breakfast

The Breakfast Club

The Breakfast Club take on Movie

breakfast

The Breakfast Club

The Breakfast Club, a movie written and directed by John Hughes, is a movie about five teenagers who have to spend a Saturday in detention together. Each member is very different from each other as they all belong in different school cliques and seem have absolutely nothing in common. Their principle assigns an essay where each student must write about who they believe they are and leaves the teenagers alone for a long period of time. As the hours pass the adolescents begin to reveal some secrets and open up to each other. They all discover that they are not so different after all and share the same fear of making the same mistakes as many adults around them. According to author Kim Gale Dolgin, she describes how adolescents form social structures that start to define who they are within their own social world and/ or against the world of adults as well.

During their stay in detention, the five members start to develop friendships, but they seem to believe that after detention is over they will depart back into their original cliques and never speak again. Adolescents go through stages of personal development over their lifespan and the major task that they face is trying to find identity. They are in search for goals, self-understanding, and sense of unity (Dolgin 2011, p.49).  As the teenagers begin to move away from their parents, their friends, and peers play a important influential role in the importance of belonging, being included, emotional security, as well as status and reputation with motivating factors. The five students in detention represent five different stereotyped groups.

Claire is the popular girl, Brian is the geek, Andrew is the jock, John is the rebel, and Allison is the loner. The confines of high school status groups are what separate each character into a specific category. Stuck in detention, creates a division where each clique can be set aside. “ Self- concept also implies a developing awareness on a person’s part of who and what he or she is. It describes what individuals see when they look at themselves…” (Dolgin 2011, p. 150). Each student knows that they belong in “different worlds”, but as members of the breakfast club they are allowed to move beyond these social norms and distinctions. They intermingle with one another, learn details of their lives setting aside all the stereotypes, and finding commonalities.

According to the stages of Kohlberg’s stages of moral development, these five teenagers seem to being in level two, conventional stage: Social norms and the good boy/ good girl attitude.  They enter detention filling in their own individual social roles as they each believe they are perceived by others. As they begin to learn about each other, I believe that they begin to move into the Post- conventional stage that is marked by the realization that individuals are separate entities from society, and some individual’s perception may be conflicting with societies principles. In the film, Brian was asked to write an essay asking who you think you are. Instead of writing on this topic he writes to the teacher that he has already judged who each adolescent was and that they will not accept anything different. I believe that this is a stage six, Universal ethical principal act, because it reasons that they commit to justice (detention), but with an obligation to disobey unjust laws (the essay).

As the movie comes close to its end, they make as seem as though the adolescents have gone through an experience like no other that has changed their perspectives about others and their cliques. It is still unsure that they will stay in contact after detention, but when Bender puts on Claire’s earring it seems assume so.

Categories: Think Growth