The Breakfast Club

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The Breakfast Club

This paper is an analysis of five dissimilar teenagers representing a cross-section of middle class high school students in the suburbs. The students meet each other for the first time during a Saturday morning detention session. Each student arrived to the school by different means, which is a precursor to determining the type of individual each one is. The group is comprised of a "princess", an "athlete”, a "brain", a "criminal", and a "basket case". These are the roles the students play during the week. Because of typical stereotypes and status levels, at the onset, the students don’t want anything to do each other at the beginning of the detention session. However, once confronted by the controlling principal and realizing they have a whole day to spend together, the students begin to interact.

Once the students start communicating with each other, they realize that they are more alike than unlike. Each one of them has their own issues they are dealing with, they each long for self-acceptance; they all fight against peer pressure; they all desire parental approval. Eventually through the course of the day, they break through the barriers and begin to understand each other and accept each other as well as themselves. The students eventually develop a group identity and call themselves, “The Breakfast Club.”

Claire is the “princess”; an upper-class, popular prom queen who was punished with detention after she ditched classes to go shopping. She enjoys her wealth, but this causes others to envy her. She is a bit shy and doesn’t easily reveal information about herself. She is very insecure with herself because she is not very smart and isn’t athletically inclined which is why she wants to be a part of the “in” crowd at school. She feels neglected by her parents and is yearning for attention from them. She was driven to school for the detention session in a BMW by her father. As he dropped her off he explained to her that this is a strict punishment and perhaps she shouldn’t skip school to go shopping. Bender the “bad boy” on the other hand, is a lower-class young man who is perceived to be a sociopathic criminal; he is desperate for attention at school. This may be due to a lack of attention at home or perhaps abuse. Because of his rebellious nature, Bender finds himself in detention more often than not. Bender wanders up to the school by his own free will. His parents are not shown at all during the film. Andrew the “jock” is a regimented and determined wrestler who wants break free from the athlete role in order to think for himself. His father demands that he succeeds athletically as he doesn’t tolerate losing, he requires Andrew to be No. 1 in his athletic endeavors. His father doesn’t care what Andrew wants in life, he just wants him to win all of his wrestling matches. Andrew was dropped off to the school by his father who was chastising him before dropping him off and explaining that he could potentially lose his athletic scholarship due to his behavior. Brian the “nerd” is a straight - A student who struggles with expectations of high grades. His parents seem to push him to do very well in school. However, he doesn’t have any confidence in himself and relies upon his success in school to motivate him. His self confidence was crushed when he received a failing grade in shop class. He was sent to detention because a teacher found a gun in his locker which he was going to use to kill himself; however, it wouldn’t have worked because it was a flare gun. Brian was dropped off to the school by one of his parents and his younger sister. He was told to get his homework done while in detention. Lastly, Allison the “kook” is an introvert who is ignored by her peers. She is a very quiet girl hardly ever speaking, which makes it difficult for people to understand her. When she does speak, she usually does so in self defense. She longs for attention, in order to receive it; she acts like a...
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