Lesson Five: Twelve Angry Men ( Part One ). About the author background / works / note About the text figures of speech / word study / sentence paraphrase / exercise In-class discussion Homework .
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background/works / note
figures of speech / word study / sentence paraphrase / exercise
1951 Out There 1954-57 Studio One 1955 Elgin Hour1955 Philco Television Playhouse-Goodyear Playhouse 1956 Alcoa Hour-Goodyear Playhouse1959 Playhouse 90 1960 Sunday Showcase1961-65 The Defenders (creator and writer) 1967 CBS Playhouse 1975 The Zoo Gang (creator and writer)1977 The Four of Us (pilot
1979 Studs Lonigan1987 Escape From Sobibor
1982 The Rules of Marriage1986 My Two Loves (with Rita Mae BrownWorks
1. In comprehension, two things should be paid attention to: (1) the tone of certain remarks. Ironical tone is commonly used when making some points. (2) the context; since it is a play, it is important to link each statement with what is said before .
In America, there is a principle guiding a criminal court: the accused is convicted beyond reasonable doubt. In other words, innocent until proven guilty.
1. They are the jury for the trial of a boy charged with murdering his father.
2. He’s been arrested for muffing, picked up for knife-fighting.
3. Let’s stop being so sensitive.
4. …so I was used to wrenching myself away from friends.
5. Keeping to myself was my way of not forming attachments that I would only have to abandon the next time was moved.
to spill out: to come out in a large amount
(infml) simply, completely stupid
alleged: supposed to be true although there is no proof
to claim: to state as a fact even though it has not been proved
to put oneself in sb’s place: to imagine myself to be in sb’s position
to tear sth to shreds: to tear sth to pieces
Let’s get to the point: Let’s talk about the most important part of the problem.
No.7 means that if everyone agrees that the boy is guilty, then they can take the verdict to the court and get the whole thing over and done right away. He is eager to get out of this jury room because it is hot and besides he has a ticket for a football game for that evening which he does not want to miss. These interesting details have been cut out with great reluctance because the text is too long for our purpose.
…we’ve got to send him to the electric chair (to be electrocuted )
Now we know what everybody’s attitude is.
The boy is old enough to be held legally responsible for his actions. He has reached the legal age for which the law can punish him for his crimes.
The society has not treated the boy very well. Therefore we should at least talk a little bit before we send him to the chair. The boy has a right to that. We should do it for him.
According to the U. S. law, any citizen has a right to a proper trial, and if he can’t pay, the trial will be paid by the government. That’s why No.10 here reminds N0.8 angrily that the boy has cost a lot of public money.
Don’t tell me (because that will be useless and stupid if you do ) we should believe this kid since we know what sort of person he is.
I’m surprised to hear you say that as if dishonesty has ever been a group characteristic. This is a retort to No.10’s remark from No.9 who is opposed to stereotyped opinions about the poor people. Some individuals are dishonest. They might be rich or poor. It has nothing to do with the social group they belong to. To condemn a whole group of people as immoral or inferior is the common attitude of racists and other bigots.
Now listen to me…
This is used to call sb’s attention, esp when you are annoyed.
…we might be able to show him where he is wrong.
It’s just an idea that came to my mind. I haven’t thought it out very carefully.
It’s hard to express my views. I just think he’s guilty. I mean nobody proved him innocent. No.2 obviously doesn’t know the principle that the boy is innocent until proven guilty. His use of the word “think” shows that he is not basing his judgement on facts but his feelings.
The American legal system is based on the confrontation principle with the prosecutor trying his utmost to prove the accused guilty and the defense lawyer trying his best to prove his client not guilty. When all the facts are out, then the jury makes a decision.
Notice that when No.10 says this, he is wild with anger because No.8 has made him appear ridiculous.
It’s just part of the whole case. It is somehow related to the whole matter.
Notice that the speaker cannot explain the logical connection. His tone is uncertain.
I’m just as tender-hearted as the other people. I’m not callous or unfeeling.
Notice that No.3 is being sarcastic by using the word “sentimental” because he considers himself a tough-minded man who will not allow feelings to interfere with his judgement like old women.
I think her testimony is strong enough to prove he’s guilty.
Notice the use of “don’t” instead of “doesn’t” showing No.10’s educational background.
No.8 is pointing out a flaw in No.10’s logic. No.10 first says that you can’t believe those slum people, then he begins to quote one of those people’s testimony, but he is not aware of his self-contradiction.
…violence is so common in his life, he is quite used to it. I just don’t understand how two slaps in the face would have made him so angry as to commit murder.
These two slaps may have been beyond his limit of endurance. The boy has been kicked around so often that he may have been reaching the breaking point when the two slaps come.
Notice that No.4’s reasoning is not wrong.
1. From English into Chinese.
It’s getting late. It’s time we turned ____.
That sort of music did not turn me ____ . As a matter of fact, it turned me _____.
on; offFill in the blanks.
Then choose some students to express their views.