Human behavior can sometimes be understood from varied perspectives. 12 Angry Men and The Invisible War are films that provide a broad converse over which a number of social issues can be understood. Social life in every society comes with its own challenges with respect to the manner in which norms and regulations are established. Both of the movies have a basis from different set ups; hence, their understanding can only be understood from the context where they are set up. Although the films are drawn from different set ups, aspects of human behavior analysis can still be ensured.
The film, 12 Angry Men, is classical of what human behavior can turn out to be (Lumet, 1957). The whole concept of the movie has all to do with interrelations within the society. From the relationships, it is possible to understand the focal point of human behavior. A young boy is accused of murdering the father in a rather unprecedented manner. When the boy is presented in a court of law, confusion arises as to how the verdict is to be passed. While the judge is seemingly out of touch with the case, the juror is expected to come up with a verdict that is expected to set the young boy free or indict him. From the arguments from the juror, it is possible to understand human behavior from their actions. Henry Fonda, who is one of the jurors, votes otherwise not to charge the boy.
Jack warden is for the boy being jailed claiming that who in the real sense feels that delaying the verdict is a waste of time. Begley argues that people from the ghetto are bound to be criminals. From the point of view of the three jurors, the Theory of Attribution plays out (Stets et al. 304). Both of the jurors try to bring their understanding as to how they understand the boy. Personal attribution has all to do with how one understands or perceives a given phenomenon. The young boy is understood from different perspectives and drawing a conclusion becomes a challenge in the sense that it becomes difficult to harmonize the perceptions of the three to come up with a conclusive judgment. Henry Fonda is disturbed and offers a number of arguments as to reason why the boy should not be jailed. One thing is possible from the point of view of juror Henry Fonda.
Self-affirmation Theory can perhaps explain the reason as to why the juror is disturbed. The juror seems to be seeking to protect his image that could perhaps be at stake (Breckler, 263). In essence, the disagreement is as a result of the fact that Henry Fonda has his reputation to protect and maybe, feels condemning the boy could prove a mess to his reputation. However, Henry Fonda could be right in his arguments when he notes that relying on two witnesses should not be enough reason to pass judgment. Henry argues that the issue surrounding the boy is nothing, but circumstantial. The arguments by Henry, make almost every juror have a second thought concerning the case. Juror three, however, brings an interesting turn of events. While he is for the boy being guilty, he is disturbed about passing of the judgment. In fact, he tears a photo of him and his son, and changes the guilt vote for being innocent. From this point of view, it can be said that the juror had issues with the son, and this could perhaps have been because of sudden change of heart. Circumstances can sometimes influence decisions. Juror three who seems to be in a struggle with the son sees the young boy who is presumed guilty to having had some rough times with the father. He cannot, therefore, independently verify or rely on the witnesses for the sake of passing judgment.
The movie, 12 Angry Men, brings into the picture what human behavior can sometimes turn to be. While the boy could be guilty, an individual’s thought and reasoning set the boy free in an unprecedented manner. The events in the film are nothing but a direct reflection of what happens in the society today. The jurors have an obligation to pass on a verdict that is neither controversial nor injurious to the boy. Objectivity and subjectivity necessary for passing out the verdict. Henry Fonda does not seem to look at the two sides of the coin. Henry is one sided and maintains that the circumstantial evidence cannot be used to pass on a verdict. In essence, subjectivity prevails over objectivity. The boy could be a murderer as the witnesses stated, or the story could be a little bit different (Zastrow, 30). Other people’s perceptions can influence other people’s behavior in a big way. When Henry argues his points out, the other jurors change their verdict is not considering the situation. It passes the jurors that the boy could be guilty. This shows that human behavior can be influenced by different circumstances based on given perceptions.
The Invisible War, though in different set ups provide a basis for which human behavior can be understood (Kirby, 2012). This movie provides a broad converse over which a number of issues can be drawn. One of such things relates to the sexual assaults that the disciplined force has had to deal with over the time in service. Justice is elusive to the people who are cannot find a basis for a fair hearing. Consequently, the survivors in the movie go through undue prejudice that, in fact, leaves them in an awkward situation. The members who are in need of emotional support do not find the much needed support. The predicaments of the soldiers are as a result of human behavior. When the soldiers tell their story, it is evident that the society in which they are in does not recognize the essence of human wellbeing. A sexual assault victim can easily turn to be aggressive especially when nothing is done to help deal with the situation.
