Free «Teen Angst in Texts» Essay
Teen angst is and has been a popular theme of many books and movies. Almost all of us have come across several movies with the title that spells ‘teenage stuff’. Where some are witty and fun, there are some on the other hand that depict in depth issues and concerns relating to teenagers and give out a rather darker and grave side to their lives. Two such movies that have caught my attention and engaged me are Gil Junger’s “10 Things I Hate About You” and John Hughes’ “The Breakfast Club.” Where one is a funny, and hilarious remake of Taming of the Shrew in the form of a 90’s teenage scenario, the other follows a rather serious theme, but a typical teenage movie nonetheless of the 80’s. There may be a difference of a decade between the two flicks, but the issues are comparable and all the more relevant to parent and teenager relationships, where fathers are highlighted and their impacts upon their children.
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The most vivid and deep relationship shown in both the movies that provokes discussion is that of a father and a teenager. The relationships that are the most obvious in the two movies are those between Kat and Bianca and their father in 10 Things I Hate About You and that between Brian Johnson and his father in The Breakfast Club. In both cases fathers produced immense and strong influence upon the teenagers and force them into doing certain things, from slightly wrong to drastic, but the causes traceable directly to their parent.
In 10 Things I Hate About You, Kat and Bianca’s father has strict rules about his father, and as Kat follows up to his standards as a studios and boyfriend-free daughter, he confines the younger daughter from having one as well. His aim for his daughters is to achieve high standards academically and move ahead in life, while protecting themselves from the evils of the society. When Bianca continually insists on having a boyfriend and the life of a normal teenager, his father conditions her into having one if her elder sister does, knowing that the elder is strict in her own rules and would not deviate. So, he in a way has both his daughter under control. But this confinement pushes the younger daughter into tricking her own sister into getting a date, where she ends up not only fooling her father but also her elder sister.
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Brian Johnson in the Break fast, being a boy does not face this social obligation from his father, whose main concern is towards his studies. He belongs to an upper class society and his father pushes him into achieving higher grades owing to conform to his high social standing. Continuously being outraged by his father into succeeding academically and not accepting any excuses for downfalls, forced Brian to consider suicide as he sees his life as being pushed over and he is heavily agitated.
Where we see a small and witty trickery owing to a father’s forceful rules and obligations, we see a life and death matter in the other. Comparatively, the fathers’ attitudes are justified to an extent and not justified at the other. In 10 Things I hate About You, the father is simply trying to protect his daughters and the measures he takes are justified, as he is only binding his daughters socially but is true to his words nonetheless when he allows the younger daughter Bianca to date when her sister finds a date. Such rules are healthy as they put in slight anger but seldom force a child to take on drastic measures. Whereas on the other hand, having academic forcefulness is also common and justified but the extremism depicted in The Breakfast Club in the case of Brian where he is forced to consider suicide is not justified. Herein lacks the need for understanding in a relationship and an open communication environment.