rather than the actual needs of the public, the system ultimately works better than not having democracy at all.

However, Langston Hughes questions that notion in his poem "Democracy." Hughes was an…

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Work Cited

Hughes, Langston. "Democracy." Web. 14 Dec 2015.

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