Frustration-aggression Theory best explains this situation. When people are frustrated to some extent, they develop aggressive tendencies to the extent that they go beyond the prescribed norms (Kornblum, 12). This is characteristic of the movie ‘The Invisible War’ where people have a number of things to complain about and rightfully. When the soldiers are not able to get justice for the assaults, and other issues that they have had to go through, may take the law into their hands and revenge against an unjust system. A society in which this movie is set up is one that does not take into considerations the essence of a just system. In this context, Social – Exchange Theory cannot possibly prevail in the sense that there is no exchange of any sought. The essence of human interaction is based on mutual benefits between individuals or groups. This is to minimize cost. The movie provides a totally different picture (Dillon, 236). While the assault victims expect to benefit from the society in terms of justice being served to them, they get oppressed and denied the right to seek what is lawful. Kori Cioca, who is one of the victims in this movie, helps the audience understand their predicament. Cioca talks of her struggles and pain to gain her benefits from the welfare wing of the veterans. This makes the audience understand the unresponsive nature of the department of defense (Zastrow, 80).
When human beings are oppressed in one-way or the other, they tend to be less responsive and uneasy. When Cioca engages the services of an attorney named Susan, it is clear that the push has come to shove not just for her, but the victims. Seeking justice can only imply that the victims are not for aggression, but for peaceful and amicable solution to the problems. This portrays the soldiers as people who are responsible and ready to seek justice. Human behavior can sometimes be understood from the actions. Intentions form the basis of analysis in such circumstances. The intention of Cioca is to seek just for her and the rest who may be voiceless. When past incidences are replayed in the movie such as Tailhook scandal and the infamous Aberdeen scandal, it becomes informative to note that the department of defense carries its operations in impunity and disregard of the law.
The military department that takes care of the welfare of the soldiers seems not to understand the factors that influence human behavior. When the veterans have issues of concern, and them are brushed away, it brings out a characteristic of a group that is not considerate and irresponsible in handling the affairs of the people. In essence, it can be noted that there are some societies that do not recognize the essence of a just system. Research has shown that a system that is not just bears anarchy into the society. The movie, The Invisible War, brings into the picture how groups of people suffer in the society due to unwarranted behaviors of humans. From the sexual cases in the movie, it can be concluded that women still struggle to get through societies that are male dominated (Zastrow, 99). The military would ordinarily have men as leaders. A sexual case would, therefore, not find the light of the day since the main accomplices are the ones occupying the offices. The justice system as showcased in this movie is a mirage to some extent.
The two movies are indicative of how a society can turn out to be. Some societies have structures that have proper structures that ensure justice while others have, but do not take into recognizing the essence of a moral system. The two movies, The Invisible War and 12 Angry Men, bring out the theme of human behavior in different perspectives. Though the set ups may be different, humans have almost similar nature of behavior. In understanding people’s attitudes, perceptions and actions, theories such as attribution, frustration-aggression, self-affirmation and social exchange help in understanding people and their society. Although the films are drawn from different set ups, aspects of human behavior analysis can still be ensured through different theories.
Breckler, Steven J, James M. Olson, and Elizabeth C. Wiggins. Social Psychology Alive. Belmont, Calif.: Thomson/Wadsworth, 2006. Print.
Dillon, Michele. Introduction to Sociological Theory: Theorists, Concepts, and Their Applicability to the Twenty-First Century. Chichester, U.K: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. Print.
Kirby, Dick. (2012). The Invisible War. An investigative documentary about the epidemic of rape of soldiers within the US military. Film.
Kornblum, William, and Carolyn D. Smith. Sociology in a Changing World. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2011. Print.
Lumet, Sidney. (1957). 12 Angry Men. Movie directed by Reginald Rose.
Stets, Jan E, and Jonathan H. Turner. Handbook of the Sociology of Emotions. New York, NY:
Springer, 2007. Print.
Zastrow, Charles, and Karen K. Kirst-Ashman. Understanding Human Behavior and the Social
Environment. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning, 2010. Print.