In Both 12 Angry men written by Reginald Rose and Montana 1948 written by Larry Watson, achieving justice is of significant importance and outweighs the conflict and difficulties that it often presents. Both texts being set in a post-war America, despite their vast differences in terms of setting, inquire into why justice is important. The diverse views of both texts highlight the value of a just outcome when factors such as personal prejudice and inequality come into play. Both Rose and Watson apprise the audience about the painful consequences of an unjust situation, although the appropriate outcomes in both texts do display the importance of achieving true justice.
Regardless of the challenges faced in both texts justice is important and must be achieved to live in a society with compassionate morals and values. Rose depicts a judicial system that is essentially flawed because of its dependence upon twelve angry white men who possess different views, personalities and personal agendas. This emphasizes how the integrity of the judicial system is undermined when the jurors arrive at the table with their own personal experiences and prejudices where as Watson depicts family feud and how one man ‘Wesley’ is torn apart between justice and family when it comes to forming a resolution. Virtually in both texts justice is clearly seen, but the way it has been used in either texts is most suitable for the time and place of where each novel is set even though they do differ in conflicts. In terms of Montana 1948, the conflict in Wesley is a battle within himself and the difficult choice between serving justice for his community or being loyal to his family. While in 12 angry men the assumption that evidence is more important than the truth is explored and the audience is left with a vague understanding of justice but leaves us answering the idea of that justice is important for a society to live with compassionate morals and values.
Often the individuals who hold a strong sense of morality recognize the importance of justice although the fight for justice is difficult and often cause conflict with others, its importance outweighs its burden. In this case the two text are almost identical where again two men stand against the norm in a pursuit to achieve justice. It is the 8th juror who stands against the odds “The judge won’t accept a hung jury. We haven’t been here long.” It is in this quote when it looks as though the men will never agree on a verdict, some of them start suggesting that they go back to the judge to say they are a hung jury but the 8th juror clearly recognizes that justices need to be served as he has a sense of duty, his willingness to fight for what is right and just. In the same way on how Wesley forms a decision as it is his sense of duty as a county to sheriff to enforce the law and preach justice. Different from the 8th juror Wesley is more conflicted about his position on justice as he has a gradual approach to justice. The sense of struggle in the decision that Wesley fashions clearly identifies his stance on justice. “Are you telling me this because I’m Frank’s brother? Because I’m your husband? Because I’m Marie’s employer? Or because I’m the sheriff?” Even when pushed by other characters to do what morally right Wesley is still very gradual to his pursuit to justice but never the less justice, similar to the 8th juror but instead of gradually creating conflict to achieve justice he most certain of his stance to achieve justice.
Both Watson and Rose construct protagonists that carry out this pursuit of justice, as both characters are seen as symbols of morality. Standing alone to face the ethical problems in both texts. Juror 8 is persistent in his pursuit to justice, during certain points in the arguments of the jurors it is obvious through what they say that peer pressure plays a small part in deciding whether the defendant is innocent or guilty. When the first vote was cast and only one juror voted not guilty he was under intense and hostile scrutiny. The entire group cannot see why he voted not guilty and they simply say, “tell us what you’re thinking and we’ll tell you where you’re all mixed up.” The way I see it they are implying that the defendant is definitely guilty and the juror who voted not guilty is just simply confused. Some of the jurors even vote guilty because they don’t want to be the one who keeps the other jurors from being able to leave. Being the symbol of morality the 8th juror fights for his stance against each juror suggesting that the pursuit of justice is priority. When Wes chooses to look away at the crimes despite overwhelming evidence and moral values, the view of Wes is smeared into a picture of a coward. He is a coward because he couldn’t say no to his father, his brother and to himself. Wes didn’t have the courage to stand up for what was right and what he believed in but being pushed towards justice Wes becomes the symbol of morality. In comparison when faced with a problem the 8th juror begins to proceed with self-acts for his quest for justice where Wesley is slow gradual approach
To achieve justice, there is the innate need for one to claim their own personal biases. When individuals integrate their own personal lives and potential prejudicial views to a case, justice cannot be adhered to.