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Film: The Breakfast Club Essay

1264 words - 5 pages

The movie The Breakfast Club was released in 1985, and is based on a group of five high school students from stereotypical cliques; the popular, jock, nerd and the outcasts, who all wind up stuck together for Saturday detention. Throughout the movie many themes present themselves such as teenage rebellion, peer pressure and family issues as the students get to know each other. The most prominent theme throughout the movie is the student’s placement in the social structure of the school. From the very different reasons why they are in detention to the way that they are all treated differently by the principle, their social placement is evident.
In the movie, the principle asks the students to each write a 1,000 word essay on who they think they are as a person. By the end of the day, they decided instead of each writing their own paper they would have Brian, the nerd of the group to do it for all of them. In the essay, he stated, “We think you’re crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us, in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions.” This quote is significant because even though they spent the entire day getting to know each other, they all know that they’ll still be labeled as how everyone else sees them. Also, they realized they were comfortable in the social statuses they are in and rely heavily on these labels to make it through high school because to get others to see them differently they would have to get to know everyone who has labeled them previously. This can be related to the socioeconomic structure of America because many people are defined solely by their placement in social classes and they rely on their status for many situations in life.
There are different categories of Upper Class in the American society today. These categories include athletes, celebrities, people who work their way up to the top and people who inherit their status from people around them or family members. It is very similar to high school with the jocks, the popular kids, the people who climb themselves up the social ladder, and the people who just happen to fall into popularity. Many times with people of the Upper Class, they believe that they can get away with anything by either paying someone off to not suffer the consequences, or whoever does find out will just brush it under the table because of who they are. Similarly, Claire, the popular one, is in Saturday detention because she got caught skipping class to go shopping. She thought that her dad would have the power to get her out of detention but he didn’t. This mirrors how members of the Upper Class will often pay their way out of a lawsuit or legal issues because they have the ability to do so. Also, Andy who is the jock in the movie is in detention because he “taped Larry Lester’s buns together,” and he thought that he wouldn’t have to face detention because he was a varsity athlete. This can be compared to professional...

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