Movie Analysis: The Breakfast Club

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Neima Prabhakar
English 8 CP
Period 2

A Misleading Exterior

In the film, The Breakfast Club (1985), John Bender, the slovenly rebel at Shermer High School in Chicago, is serving a Saturday detention with four very different students. Right from the beginning, Bender exhibits the qualities of a destructive and thoughtless criminal, i.e., he taunts everyone else in order to hide his personal inadequacies. Whenever Bender is questioned by his peers about a personal issue, or whenever he cannot provide a clear answer to a question, he—albeit defensively— responds in a facetious and irritated manner. Bender demonstrated this when Andrew Clark, the "sporto", told him that he did not count, and that "if [he] disappeared forever it wouldn't make any difference." Distraught from Andrew's blunt comment, Bender sarcastically retorted, "Well, I'll just run right out and join the wrestling team..." As time goes on, Bender slowly sheds his rough attitude and starts opening up his true self to the other students.

At first, Bender is a crude ruffian, who no one respects, particularly Mr. Richard Vernon, the disciplinarian at the high school. When all of the students arrive in the library for their detention, Bender—showing no respect for Vernon's rules—is the first to communicate with the rest of them. Bender continually proposes tempting, yet unlawful things to do. However, the other students, who dislike Bender, refuse to listen. As soon as Mr. Vernon leaves the gives the students an essay assignment and departs, Bender becomes very obnoxious. He exhibits his envy and lack of respect towards Claire Standish, a popular girl from a rich family, by referring to her in a profane manner, "Hey [Brian], why don't you close that door… we'll get the prom queen impregnated!" In addition, when Mr. Vernon dashes into the room and accuses Bender of vandalism, he denies everything, and indignantly responds "Eat my shorts." Infuriated, Vernon assigns Bender...
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