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The Breakfast Club
Transcript of The Breakfast Club
The Breakfast Club
Analysis of Film Accuracy
How Does "The Breakfast Club" Relate to Psychology
The Basket Case
"The Breakfast Club" directed and written by John Hughes tells the story of five troubled teens that have landed themselves into detention on an early Saturday morning. The story follows each character into revealing their insecurities, faults, and blunders which in turn brings them to work together to survive detention and overall themselves. The story is one of struggle, suffering, and in the end understanding and acceptance,
something which all teens desire.
In "The Breakfast Club", "the criminal", John Bender, most likely has borderline disorder because he has these symptoms:
In the film "The Breakfast Club", several psychological disorders are exemplified through five high school kids that are in detention.
The film teaches us that everyday people who don't have a psychological disorder can still show some signs of having one.
The Breakfast Club is an excellent choice to analyze because it portrays a variety of psychological disorders through 5 teenagers.
We chose this film because we can understand and relate to the struggles of the high school students in "The Breakfast Club", and also because of its classic appeal.
The students in the breakfast club also varied a lot and so it provided us with the ability to analyze a variety of characters whom were each very different from each other.
The disorders portrayed in the film include:
Borderline Personality Disorder
- instability in moods, interpersonal relationships, self-image, and behavior.
Schizotypal Personality Disorder
- peculiarities of thinking, odd beliefs, and eccentricities of appearance, behavior, interpersonal style, and thought.
- uncontrollable impulse to steal (emotional need, not economic).
Narcissistic Personality Disorder
- self-centeredness, seek attention, and praise.
Major Depressive Disorder
- long lasting depressed mood.
The conclusion drawn from The Breakfast Club was that high school is stressful and that within school we are socially stratified which sometimes leads to more stress. Although this story was not made with the purpose of teaching psychological disorders, it did show the public that high school students have some symptoms of personality disorders. The movie’s main goal though, was to make a good movie, not to inform.
A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes. Bender switches between being very nice and wanting to be friends with the other members in detention to being very rude and insulting the others with jokes made about each of their social groups.
Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self. Throughout the movie Bender acts very cool and tough, but when he was brought into a storage closet to be yelled at by the assistant principal the viewer sees that his tough exterior does not agree with his feelings of himself.
Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (sex, substance abuse, etc.). While in detention Bender smoked pot and he also confided in “the princess”, Claire, that he had a lot of meaningless sex.
Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. Bender had been abused by his father and tells the others about his home life, but he avoids relationships with his many girlfriends most likely to avoid being abandoned by them too.
Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (irritability or intense episodic dysphoria). Bender is extremely irritable because very little things shift his mood to a friendly one to a rude one. Throughout the movie Bender quickly changes from discontent and restlessness to being very happy because he also has intense episodic dysphoria.
Chronic feelings of emptiness. Bender experiences emptiness because he has no real relationships. He has no relationship with his abusive father nor with the many girls he sleeps with. *clip of him talking to Claire about many girls he has*
Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fighting). Bender most likely has learned how to deal with his anger from his abusive father. His anger does not seem to be spurred by anything of any importance, but from Bender’s reaction one would think it had. Towards the middle of the film Bender even gets into a fight with “the athlete”, Andrew when Andrew defends Claire.
Brian Johnson plays the stereotypical nerd in The Breakfast Club, and portrays varied symptoms of many different personality disorders. However, he does not portray any of them to the degree necessary to require a diagnosis.
Fragile self-esteem, which
appears to rely heavily upon
Suicidal thoughts (Brian is in
detention for bringing a gun
to school for this purpose).
Susceptible to peer pressure,
as demonstrated when he
smoked with Claire and Bender.
Subjected to parental pressure
to constantly achieve at
a high level in school
Claire Standish is the popular, rich girl in "The Breakfast Club". She meets a lot of the criteria that designates Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Expects to be recognized as superior without a logical reason.
Claire believed she was better than everyone in detention because she was popular and rich.
Believes that she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special/high-status people/institutions.
Claire told Brian that come Monday they would no longer be friends because she was popular and he was a nerd (she was only friends with other popular people).
Requires excessive admiration.
Claire was always seeking the others' attention. She showed them her lipstick trick, complained about her parents, and bragged about her social life.
Lacks empathy; is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.
Claire was mean and thoughtless when she told Brian that they wouldn't be friends after the end of the day because she thought of him as an embarassment.
Believes that others are envious of her.
Claire kept saying that she was so popular that everyone in the school liked her. She thought everyone wanted to be like her.
Allison Reynolds is the crazy one in the group. She is a compulsive liar, a petty thief, and does not appear to be connected with reality at certain points in the film. She shows signs of schizotypal personality disorder and kleptomania.
The movie "The Breakfast Club" accurately portrays social hierarchies as experienced in high school.
However, it is not an accurate portrayal of any of the aformentioned disorders; in order to necessitate the diagnosis of a psychological disorders, patients must experience a certain number of symptoms for a certain severity for extended periods of time.
Since the characters are all functioning enough to form social bonds with one another during their detenion, it is evident that they are not suffering the required level of severity.
However, they do experience some mild symptoms which are identifiable usually only as eccentricities or personality flaws.
Schizotypal- Is when you have high
levels of discomfort in social situations,
visual or mental illusions, and behavoir
that is extremely bizzare.
Kleptomania- is characterized by the
repeated act of stealing useless or
worthless objects for no particular
reason other then to have the items.
Allison portrays both of these disorders throughout the movie. The kleptomania is evident in the clip and the schizotypal is evident throughout the movie in her odd behavoir such as when she is having lunch, or as when she becomes scared and shy when being addressed.