John Bender's Personality In The Breakfast Club

1866 Words8 Pages
The film The Breakfast Club follows five students who must serve a school detention on a Saturday due to a various wrongdoing. Due to this behaviour, they are sanctioned through the means of a weekend detention in hopes that they will never go against the school’s rules, values and norms again. The five students are noticeably different and each represents a certain subculture within the school. John Bender is one of the five students and is defined as the criminal of the group. Throughout the film, it is evident that John Bender strongly differs from the rest of the group and does not follow the social norms as well as from the rest of the students. Unlike the other students, he does not appear to take on the role of student very willingly…show more content…
Due to Bender’s behaviour and personality, he is often alienated by those around him. Merton’s strain theory of behaviour states that deviance is a product of society itself and the conditions that it lays down for each individual. Each society has a certain set of goals and a means of achieving it however when an individual is unable to achieve them, they may resort to deviance (Haskings-Winner, Collishaw, Kritzer & Warecki, 2011). Bender who is unable to meet society’s expectation subtly portrayed by the other students of being academically inclined, popular or athletic, feels the need to go against society because he would not fit in our the school regardless. Moreover, Bender’s household is a distinct factor in his deviant behaviour. When re-enacting the conversation with his father, he portrayed his father as verbally and physically abusive. “Stupid, worthless, no-good […]” (Hughes, 1985) was the words his father used to describe him just before hitting him. Bender’s family often goes against societal norms shown when Bender explained that his father gives him cigarettes for Christmas (Hughes, 1875). Consequently, Bender does not have a strong understanding of what society expects of him, as his family, being his first agent of socialization, never taught him. Values that were learned by Bender varied significantly from an average student. In other terms, deviance can be defined as an attractive alternative if the norms of a society are out of reach (Haskings-Winner, Collishaw, Kritzer & Warecki, 2011). Bender is unable to achieve the goals that the school sets out for him so he resorts to deviance in order to make him seem like a bad boy which turn in will get him attention. When he gets the group to go to his locker, he explicitly states, “Being bad feels pretty good, huh?” (Hughes, 1985) This statement is looking for reassurance from his peers to ensure his
Open Document