Almost everyone in America today has seen one of John Hughes’ iconic 1980’s teen movies. From Pretty in Pink, to Ferris Buellers Day Off, these iconic 80’s hits are still viewed as pop culture even two decades after their release. None of John Hughes movies has had as great an impact on society in America as The Breakfast Club. The 1980’s in America were filled with nuclear threats from the Cold War, President Reagan’s war on drugs and an increasing gap in wealth distribution. Even with America experiencing these heightened tensions, American teenagers were able to be more carefree, in a large part due to the draft being over, and worry about “teenage” problems. The Breakfast Club was able to capture this newfound freedom among teenagers as well as the feelings of anxiety, fear, and drama that came with high school. The film showed that one’s parents don’t determine your life, that breaking out of a label is possible, and that the emotions and issues that take place during this period of life aren’t any less important than the ones you face later on. The Breakfast Club by John Hughes was so impactful on 1980’s American culture because it gave hope for social class mobility, fought against the conservative politics of the era, and was one of the first movies to be shot from an accurate teenage perspective.
The 1970’s in America weren’t a time of peace for youth. The Vietnam War was still in full effect until 1975 leaving teenagers approaching 18 with the constant fear of being drafted. Post-Vietnam War was no better for American youth. Heroism and respect for the troops fell greatly due to the disastrous failing of the Vietnam War. One man spoke of his childhood du...
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...o shape future generations of teens.
Beller, Emily and Hout, Michael. “Intergenerational Social Mobility: The United States in Comparative Perspective”. The Future of Children 16, no. 2 (2006): 19-36. Accessed April 9, 2014. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3844789
Gora, Susannah, You Couldn’t Ignore Me If You Tried: The Brat Pack, John Hughes, and Their Impact on a Generation. New York: Crown Publishers, 2010.
Graebner, William. “The Man in the Water”: The Politics of the American Hero, 1970–1985. The Historian, 75 no.4 (2013): 517–543. Accessed April 10, 2014. doi: 10.1111/hisn.12015
Hughes, John. The Breakfast Club. Film. Directed by John Hughes. 1985. LA: Universal Studios, 2008. DVD.
West, Cornel. “The ‘80s. (Cover story).” Newsweek 123, no. 1 (January 3, 1994): 46. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed April 11, 2014).
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