Sample English Essays on Prejudices and Stereotypes

Prejudices and Stereotypes

In the U.S. it is not uncommon for ‘trial by jury’ to send a person in prison because of his or her background. The jurors are entrusted by the law to not only represent people but also to uphold the constitution and ensure that justice prevails. However, at times that process is undermined by prejudiced jurors. Prejudice is widespread in the society. In the movies, ‘Twelve Angry Men’ and ‘The Tale’ it is evident that prejudice subverts the justice process. At people tasked with the responsibility of delivering justice in different spheres of society fail todo so because of various forms of prejudice.

In ‘Twelve Angry Men’, prejudice hinders the judicial process as exemplified by the third juror. In act one, page 8, the first paragraph, the third juror says, “…It’s the kids. The way they are—you know? They don’t listen. (Bitter) I’ve got a kid…” and continues, “…when he was fifteen he hit me in the face. He’s big, you know. I haven’t seen him in three years. Rotten kid!”. He expresses his disdain for the person on trial. Additionally,  the juror allows his emotions that guide his opinion of the “’kid’ to cloud his verdict and undermine the judicial process in the process. Later, he tries to settle for the slightest hint of the ‘kids’ guilt to  deliver a guilty verdict and consequently send him to prison without further deliberation. Additionally, he unreasonably tries to convince the the court that the ‘kid’ on trial is a delinguent, contrary to his duty as a juror. He says on page nine, “We all know what it looks like. I don’t see why we have to look at it again.” Moreover, in act 2 page 12, he states “What do you mean? There are no secrets in here! I know who it was…”. From the quotes, he says he knows with absolute certainty the facts of the case and that there was no reason to go through them again. He bases his opinions on the assumption that all kids are equally as bad as his. Therefore, heallows this prejudice to inhibit the legal process, which is immoral.

The fourth juror inhibits the legal process by expressing prejudice based on an assumption about slumsdwelling children. The juror states, “…let’s say he’s a product of a filthy neighborhood and broken home. We can’t help that. We’re not here to go into the reasons why slums are breeding grounds for criminals. They are. I know it. So do you. The children who come out of slum backgrounds are potential menaces to society.” From this statement, the juror makes his verdict based on the misconception that all children who are born and bred in the slums are a hazard to the society. He does not want to investigate further and analyze other angles such as considering that the accused may be innocent despite hailing from a slum (Rose, 56). His thought process is a product of prejudice and thus hinders the judicial process.

The seventh juror in ‘Twelve Angry Men’ wants to leave the room early enough to watch a movie. He says he needs to leave to watch it because nearly everyone else has, “This better be fast. I‘ve got tickets to The Seven Year Itch tonight. I must be the only guy in the whole world who hasn’t seen it yet.” Indeed, he considers the picture more vital than the life of the person on trial, an unbecoming behavior of a person charged with the responsibility of administering justice to both accused party and plaintiffs by the constitution. He even says that he will not change his mind even in a hundred years, “…because I voted fast? I think the guy’s guilty. You couldn’t change my mind if you talked for a hundred years.” Because of his misplaced priority, he concludes that the person on trial is guilty based on a hunch, without critically analyzing the facts of the casethereby impeding the justice process.

The tenth juror also impedes the judicial process by allowing his misconception guide his decision-making process. On page 5, “You’re not going to tell us that we’re supposed to believe him, knowing what he is. I’ve lived among ‘em all my life. You can’t believe a word they say,” meaning that the low income neighbourhoods’ children are not to be trusted and qualifies his argument by saying he has experienced their untrustworthiness. By doing so, he lets his beliefs his ability to analyze the facts of the case  before drawing conclusions, thereby obstructing the lawful process (Rose, 112).

In ‘The Tale’ by Joseph Conrad, the Commander of a ship undermines the judicial process by reacting to an incident without having all the facts. The Commander is a British Naval Commander with the authority of determining the guilt or innocence of the people accused of violating Britain’s neutrality in the 1st World War.. The commander and his second-in-command discover a suspicious object floating on the sea and conclude that it is an enemy or rogue ship supplying an enemy submarine. The commander instructs his men to confront the occupants of the ship without ensuring that the people on board the vessel are enemies.. In this aspect, the commander impedes the judicial process by failing to analyze the situation and ascertain the facts of the case as his duty requires. The commander and his assistant fail to conduct a thorough investigation of the situation at hand rather discusses it between themselves and decide. “The commanding officer and his second in command discussed the object with understanding. It appeared to them to be not so much a proof of the sagacity as of the activity of certain neutrals. This activity had in many cases taken the form of replenishing the stores of certain submarines at sea.” This quote ascertains that the commander and his assistant made a decision entirely based on the maritime situation of the world at that moment. The two jumped to a conclusion,

Also, the commanding officer out ofparanoia , believes that the coaster might be responsible for feeding infernal submarine despite otherwise counsel from his inferior. “What if she were the very ship which had been feeding some infernal submarine or other?” and also, “…you were right! They were holding their breaths as we passed them. They were.” These two quotes show that the commander had developed theopinionthat the Northman and his coaster-mates had violated the neutrality of the 1st World War despite his second-in-command advising him otherwise, “But the second in command had his doubts now. ‘” A fog like this does muffle small sounds, sir,’”. The commander seems to be making decisions based on his beliefs without considering the process of the law, the judicial process. His hastened actions and misinformed beliefs impede the implementation of a proper judicial process.

Finally, the commander sends the Northman and his crew to their demise despite not knowing the truth and remaining impervious to the pleas for justice of the Northman and his crew. The commanding officer ignored the voices of reason of the occupats of the coaster, “The commanding officer listened to the tale. It struck him as more plausible than simple truth is in the habit of being. But that, perhaps, was prejudice.” The commander reached his decision based on fear and suspicion and preconseptions,The decision to let the Northman and his crew die despite not being sure of their guilty of the crime are accused of indicate the commander’s impediment of the judicial process..

The two books, ‘Twelve Angry Men’ and ‘The Tale’ depict situations whereby prejudice blocked the practice of legal processes. just as in the case of the juror and commander some people in positions of power in the contemporary world often fail to uphold their judicial duties of ensuring just trials.  at times, they do so out of prejudice. It is important that justice prevails in society, otherwise there is no need to have judicial systems. such behavior encourages delinquency among those who are rarely victims of social prejudice, because of  the low chances of facing repercusions for their deeds.

Work cited

Rose, Reginald, and Steven Price. Twelve Angry Men. , 2016. Internet resource