Rebel W/out A Cause Essay

This essay has a total of 901 words and 4 pages.

Rebel W/out A Cause


Rebel Without A Cause is a movie about three troubled, identity-seeking teenagers
alienated from the world of their parents (Jim Stark, Judy, and Plato). Each of the
movie's main characters is searching for understanding, companionship, and a sense of
belonging, much like most of the teenagers today. Even thought the movie is dated, it
depicts the main problems and concerns that teens currently face. This film offers no
answers. It merely presents the problems and the viewer is left to ponder how they'll turn
out. I could identify with this movie on many levels. And I think that much of the young
audiences out there could as well.

The movie seems to tell the audience that just because teenagers do some bad things,
doesn't mean they're bad at heart. I agree. In the movie, Jim is pressured into
participating in a chickie run with a local gang leader named Buzz. A chickie run is where
two guys race in a car towards a cliff. The first one to jump out from his car is a
chicken. Jim feels he has something to prove. He doesn't want to race, but he feels he has
to show everyone he's tough. Usually most teenagers today don't want to get into trouble,
but if it is necessary to put their lives on the line they will, simply to maintain their
reputation. This is primarily associated to a phenomenon that teens encounter every day of
their lives known as peer- pressure. Jim, as a result from his lack of identity, has an
evident desire to fit in with Buzz and his gang members and to be with Judy. The reason
for this desire is because he feels the need to belong and interact. As a result, he
changes his style of dressing to assimilate with the others. Nowadays the majority of the
teenagers also feel the urge to comply with the various standards of a certain group to
save them from alienation. A perfect example of such a case is clearly visible in the way
the majority of teenagers today dress alike. Most of them state that it's a matter of
fashion and style and others say that they just want to be different. The fact of the
matter is that the phenomenon of peer-pressure is involved one way or another. What
teenagers do not realize is that they all end-up dressing the same exact way as the
others, because the others want to be different too. On the other hand, the peer-pressure
that teens face today is much more fierce and vicious than the one faced by teens in the
50's. In our every day life peer-pressure induces teenagers to do drugs and alcohol, sex,
and even criminal acts such as vandalism and murder. There are scenes in Rebel Without A
Cause such as: kids shooting police officers, kids getting into fights with weapons, kids
talking back to their parents and getting slapped in the face, kids running away, and kids
not understanding that they will be able to look back ten years from now and say, "How
stupid of me!" The same types of scenes occur today, but the only difference is that they
are being reported more often. Why don't adults face reality and realize that the main
cause of adolescent disturbances is not peer-pressure, it's parental alienation. The
relationship amongst the main characters and their parents epitomizes such a case. Jim
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