Claire James

Description of Judy (The Tramp)

This is a very needy, dramatic, depressing young lady. I advise for you to keep your space from her. Any contact may be deadly. The reasons that I describe her in this manner is because when seen in the movie, 'Rebel Without a Cause' she acted like her world was so hard when in reality it wasn't. I viewed her as a depressing character because in conversation with another character she said, "I'm just numb now" which is a pretty dreary outlook on life if you ask me. Another example is when she was walking with her co-star, Jim Stark, and they were having a casual conversation and she turned it dark by saying, "What is living?" the one other case I have is how she just acts like she has nothing to lose.

In addition to acting depressed, she also seems very needy. Something that I saw that had me start thinking this way is when she tried to kiss her Dad and threw a huge fit because he denied her. Judy, also lives her life in the way that seems like she will do absolutely anything to get attention from her parents or the law. I saw this trait come off right away at the beginning for the movie when she got arrested and just the things she said to the police. Another example is how she fell in love with the character Jim Stark so fast right after her boyfriend, Buzz, had died so tragically.

The character Judy has many wonderful traits so don't perceive me the wrong way. But, what I mainly saw come out of her were bad traits. A bad trait that really stuck out to me was how dramatic she is. The way she stomped out after her Father denied her a simple kiss was very unneeded. It also helped to prove my previous point that she will do anything for attention. Judy would also make everything a bigger deal than it already was. Evidence of this trait is also how she was in love after one day like I said before.

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Family Issues

The character Judy doesn't really have the worst family situation out of the rest of the rebels. It could be worse and she could be Plato, who doesn't even have a Mom or Dad that stays around long enough to love him. I think that Judy's main problem is that it's hard for her to accept that she is no longer 'Daddy's little girl' and that's hard for all girls when they're growing up but sooner or later you get over it. I don't think that the fact that her Father would not kiss her warranted a dramatic exit. I believe that in the end once Judy gets over the death of her dear friend, Plato, then she will realize how her reaction to her Father that night was over the top. The choice that is presented to Judy when her Father says no to a simple kiss is if she should stay and try not show her extreme disappointment, or leave and run off with the Kids. She chose the bad decision and that was to run off with the Kids. If she hadn't chosen that then she would have been home and missed Buzz's death and not been held accountable for anything, even Plato's death. But, she also would have not fallen in love with Jim Stark that night.

How Judy Changed

Throughout the movie, I think that Judy is the character that changed the least. She never really seemed to understand her actions until someone ended up dying. Like when Buzz died she seemed to tame down a little more by coming home, but when she saw Jim she had to go out. Then in the end when Plato had died she seemed to finally understand that some risks aren't worth taking. I also think that Judy may have changed because of her new found alleged love. The reason I used the word alleged to describe their love is because for me it is hard to believe that anyone could fall in love with someone in one day, especially since her boyfriend had just died. But, if it changed her from this rebel into "Jim's Girl" (who hopefully stays out of trouble) then I support it.
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The knife fight I believe is a large example of foreshadowing the death of Buzz. I believe this because, in the knife fight against Jim they were fighting to prove who was not a chicken and Buzz had almost died trying to prove himself. After the fight, they made the arrangements for the Chickie Run. At the Chickie Run Buzz sadly died because he was trying to prove once again that he was not the bigger chicken. The real reason Buzz died though was not because he was trying to prove he wasn't a chicken because if he could have he would have escaped, but because his jacket sleeve was stuck on the handle thus leading to his demise.
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A theme that I see that repeats itself throughout the movie was how parents seemed to blame the teens for all of the bad things. It was easy to see with Jim's family because his family would move anytime he didn't fit in. Then with Judy's family, they let her bad decisions drive a wedge between their relations and that is why I think that he father didn't kiss her that night, also because she is getting too old. With Plato's family, it's hard to see because he doesn't really have a family. But, when he said that his Mom took him away from the head shrinker that he needed so she could go to Hawaii.


Why does Jim help Plato in the observatory even though it could get him into trouble? If you were in Jim's shoes what would you do?

I think that Jim helps Plato in the end because he pities him for feeling so alone and he knows that he feels the most alone now so Jim wants to be there to make Plato feel comforted. I think that Jim is just that caring of a person to be honest. If I were in Jim's position I would most likely follow Plato through the woods but once we would arrive at the observatory with all of the police and the guns I would not go in because I would not risk my life for someone that I had only just met that day, even if I pitied them

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