The Breakfast Club Essay Topic
"The Breakfast Club" Character Analysis Essay
1096 Words5 Pages
In the movie The Breakfast Club, five seemingly different adolescents are assigned Saturday detention where they learn that although they each fit a particular stereotype, they all have the same characteristics, but they are expressed differently because they have different experiences, strengths and weaknesses that makes them who they are. In the movie, Bender is the “criminal”, Brian is the “brain” and Allison is the “psychopath.” Each of their situations, strengths and weakness are similar to students that are in our classrooms currently or we may have in our classrooms in the future. For each student it is important to understand their learning differences and as a teacher, how I can use their strengths to help them become…show more content…
Some if not most of Bender’s behavior can be prevented; however, Bender has many strengths, which can be used in the classroom. Some of Bender’s strengths include his perception of social constructs and his leadership ability. In the movie, Bender is able to analyze and vocalize the relationship between his peer’s behavior and their social group and/or home life. This strength could be used in a social studies or science classroom, where analyzing relationships between governments and cultures or habitats and animal behaviors leads students to a greater understanding of how the world works. Bender’s leadership abilities could be used to change the way the school is run by assigning him to a student council position. If he is resistant to joining student council, smaller leadership roles could be assigned within the classroom. For example in group work, Bender could be assigned the judge, editor or the one who organizes and puts all the pieces together. With the assigned role, Bender would need to be given guidance on how a person in this position would behave appropriately.
Unlike Bender, Brian would not need any guidance for proper behavior because he is a “teacher pleaser.” Brian is seen as a “geek,” one who enjoys participating in academic clubs, learning and always follows the rules. Brian’s confidence is linked to his grades, his parent’s perceptions and his peer’s perceptions of him.
The plot follows five students at fictional Shermer High School in the widely used John Hughes setting of Shermer, Illinois as they report for Saturday detention on March 24, 1984. While not complete strangers, the five teenagers are all from a different clique or social group: John Bender (Judd Nelson) "The Criminal"; Claire Standish (Molly Ringwald) "The Princess"; Brian Johnson (Anthony Michael Hall) "The Brain"; Andy Clark (Emilio Estévez) "The Athlete"; and Allison Reynolds (Ally Sheedy) "The Basket Case".
At the start of detention the students are given an assignment by the principal, Mr. Vernon. They are each asked to write a 1000 word essay detailing "who you think you are". Starting out the day the students are mostly silent, as the day progresses they gradually open up to each other and pass the hours in a variety of ways: they dance, harass each other, harass the principal, Mr. Vernon, tell personal stories, argue, draw, smoke marijuana, and put on makeup. Their deep conversations reveal their inner secrets (for example, that Allison is a compulsive liar and Brian and Claire are ashamed of their virginity). They also discover something that they all have in common - strained relationships with their parents and are all afraid of making the same mistakes as the adults around them. However, despite these developing friendships, the students are afraid that back in school on Monday, they will return to their very different cliques and never speak to each other again.
At the request and consensus of the students, Brian is asked to write the essay Mr. Vernon assigned which challenges Mr. Vernon and his preconceived judgments about all of them. Brian does so, but instead of writing about the actual topic he writes a very motivating letter that is, in essence, the main point of the story. He signs the essay as "The Breakfast Club" and leaves it on the table for Mr. Vernon to read when they leave.
It is commonly believed that there are two "versions" of the letter, because the voice over is different between the beginning of the movie and the end. However, this is not the case. It's just the voice over at the beginning of the movie leaves out the ending of the letter, and the ending voice over simply skips over the middle of the letter to get to the point. Over all it's still the same one letter. The beginning of the letter acknowledges that each student also saw themselves as they know the vice principal sees them, and this is refered to as being "brainwashed". The end of the letter informs Mr. Vernon that the students have now realized, over the course of spending this day together, that they each have something of the others in them. Their attitudes and perspectives have changed and are now completely different.
The movie ends as the characters leave detention.