The Breakfast Club was a movie about five very different characters, Claire, Andrew, Brian, Allison, and John Bender. Claire was a popular girl, Andrew was a wrestler (jock), Brian was intellectually gifted, Allison was a basket case, and John Bender was a rebel. On the outside they seem like very different people, in fact they were all socially opposite, but they also shared so much.
As the movie starts out, the five teenagers are being punished with Saturday detention; their assignment for the next eight hours was to right a paper entitled “Who Am I?” Their most probable assumption was from them to write about their achievements. Being students in America, we are all raised to excel at whatever we do, whether it be at grades, wrestling, or being popular.
Since “they judged themselves by what they do and achieve, their self-identities depend upon their achievements,” (Kimball and Leidich page three). This leads to competitiveness, envy, jealously, and greed. Bender was jealous of Claire social status and of her leading “a better life” and to react to that he yelled at her and over-exaggerated the truth. He judged her by material possessions (earrings) and by social standings (prom queen), and he judged himself against her and that led to him wanting what she has (earrings and virginity). First he tried being more competitive with her by calling her names and putting her down so that he could seem higher and “cooler” than her. Then he became envious and jealous of her, wanting what she had.
This two then lead to greed. Fortunately for the both of them, they got beyond the achievements and fell in love. They learned to judge each other by the quality of their relationships and their lives. On the outside, Andrew thought that Brian had a pretty good life. He had both good, loyal friends and great grades, something he could possibly be envious of. It appears that Brian had great friends that did not judge him for what he did, but who he was.
Brian wanted to hang out with the cool people, but he knew his social class. Possibly, he used a flare gun to kill himself because he felt that was the way his clique functioned and that would make his death more appealing to the popular. Alison felt that she needed someone to talk to. This is why she showed up. She was ignored by her parents and probably felt that anyone was good enough to talk to. Fortunately, she found Andrew, a man who would not give up on her and this is exactly what she wanted.
So, naturally, she fell in love with him. Perhaps the one quality that unites everyone is that they all have trouble with their parents. Claire’s problem is that she is used as a weapon to the other “spouse” of her parents and the only way she can escape that destiny is to be with friends as much as possible, liking going to the mall and doing other stuff that she has built up in her mind of being cool. Bender was hated by his parents and probably was an “accident.” The way his parents treated him built up this image of himself in his mind that was negative; and therefore, made him negative. Brian was pushed to over achieve by his parents and so when he finally got an “F” he thought that it was the end of the world, when in fact he most likely doesn’t care.
He does not think for himself, he thinks, “What are my parents going to think?” Andrew thinks the same way. He stated openly that he does not care if he wins or loses, and that he sometimes wishes that his leg would give so that he would not have to wrestle anymore. Last, Alison was ignored by her parents; forcing her to think that everyone must ignore her.
All of the characters in the movie show fear of rejection. Andrew, fearing rejection from his father, hurt another student mentally and physically because he believed that what his father would want. Brian shows the fear of rejection also in that he thinks that his “F” .