The Breakfast Club was a movie about five very different characters, Claire, Andrew, Brian, Allison, and John Bender. Claire was a popular girl, Andrew was a wrestler (jock), Brian was intellectually gifted, Allison was a basket case, and John Bender was a rebel. On the outside they seem like very different people, in fact they were all socially opposite, but they also shared so much.
As the movie starts out, the five teenagers are being punished with Saturday detention; their assignment for the next eight hours was to right a paper entitled “Who Am I?” Their most probable assumption was from them to write about their achievements. Being students in America, we are all raised to excel at whatever we do, whether it be at grades, wrestling, or being popular. Since “they judged themselves by what they do and achieve, their self-identities depend upon their achievements,” (Kimball and Leidich page three). This leads to competitiveness, envy, jealously, and greed. Bender was jealous of Claire social status and of her leading “a better life” and to react to that he yelled at her and over-exaggerated the truth. He judged her by material possessions (earrings) and by social standings (prom queen), and he judged himself against her and that led to him wanting what she has (earrings and virginity). First he tried being more competitive with her by calling her names and putting her down so that he could seem higher and “cooler” than her. Then he became envious and jealous of her, wanting what she had. This two then lead to greed. Fortunately for the both of them, they got beyond the achievements and fell in love. They learned to judge each other by the quality of their relationships and their lives. On the outside, Andrew thought that Brian had a pretty good life. He had both good, loyal friends and great grades, something he could possibly be envious of. It appears that Brian had great friends that did not judge him for what he did, but who he was. Brian wanted to hang out with the cool people, but he knew his social class. Possibly, he used a flare gun to kill himself because he felt that was the way his clique functioned and that would make his death more appealing to the popular. Alison felt that she needed someone to talk to. This is why she showed up. She was ignored by her parents and probably felt that anyone was good enough to ...
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...t he couldn’t think for himself. When he did, he liked Brian and Alison, but his clique requirement is probably not to be involved with them. Brian’s relationships don’t have a cost of belonging; he and any new friends are probably welcomed all the time without a requirement. Bender, though he does not admit it, has a cost of belonging also. His friends would reject Brian in fear of him “telling” or something along that line. Claire told him that even his clique had requirements. She said that he if they were saw by his friends walking down the hallway, he would say that he’s having sex with her.
I thought that he film helped a lot with the text. Without the movie, the material would be very dry and hard to understand. The movie gave examples of everything so far in the text. It gave examples of the hierarchy of needs (like Bender still needing safety need before belongingness and love); the types of fear (rejection with Claire and a mask; failure with Brian and overachieving; and pain and suffering with Andrew and his making fun of and torturing the innocent); last, addiction with Bender and Alison with the way they are always, at school and at home.
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