Psychology Knowledge to Movie “Breakfast Club”
Breakfast Club (1985) is movie centring on some teenage characters. Apparently, it shows the recklessness of youth at that contemporary time. But in deep, it encounters the bio-psycho-social influences of each character in the film. In general, each of them struggles with their dysfunctional family and this incompleteness shapes their character. However, the bio-physio-social model inculcates an amalgamation of human biological elements with social influences and how they together formulate human behaviour and attitude. The film very intelligently and covertly has mingled various concepts of psychoanalytic theory, humanistic theories, social cognitive or learning theories and trait theory in order to develop as well as signify each character and used them together to enliven the story.
Beginning with Bender, he is a reckless lad who loves to bully and dominate people. Taking cue from his name, he ‘bends’ others by his social and physical strength. He is characterized as a rebel who is highly impulsive when it comes to breaking rules without much thinking. He has been detained due to tolling false alarm at the school. It brings out his hostility, tendency of seeking attention and obviously the determination of breaking rule in any way. However, with the unfolding of the film, it comes to light that he shares a terrible relationship with his father who is an alcoholic and abuses Bender and his mother both verbally and physically. Along with it the softer side of this nutshell is brought forth as well. According to psychoanalytic theory he is forced to repress his desires in order to maintain some facade. In this process he is also obstructed to discover his own self. His struggle with his father also reflects the rivalry between father and son of Oedipus complex. Moreover, social cognitive theory indicates bender to be the victim of attribution error where the actions of Bender are blamed by all to be attributed by his temperament.
Moving on to the fragile Claire, her beatified appearance reveals the pampering and attention she receives from her friends as well as family. In the film, she is treated like a princess. She is extrovert and loves to seek attention. Moreover, she prefers to obtain the centre place of attention. She has been detained for bunking class and she is ashamed of it. Her parents use her as a mean to annoy each other. They compete with each other by pampering her limitlessly. She is reach and unknown to the bitter side of life as well. Apart from that, she confesses later that she treats people badly in fear of getting hurt. In the context of humanistic theories, Claire falls short in self-actualization. She has a distorted conception about her own self as well. She is a victim of collectivistic cultural foster and that is why she hides behind a sinuous venire. Moreover, she also struggles with incongruence that is she fails to match self-concept with reality.
Andrew Clarke is a wrestler and a poor fellow whose father considers him to be the medium of his personal achievement in sports. That is why he creates extreme pressure upon Andrew for remaining an all time winner. He is completely controlled by his father. However, in spite of having no permission to do anything on his own, he dares to embark on a romantic relationship with Alison. Following the trait theory, Alison is controlled mostly by secondary traits and later on she develops the primary traits of her character. Moreover, she also gets over with acute introversion, emotional instability and psychoticism.
Alison is socially secluded person among them. She is introvert which can be the result of her comparative low financial status negligence from her parents. Her suppression gets outlet in her occasional outbursts. Later she will transform herself outwardly into a beauty treat and will be appreciated especially by Andrew. The key concepts of social cognitive theory justify the character of Alison best. Her quiet behavioural pattern is the result of her reciprocal determinism, self-control and environment of her upbringing.
Brian symbolizes the intelligence of that group as his name is the alternate formation of brain. At home, his parents pressurize to get into a prestigious university and obtain the place of the best in terms of academic performance. He intended to commit suicide and bought a flare gun and caused his detention as well. However, the group made him the spokesperson who concluded the words of the essay finally dismissing the immense pressure from the authority. Brian, as per the psychoanalytic theory, like Bender, is also repressed by his family. Brian by the end of the film finally learns to let go and free the extreme external control and pressure upon him by asserting himself in the essay.
Five characters of this movie hail from backgrounds that are quite different from each other. The opening scene introduces all of them including their background and their term of relationship with their parents. Interestingly, having no common traits among each other, they are all either pressurized or bullied by their parents. In fact, all of them have their own circle of friends but aware of the identities of each other. It can be noticed five characters individually represents five essential features of impulsion, emotion, melancholy, intelligence and physical strengths. Moreover, they belong to a specific stereotype of teenage.