Rebellion In Nicholas Ray's Rebel Without A Cause

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Teenagers are the most rebellious age group. Some may say that “the decision making part of their brains have not fully developed” and others will say it is for attention. Personally I believe teens are rebellious because they know life has to offer more than working a nine to five job or raising a family. Nicholas Ray’s film Rebel Without a Cause stars James Dean as Jim Stark, a troubled teen in a new suburban town. He is tired of being expected to fit in a cookie cutter community when he can see the bigger picture. In “A Flapper’s Appeal to Parents,”
Ellen Welles states “in every person there is a desire... towards some special goal or achievement.” Jim Stark along with non-fictional teens of the twenties and thirties new that they “hold the infinite possibilities of the myriads of new inventions”(Welles). These young adults were trying to break the barriers that were holding their intellectual selves back. On the same note, women of the mid nineteenth century were expanding their horizons and overcoming the suppressing obstacles through rebellion. In the fifties women found themselves filling the role of mother and housewife, following the “four cardinal virtues- piety, purity, submissiveness and domesticity” (Welter 1). Few graduated school and pursued a profession
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Society failed to validate the motivations for teens and women to act out and speak up. I believe that “Rebel Without a Cause” plays on this idea that men and society did not see a true cause to rebellion. The film parallels the views men had towards women acting out, it was “The Problem That Has No Name” (Friedan). As Betty Friedan discusses, the issues women faced came from within, a sense of dissatisfaction and depression, both of which were not plausible causes for rebellion. Therefore the campaign for women's rights was dismissed for years solely due to the fact the other side of the problem failed to acknowledge the

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