In Twelve Angry Men, how does the personality of Juror #6 affect his vote?

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belarafon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Twelve Angry Men of the title are the twelve jurors who must come to a unanimous decision on convicting or acquitting a man. The play concerns their deliberations, started by a single man who casts doubt on the testimony.

While other jurors make their initial decision based on emotion, Juror #6 is a working man who is not concerned with lengthy arguments, instead trusting his instinct. At first, he is ready to convict with the others, but as Juror #8 discusses the merits of the case with others, he changes his opinion. He does so based on the debate of the other jurors, instead of on his own ideas; since he is a worker instead of a thinker, he is satisfied to let them debate and then side with the ones whose ideas make the most sense. While the others waver in their opinions based more on emotional discussion and their held beliefs -- #3 in particular holds out because he cannot stand to be wrong -- #6 makes the decision to acquit because it makes sense, based on the jury discussion.

thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Juror number six is reserved and soft spoken. Throughout the deliberations, he only speaks a few times. Based on his profession as a house painter, his job description involved doing more physical work than mentally engaging activities. He at one point stated that his boss is the one who does all the supposing while he is left to attend to all the work. As such, during the deliberations about whether to declare the defendant guilty or not, juror six was rather passive in terms of verbal contributions, choosing instead to listen as the other jurors engaged. He listened to the arguments brought forth and assessed which ones made more sense to him and then chose how to vote. In this case, he voted like the majority of the jurors who thought the defendant was innocent except for juror three who eventually changed his vote.

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Twelve Angry Men

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