The Breakfast Club

1084 Words3 Pages
The Breakfast Club (Intercommunications) John Hughes’ 1985 film, The Breakfast Club, gives countless examples of the principles of interpersonal communication. Five high school students: Allison, a weirdo, Brian, a nerd, John, a criminal, Claire, a prom queen, and Andrew, a jock, are forced to spend the day in Saturday detention. By the end of the day, they find that they have more in common than they ever realized. I will begin by selecting a scene from the movie and using it to explain what interpersonal communication is. The interpersonal transaction I chose to isolate was the scene where we see Bender and Claire going through each other’s wallet and purse. Claire inquires about the pictures of girls in Bender’s wallet and Bender asks about the number of items in Claire’s purse. This scene shows that interpersonal communication is a dynamic process. In previous transactions between the two characters, they are hostile towards each other and self-disclose minimally. In this conversation, Claire calmly asks Bender personal questions, although Bender is still watchful of what he self-discloses. Interpersonal communication is inescapable. While Claire is asking these questions, no matter how Bender responds, he is still sending Claire a message about himself, which is a form of communication. Interpersonal communication is unrepeatable, in that Claire probably wouldn’t ask the same kind of questions after realizing Bender’s disbelief in monogamy. The conversation couldn’t be reenacted exactly the same. Interpersonal communication is also irreversible. After this interpersonal transaction, it would be impossible for Bender to argue that he believes in monogamy or for Claire to argue that she doesn’t. Even if they were to say they didn’t mean what they said, the transaction would still have some sort of effect on both of them. Interpersonal communication is complicated because Claire must take everything she knows about Bender in consideration before she forms her questions. When she asks Bender why he doesn’t believe in monogamy and Bender doesn’t respond, Claire doesn’t take into consideration the fact that Bender likes to disclose very little about himself. This scene also shows that interpersonal communication is contextual. If Bender and Claire weren’t in detention together, they wouldn’t even b... ... middle of paper ... ...a nymphomaniac and that she’s had sex with her married psychiatrist on various occasions. She doesn’t assess this as a high-risk self-disclosure because, as she says later, she is a compulsive liar. The only reason she is saying all of these things is for attention. Claire notes her disgust in Allison’s comments, saying, “Do you have any idea how completely gross that is?” and telling her she is crazy. Allison isn’t very surprised by the group’s reaction to her disclosure, since she only said it for the reaction she knew she would get. The film, The Breakfast Club, is an impressive work of art, addressing almost every aspect of interpersonal communication. This is easily seen here, as I’ve gone through and shown how all these principles of interpersonal communication apply to real-life, using only two short interpersonal interactions from the movie. I’ve explained aspects of interpersonal communication, nonverbal communication, verbal misunderstandings, communication styles, gender issues, and self-disclosures. With that said, I believe I have demonstrated my ability to apply principles of interpersonal communication with simulated real-life examples.
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