Jim Stark, A Rebel With a Cause?

Yes, Contrary to the name of the film, Jim did have a cause.

The Traits of Jim Stark

  1. Recklessness: Jim did many things, to prove he was a man, which can be translated to unneeded recklessness. Examples of this include the knife fight and the deadly chickie run.
  2. Romantic: Jim was a romantic at heart, but not in the classic sense. He was romantic in his ideas that Plato would be able to leave with no harm coming too him, even after his crimes.
  3. Rebellious: Jim is rebellious from the beginning, when he is arrested for public drunkenness, and he is rebellious at the end when he breaks into a house with judy to escape his reality.

The Mansion

To Jim, Judy and Plato, the Mansion represented something none of them ever had. It represented a safe place, a happy place. It acted as an equalizer for their familial dysfunction. It was a place for them to play "House" to show what they would like to see when they grow up.

Causes of the Rebels

Jim's apparent lack of respect for rules and authority is rooted in his familial problems. Jim has an extremely controlling mother and a submissive father. It would create confusion for anyone, to come home and see your father in a pink apron, cleaning up after the mother. This causes Jim to question what a "man" really is, which in turn causes his irrational fear of being "Chicken". This dilemma causes Jim to make many destructive choices that hurt not only him, but others around him, making him our Rebel.


I think Jim did change at the end, if only a little bit. After Plato dies, when the Father promises to be a better man, and Jim embraces him, I think this marks the end of his change cycle. I think he started changing when he was in the Mansion with Judy, and when he talked Plato into giving him the gun, while quietly removing the bullets. By doing this it showed that he had changed from the beginning and was starting to act like a real man, and not a scared teenager.


I think the main lesson of this movie was that family communication is more important then anything else. The reason I think that is because with better family relations, all these problems could have been avoided. If Jim's father had been a better dad, more of a man, Jim would not have had to be the rebel he had become. If Judy and her parents had gotten on better, If her father still acknowledged her, she would not be how she is. And if Plato had close to a normal family, he would not have been the psychotic, crazy kid he was.

My Question

My question was about Plato, And about what do I think is wrong with him?

Well I think Plato had a lot of issues, But his main one was his problem with being loved. He wasn't loved by his dad, which is why he gravitated to Jim. He wasn't loved as a child or now as a young adult, and this caused him to hate anything small that was loved. This is why I think he was shooting up the puppies, Because he could not bear to have them loved, when he never was. Or when he even shot at Jim, because he thought he had left him, like his father had done. Those are the main problems that made Plato what he was.