Free Character Development in The Breakfast Club Essay Sample

The Breakfast Club is a movie that gives a very interesting insight into life of teenagers gathered together in detention. Five people that have to spend time together are very unique and unlike others. The geek, the princess, the criminal, the weirdo, and the sporty – each one of them has own story of the unsatisfactory relationships with their parents, and each of them got into detention for different offense or no offense at all. However, the time they spend together helps them all to open up to strangers, to communicate deeply, and to establish new friendships. Same is the story of John Bender. The time in detention, described in movie, was not a single occurrence. But this time John learned much more about himself and about the people that surround him. Just like the rest of his detention buddies, he changes.

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The situation teenagers find themselves in is conducive to change for all of them. They are taken out of their usual surrounding and people they mingle, so there is no need to strive to preserve their image. They are left to themselves for an extended period of time so they have plenty of chances to misbehave, as well as to learn about each other. In the beginning of the movie John Bender walks to the school alone, unlike others. He is late, and his whole attitude expresses defiance.  He defies school authority; he picks on everyone of his detention buddies.

Bender challenges everything and everyone.  Mr. Vernon being challenged several times gives him a two month detention. Andy is challenged both, physically and verbally, Brian is being ridiculed, and Clair is sexually harassed. Bender is blunt and merciless in his judgments and talk to others. However, throughout the film just as each of the students shatters his or her social masks and opens up, he lets others into his world as well. He is a rebel; he is also a natural leader, and students follow him out of the library they were told to stay to his locker to retrieve the marijuana, which he then shares with all of them. Bender reveals himself as vulnerable when Mr. Vernon challenges him. John also destructs principal’s attention so that others can return to the library without being caught. That is an interesting incident that shows that Bender is not simply a criminal, but he is loyal to the people he has just recently started to care about. As pointed out, neither of them would have talked to each other at school if they had met previously; however, their affection for each other changes as they let others know their true identity. So is Bender, who explains how his parents are abusive and do not love him the way he would need them to. It is evidenced by the fact he comes to his detention time alone, and there is no one to pick him up after detention; his parents were not concerned about him not having lunch to take with him to the detention. He also shows others the cigar scar and explains that he got it from his father after spilling paint in the garage. Strained relationship with his parents is the main reason he is so antagonistic to Clair, who he thinks is spoiled by her parents, which is probably true. However, his harassment is so hard that it makes her cry.

At lunch time no one shares lunch with him or with others for that matter. But later as they learn about each other Bender shares his marijuana, they whistle together, dance together, and have one essay written for all of them. The five form certain bond with each other and walk out of the school together.

It is difficult to determine to what extend the whole experience had an effect on John and how much did he change. Out of five students, who spend time together, he is more difficult to evidence extend of the change that has taken place in his heart. However, the fact he and Clair are kissing at the end of the movie is a definite prove that the change has taken place, and Bender likes a girl he previously was so antagonistic to. He values this so much that he wears the earring Clair has given him. And then, walking on the soccer field he puts on his dark glasses and thrusts his fist in the air. This is kind of a triumphant walk and gesture, which shows he is happier after the detention, more hopeful, and has a sense of accomplishment.

Every student that walked out of the school that day had changed and understood many things about life. They learned that other students, as strange as they might seem at first, share many similar feelings and insecurities, they are just vulnerable and in need of a real friend. That realization and challenges of bonding together helped them to become friends and to change.


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