The Breakfast Club as a Healing Myth
Anyone who has ever attended high school can instantly relate to the word “Bully”, whether its memories of being bullied by someone or being the bully yourself. Everyone knows to look out for him, but for the most part, once you have been picked to be the one being bullied, you might as well paint a bull’s-eye on your back. John Bender’s character does precisely that, he’s not exactly friendly with everyone else in the group, but his main target throughout the movie is Claire. The “popular girl” is John’s favorite target because of her lifestyle and upbringing, which reminds him of all the things that are wrong with his life. While picking on Claire, at times he shows some feelings for her but they are mixed in with his general angst towards her. Even with the anger and constant rude remarks towards Claire, John’s character finally “heals” to portray his real feelings towards her in the end.
If one had to portray a bully, John’s character perfectly sets the mould for it. He is instantly hated by the entire group the moment he starts speaking to them because of his general attitude towards everyone. He shows no respect for authority as he starts destroying school property the moment he steps foot into the class room. He has an air of reckless carelessness about him which he portrays through his body language and attire. He makes it very clear to everyone present that he is not looking to make any friends and begins to berate and pick on Claire’s character, whom he has feelings for.
John starts to open up to the group when he reveals his life at home with an abusive father who once burned a cigar on his arm for a simple mistake. But, after Andy’s character calls him out as a liar who is making up the story as part of his charade, he once again shuts everyone down but not before showing the cigar burn he received from his father. During the course of the movie, while harassing Claire for...
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