The film The Breakfast Club is an ensemble work that provides an exploration of how group mentality and individual growth can sometimes come in conflict, showing that social and peer group behavior is not always reflective of individual personality and growth. The following paper will explore the different ways that the film expresses the experience of adolescent growth and development. The Breakfast Club, one of the best artistic expressions of the adolescent experience, is a film that uses conflict and tension to explore the experience of growing up in America and living the adolescent experience.
The film is an example of how peer group experiences influence the development of personal ideals and behaviors. Identity The Breakfast Club begins with a narrated statement written by Michael Anthony Hall’s character, Brian Johnson, who represents students who are considered to be ‘geeks’, ‘nerds’, or ‘brains’, depending on how weaker looking, but more intelligent students were categorized in any given high school. His statement is as follows: Saturday, March 24,1984. Shermer High School, Shermer, Illinois, 60062. Dear Mr. Vernon, We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong.
What we did *was* wrong. But we think youre crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. What do you care? You see us as you want to see us - in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. You see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal. Correct? Thats the way we saw each other at 7:00 this morning.
We were brainwashed (IMDB) This statement sets up the premise of the film as the students begin by dismissing each other as being nothing more than representative of a series of stereotypes. The beginning of the film explores the way in which they see each other through their affiliation with other students of a similar type who are categorized according to similar aspects of the physical appearance as it connected to similar interests. Truths begin to emerge about the way in which each student individualizes their experiences within the social group in which they are identified.
The students become divided into two groups; with John Bender remaining on the outside of those groups similar to his classification of criminal would place him outside of societal. Molly Ringwald’s character, Claire Standish and Emilio Estevez’s character Andrew Clark represent the more powerful groups in the high school atmosphere.
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