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An Analysis of The Breakfast Club

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Krista Collins

on 12 May 2014

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Transcript of An Analysis of The Breakfast Club

The stereotypes in
The Breakfast Club
are seen in the characters and the social groups they are a part of. These stereotypes are conveyed through the clothes they wear and the way they act. The stereotypes also represent how the members of the Breakfast Club see one another in the beginning of the movie.
The Breakfast Club
The Breakfast Club
is set in Shermer, Illinois on March 24, 1984. Five high school students from Shermer High School are required to report for a Saturday detention. The school's principal, Mr. Vernon, gives them an assignment to write an essay about what they did to get into detention and "who they think they are." The students are strangers, each coming from a different social group, but throughout the day they open up to each other and realize they are not as different as they originally thought.
The Breakfast Club
is a movie that falls into the Comedy/Drama type of entertainment media.
Cultural Values
The Breakfast Club
appeals to the cultural values of idealism, family, and fear.
All of the characters face the fear of rejection from both their parents and their peers. This is part of the reason each character isolates him or herself to a specified "clique" or stereotype. The characters also fear that their friendships made within the Breakfast Club will not continue outside of detention. They fear that the differences of their social groups are great enough to keep them apart.
Idealism plays a major role in the plot of the movie. Each character struggles internally with a need to be perfect in the eyes of their parents and their peers. They turn to extreme measures if they feel they have not achieved this perfection, whether it is academic, social, or athletic. For example, Brian tries to commit suicide after getting an F in a class.
Each character in the movie constantly worries about their parents' view of them. This worry is reflected by the way each character acts and their personality. For example, Andrew bullies a weaker boy to impress his father. In this way, family trouble is a main part of the movie's plot. The characters also voice their dread of becoming their parents when they're older and the inevitability of this fact.
An Analysis of
The Breakfast Club

"The Brain"
Brian is considered "The Brain" in the Breakfast Club. He follows the stereotype of being a "nerd". He wears high-waisted jeans and a too-small sweatshirt (Camacho). Brian wears practical clothing that is not seen as trendy in the high school which shows his dorky image (Yokoyama et al.) He has a balanced nutritional lunch, and Bender associates this with him being a perfect nerdy child who has a loving mother who still packs his lunch for him. It is also assumed that because he is the "brain," he will write everyone's essay ("The Breakfast Club").
"The Princess''
Claire is seen as "The Princess" of the Breakfast Club. She follows the stereotype of a "prom queen." She wears a pastel shade of pink , a skirt, earrings, and bangle bracelets (Camacho). Claire's clothing is very stylish for the era. Because of her high social standing, she feels that she must keep up with the trends to remain popular in the eyes of her social group and the rest of the school (Yokoyama et al.). Brian describes her behavior as conceited because she is popular and looks down on those under her on the social hierarchy ("The Breakfast Club").
"The Criminal"
Krista Collins
Bender is considered "The Criminal" of the Breakfast Club. He follows the stereotype of a "troublemaker." Bender wears ripped jeans, work boots, a thermal shirt, a plaid over-shirt, and a torn flannel (Camacho). His layers of disheveled clothing suit his tough, rebellious attitude. He is physically abused at home, and his clothes are a method of hiding the evidence so he is not seen as weak or given any sympathy (Yokoyama et al.). Bender's personality is described as aggressive and disrespectful ("The Breakfast Club"). This personality is primarily seen in the way he treats Mr. Vernon, the principal.
"The Basket Case"
Allison is portrayed as "The Basket Case" of the Breakfast Club. She follows the stereotype of a "weirdo." She wears a long black skirt, a dark cardigan, an oversized jacket, and a scarf (Camacho). She dresses in dark colors and baggy shapes because she does not have confidence in herself. She also wears heavy eye makeup and has a thick fringe that partially covers her face. Her clothing shows her shyness and social difficulty (Yokoyama et al.). Allison is a compulsive liar and also reveals she is only in detention because she "had nothing better to do" ("The Breakfast Club"). Her strange behavior throughout the movie emphasizes her role as a "social outcast."
"The Athlete"
Andrew is seen as "The Athlete" of the Breakfast Club. He follows the stereotype of a "jock." His clothes are typical of a preppy, all-American high school jock. He wears his letter-man jacket as a status symbol to show his superiority among the other students. He also wears a Nike sports shirt to show off his athleticism by wearing a popular brand (Yokoyama et al.). Andrew shows a lot of frustration and aggression toward Bender to make himself appear more tough. He also defends Claire, the popular girl, because he relates to her in a social perspective.
Media Tools and Techniques
The Breakfast Club
uses the techniques of camera angles and music to tell the story and to create dramatic representations of reality.
Camera Angles
Camera angles are defined as the different positions from which a scene is recorded to create different effects.
Camera angles in
The Breakfast Club
-Inside the library, the camera shots are mostly downward on the kids to show the superiority of the principal.
-When the kids get together, the camera points at them equally to show that, despite their social standings, they are essentially equal in worth.
-In the end, the camera angle is upward at Bender when he throws his arm in the air to declare victory. This victory is both the conquering of the stereotypes and the end of the principal's power over him at the end of detention.

The Breakfast Club
is often associated with the song "Don't You (Forget About Me)" by Simple Minds. Two of the most prominent lyrics from the song are "Don't you forget about me" and "As you walk on by will you call my name?". These lyrics refer to the world outside detention and "The Breakfast Club." There is a question about the future and whether or not the friendships formed in detention will last or be broken by the social groups within the high school.
A Breaking of the Stereotypes
By the end of the movie, each character's true personalities are revealed. Through this it is discovered that, although each student represents a different social group, they are all going through the same problems as teenagers. Each student fulfills every stereotype in some way, and collectively, they realize their "labels" can be broken by their own willpower. This idea is summarized in a quote shown at the beginning of the film:
A Breaking of the Stereotypes continued
In the last scene of
The Breakfast Club
, Brian reads the essay he wrote to represent all the members of the Breakfast Club. It is in this essay every member is given their defining nickname. It is shown that while each student represents a different clique, together they form the Breakfast Club ("The Breakfast Club").
Works Cited
"The Breakfast Club."
The Breakfast Club
. Word Press, 23
Feb. 2013. Web.
Camacho, Lauren. "Reviews."
High-school Stereotypes of
'The Breakfast Club'.
N.p., 14 Sept. 2006. Web.
Frank, Rob. "The Breakfast Club Analysis."
Film Analysis
and Interpretation
. N.p., 10 Apr. 2013. Web.
Yokoyama, Alicia, Bella Gibb, Gemma Gardiner, Jaime
Worboys, and Maddy Gilbert. "The Breakfast Club." The Breakfast Club. Word Press, 15 Sept. 2013. Web.
The Breakfast Club. Dir. John Hughes. Perf. Emilio
Estevez, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald. 1985. Universal, 2003. DVD.
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