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
Background • Reginald Rose (1920- ) is a native New Yorker, best known as a writer for television. The Twelve Angry Men was written in 1954 based on his experience as a juror. The play was turned into a movie, with much abridgement. What distinguished Rose’s teleplays was their direct preoccupation with social and political issues. • Roseis one of the outstanding television playwrights to emerge from the "Golden Age" of television drama anthology series. Rose takes a place in history at the top of the craft of television writing. • In addition to other accolades, Rose was nominated for six Emmy awards during his career, and won three.
TELEVISION SERIES (various episodes) 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 TELEVISIONMINISERIES 1979 Studs Lonigan1987 Escape From Sobibor MADE-FOR-TELEVISION MOVIES 1982 The Rules of Marriage1986 My Two Loves (with Rita Mae Brown Works
Note 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 .
2.BriefIntroduction to U.S Judicial System In America, there is a principle guiding a criminal court: the accused is convicted beyond reasonable doubt. In other words, innocent until proven guilty.
The jury consists of 12 jurors, selected at random, who will give an unanimousverdict of guilty or not guilty through discussion. • unanimous: all agreeing completely • verdict: an official decision made by a jury about whether someone is guilty or not guilty of a crime
If the verdict is guilty, then the judge will give the sentence. If the verdict is not guilty, then the judge will have to acquit the accused. • acquit: to give a decision that someone is not guilty of a crime
Figures of Speech • Observe these sentences and find out the grammatical function of each of the italicized gerund phrase. 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.
The gerund has exactly the same form as the present participle. However, while the latter has the function of the adjective or the adverb, the former always functions as a noun. Gerunds denote activities in a general way. They cannot be used with numbers and such determiners as “this” and “that”. • prepositional object------1 • prepositional object------2 (knife-fighting: part of a compound word which is used as prepositional object)
objects of verbs-----3 • prepositional object-----4 • Subject-----5 (keeping to myself) • prepositional object-----5 (not forming attachment)
Word Study • court criminal : a court dealing with criminal cases involving crimescf: civil court: a court dealing with cases involving private legal matters
any way --------- anyway • anyway: by any method; in any manner • anyway: in spite of the problem involved; in any case. • He may not like to see me, but I’m going _____. • You can do it ______ you want. I don’t care. I just want the result.
first-degree murder: the most serious kind of murder in which the murderer deliberately kills somebody • manslaughter: the crime of killing somebody illegally but not intentionally
juror: a member of a jury. • foreman: the leader of a jury. • jury: a group of up to 12 people, called “jurors” whose duty is to listen to the evidence given in a court trial and decide whether the accused is guilty or not guilty.
I think it’s a customary to take a preliminary vote. • preliminary:happening before sth. that is more important, often in order to prepare for it; preparatory e.g. • The congress will start preliminary hearing soon. • They will have a preliminary discussion of this problem before the Board meeting. • After a few preliminary remarks, he brought up this important question.
You know, born in a slum, his mother dead since he was 9, lived a year and a half in orphanage when his father was servinga jail term for forgery. • to serve a jail term: to spend time in prison as a punishment (also: to serve a sentence; to serve time) • In spoken English, elliptical sentences are common. Writing in full, the above sentence would be: You know, he was born in a slum, his mother was dead when he was 9, and he lived a year and a half in an orphanage when his father was serving a jail term for forgery.
…the boy’s story was flimsy. • flimsy: thin,weak feeble as in “flimsy dress”, “flimsy cloth”, “flimsy building”, “flimsy evidence”, “flimsy argument”, “flimsy excuse” etc. • …the boy’s argument was unconvincing; his argument was weak.
listening while the evidence spilledout. to spill out: to come out in a large amount • plainstupid (infml) simply, completely stupid • Look, there was one alleged eyewitness to this killing…someone else claimed that… alleged: supposed to be true although there is no proof to claim: to state as a fact even though it has not been proved
I kept puttingmyself in the kid’s place. If I was on trial for my life, I’d want my lawyer to tear the prosecutor’sevidencetoshreds. 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 get to the point: Let’s talk about the most important part of the problem.
Sentence Paraphrase • Maybe we can all get out of here. 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 chair. …we’ve got to send him to the electric chair (to be electrocuted ) • Now we know where we are. Now we know what everybody’s attitude is.
That’s old enough. 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. • I just think we owe him a few words. 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.
What do you think that trial cost? 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. • You’re not going to tell me that we’re supposed to believe this kid, knowing what he is! 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.
Since when is dishonesty a group characteristic? 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 look here… 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’s mixed up. …we might be able to show him where he is wrong. • just a quick idea It’s just an idea that came to my mind. I haven’t thought it out very carefully.
It’s hard to put into words. I just think he’s guilty. I mean nobody proved otherwise. 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.
Innocent until proven guilty. The burden of proof in on the prosecution. 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.
You’re a pretty smart fellow, aren’t you? 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 picture. 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 ad sentimental as the next fellow. I know he’s only eighteen. 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.
If her testimony don’t prove he’s guilty, the nothing does. 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. • You don’t believe the boy’s story. How come you believe the woman’s? She’s one of THEM, too, isn’t she? 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 practically a normal state of affairs with him. I just can’t see two slaps in the face would have provoked him into committing murder. …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.
It may have been two too many. Everyone has a breaking point. 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.
Exercise I. Translate. 1. From English into Chinese. • to commit a grave error 犯严重错误 • to handle the case 负责处理该案 • to give testimony 出庭作证 • to provide evidence 提供证据 • to identify the weapon 验明凶器 • to wipe off the fingerprints 抹去指纹
to quote the Bible to list all the reasons to dial the phone number to define a word to serve a jail term to owe sb. an apology 援引圣经 列出所有理由 拨出这个电话号码 给这个词下定义 在监狱服刑 该向某人道歉 2). From Chinese into English.
Did he give any reason why he turned ____ our request? 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 _____. down in on; off Fill in the blanks.
In-class discussion • After learning the play, ask students to talk about the following questions in group work: • What was the evidence against the boy? How did it fall piece by piece through the discussion? • Why is it so easy for people to go along with the crowd? • What lesson should we draw from this? Then choose some students to express their views.
Homework • a. Read the play carefully, and act it out with your classmates. • b. Write a summary in your own words.