Free «The Breakfast Club» Essay
The movie under analysis The Breakfast Club is a perfect source to investigate the process of development of human relationship between people of different social layers and status and see how they develop and act in various life situations. The movie plot is full of action and the events depicted in it are very dynamic what gives a good chance to observe the human behavior from the best angle.
It is a general knowledge that social community has a lot of segments that are formed unintentionally by human behavior, but people tend to belong to a specific class which has more things in common with his or her inner state. These classes usually form a pleasant community to spend free time inside of them, and to be easily understood by other representatives of this group. The question emerges that what are the main factors that cause a person to join this or that particular social segment? Is a person free to choose a group to belong or is it a matter of circumstances and the social status of one’s family? Is there a chance for a person to be in some certain group but not to belong to it and to be under the social pressure that makes a person to be not against the general thinking, but controversial to his own idea of the things in this world?
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The events of the film can help to see and understand the actions of people that became members of different social groups and became friends thanks to the situation that occur to them. It is interesting to mention that the movie reveals the most common types among the high school students like the Princess, the Criminal, the Brain, the Jock and the Kook.
Five students have the most significant features that are characteristic and common for the representatives of these groups. The most beautiful girl in school that is popular among the boys and, which is the idol to all the rest of girls is under constant pressure of her popularity. At the same time she has problems inside her family what makes it a common feature for all the rest four students. The clever boy is the one who is under direct influence of his school grades and his parents’ control. Kids of this group usually suffer constant humiliating on the part of other schoolchildren.
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Not all of them can think about his inner worries and his constant fear of non-satisfactory grade that will lead to the absence of scholarship. Another character is a sportsman who fights for his honors and wants to be appreciated by his father. He is under the strong influence of his father’s reputation and his constant directions about how the boy has to act and how should he become famous and make laugh on other people who are weaker. The second girl is like very traditional lonely person who is ignored by everyone. Her parents do not pay her any attention and she is so pale and “grey mouse” at school that nobody will pay attention to that fact that she would suddenly disappear from their life. Such people are usually in the group of risk for suicidal actions or rather escape from their home in search of the place where at least somebody would need them.
This is usually parents’ fault that they decided that their child does not need their attention and protection anymore. The only thing that might help is that she would have new friends that can discuss her problems and would be interested in helping her and solving her problems. School authorities usually think that such quiet kids would do no harm to themselves neither to the surrounding people, but such kids are shouting about a huge problem in their life by such behavior, and they simply need somebody to talk the whole situation through and “see the light in the end”.
The last, fifth boy is the brightest representative that is common and “obligatory” character at almost every school or college or university. This kid is very active and tends to act as a criminal performing these little harms like tearing books and smoking and arguing with the school’s principle. This guy is brave and likes to rebel everything and always to be out of the common rules and break everything. He likes to provoke everybody around him and is afraid to show his inner world and to disclose his kind part of his sole that he considers to be his weak side.
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The situation combined these different and totally not resembling each other people in one group, the so-called Breakfast Club where they had to write a composition about themselves. In the very beginning they had nothing to tell about them, they were against each other and argued all the time. But at the end of the movie they became the best friends, opened their souls to each other, found common features in themselves and decided to be kinder to each other and to find the possibilities to keep up their friendship even under their constant pressure from the side of their social groups they belonged earlier. It is possible to see how the term cognitive dissonance can be applied to the situation and to the particular events of the movie as well as to see the phenomenon of groupthink and deindividuation.
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The phenomenon of cognitive dissonance emerges in the case when an individual has information on any issue, and is forced to ignore it when making a decision. As a consequence, there is a dissonance between plans and thoughts, and the real human actions. As a result of this behavior definition systems of a person change and this change can be justified on the grounds that a person is vital to maintain the consistency of his knowledge. So people are willing to justify their mistake: the people who have committed misconduct or error prone to justify themselves in their thoughts, gradually shifting their beliefs about what has happened in the direction that what has happened is not really so bad. Thus the individuals regulate their thinking in order to reduce conflict within them.
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This happens in the movie when all of them start to smoke some drug and seeing that everybody does the same thing it seems to be not as bad as it really is. Another fact is when all of the kids started running over the school territory trying not to be caught by their teacher. The larger the group, the more its members lose their sense of self-awareness and thus more willing to agree to go to a violation of normative behavior.
The exciting and distracting group action paves the way for deindividuation like cheers and clapping, singing in chorus, various ritual activities and ceremonies. In this case smoking and having fun together performing some crazy and out of norm actions serves as an exciting group action that leads to this phenomenon. There is a pleasure to make an impulsive act, watching the surrounding busy with the same. When a person sees that others are doing the same as him, they start to believe that they feel the same way, and thus, strengthen their feelings.
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Sometimes they are looking for opportunities to deindividuate in the group, because they can indulge in some strong positive emotions and feel the unity with others, lower level of self-consciousness tends to change the harmony between behavior and attitudes of the individual. People with less self control are more likely to act without thinking about their values, and are more susceptible to the situation. Factor increasing deindividuation is drunkenness or in the current case it is using drugs (smoking marihuana). Groupthink comes into action when they try to protect the Criminal from the aggressiveness of the teacher and they cover him all the time: when he broke the entrance door, when he escaped from his separate room and was hiding under one of the desks, making all the kids coughing and making other noise in order to not disclose him.
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The movie is a good example for investigating various social phenomena of behavior and to see the factors that influence the whole situation and make the people to become closer to each other and to show off their real inner space to each other like the main characters of this story The Breakfast Club, Andrew, John, Allison, Brian, and Claire.