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Balance Sheet Detective

Essay by   •  October 16, 2017  •  Study Guide  •  1,237 Words (5 Pages)  •  994 Views

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  1. Juror #11 remarks in Act One: “Facts may be colored by the personalities of the people who present them.” Develop at least three examples of jurors whose personality (the extensional behavior) affected the connotations of other jurors. Be sure to describe the personality of the juror and then discuss how one or more of the others was affected.

Juror 8 was objective and empathetic to the defendant and voted not guilty which he was the only one at the beginning to vote not guilty. He was an architect and a protagonist, he wanted to discuss the evidence, not change other minds. He thought it was worth it to sit there and discuss what was just and fair because it was someone’s life they were discussing. Him voting not guilty forced the other jurors to relook at their own biases and reexamine the actual facts.

Juror 5 grew up in a slum and is shy but helpful. He said if you grew up in a slum, you know how to use a switchblade properly and whoever stabbed the father was not properly using the switchblade. This helped some of the other jurors formulate another reason why the boy was not guilty.

Juror 9 was an experienced, smart, respectful, elder that noticed the little things that the others did not notice which were some key factors to the case and was the second one to vote not guilty. Juror 8 asked for a revote and if no one else voted not guilty then he would change his vote to guilty and Juror 9 is the one that voted not guilty and he said “It is not easy to stand alone against the ridicule of others. He gambled for my support and I gave it to him.” He pointed out the fact that the Juror that wore glasses had imprint on his nose and would rub his nose when his glasses were not on his face and that is what the women witnessed did too. This made them believe she wore glasses which means she would not have been able to identify the victim like she said she was able to. The other thing he noticed was the fact that the old man that says he saw the boy running down the stairs would not have had time to make it to see him because of how slow he was moving in the court room. He was an old man that was basically dragging one leg when he walked. With this juror noticing these little facts, other jurors were starting to become convinced the boy was not guilty.

Juror 3 has a bad relationship with his own son and no longer speaks to him. Juror 3 is projecting his own frustrations with his own son on to the defendant.

  1. Why did the playwright choose not to give the audience (you) a definitive answer regarding the boy’s innocence or guilt? How does the lingering doubt about the truth affect the audience’s (your) experience throughout the play?

The play leaves a sense that justice and right has overcome irrationality and prejudice but playwright chose not to give the audience a definitive answer regarding the boy’s innocence or guilt because they wanted the audience to make their own opinion. The lingering doubt about the truth gives the audience an open mind about what really happened.

  1. What is your connotation of the playwright’s message about social responsibility?

My connotation of the playwright’s message about social responsibility is that it is the jurors’ social responsibility to find the truth and not accuse the suspect guilty for something he did not do. The jurors have to base their verdict only on the evidence, without prejudice or sympathy.

  1. Why do you think the playwright did not give the jurors nor any of the character’s names?

The playwright did not give the jurors or any of the other character’s names because the playwright wanted to give an audience a representation of what the American legal system is like and shows that these people are everyday kind of people that could be on a jury that anyone could be a part of. Also if the playwright would have given the characters’ names then we might relate the name back to someone else we know and may not believe what they say. When we hear a name we think of our past experience with that person and they judge that person based on their name instead of who they are.



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