John "Plato" Crawford

"Rebel Without a Cause"

Trait One - Lonely

When Plato is introduced to us in the film, we see him as a lone wolf. When they go to the on the field trip to the planetarium, Plato is seen sitting at the back alone from the popular group. At this point in the film he latches on Jim, beginning to follow him around and even saying Jim is his best friend at the chicken run.

Trait Two - Ambitious

Plato is a very ambitious and loyal character. His father abandoning him has made him into a the type of person that gets attached very easily. He shows his ambition in the encounters Jim has with Buzz. During their first fight at the planetarium, Plato is willing to come to Jim's aid even when they are outnumbered one to five. He also shows it at the mansion, by shooting at Buzz's friends when they are attempting to find Jim.

Trait Three - Lunacy

Plato can be considered mentally unstable. At the beginning of the film he is incarcerated for shooting puppies. Whatever his motives might be, justifiable or not, those are still signs of mental illness. Another sign is at the end of the film when he has his breakdown in the abandoned mansion. He snaps because he wakes up to find Jim and Judy gone. Believing they have abandoned him, he gets his gun and shoots one of Buzz's friends then attempts to shoot Jim.


Plato is the way he is because of the family issues he has at home. His father abandoned him while at a young age, while he does still pay child support his father wants nothing to do with Plato. His mother is his legal guardian but is never around and doesn't act as a motherly figure towards her son. The only real care taker he has is the maid that stays at their house with him.

Character Development

I don't believe Plato evolves very much as a character throughout the story. He only really acts as a catalyst to help along the climax of the story. He never solves or mitigates his problems in any way, only attacks them head on, getting himself killed in the process.

Symbol - Easter Holiday

Easter is the day Jesus rose from the dead on the third day and disappeared into the heavens. Jesus died so that the sins that we commit are forgiven, while all of the main characters are out sinning. Jim is passed out drunk in the middle of the street, Plato was shooting dogs, and Judy had run away from home because of parental issues.

Main Theme - Troublesome Teens

The main theme I took away from Rebel Without a Cause was parents blaming their issues on their children simply because they are growing up and are not well versed in the world yet. The Stark's blame Jim for the issues he creates and the only way they know how to fix it is to move away to another town and start anew, putting a psychological strain on Jim. Judy suffers psychological abuse from her father, which pushes her to associate with the local hoodlums. By associating with them it only amplifies her fathers abusive tendencies towards her. Plato is missing a father and mother figure and isn't wanted by either of his parents, depressing him and inducing a feeling of loneliness.

Explain whether you think it was right for Jim to go to the police.

In this given situation, I believe it was the right choice to go to the police. The situation had declined so much that it had gotten out of what a few teens could control, at that point the cops needed to be informed for the body to be collected. With how many people were there the cops were bound to be told anyway, Jim was looking out for himself by making the right decision and informing the police.