Rebel Without a Cause

What does it mean to be a man?

What does it mean to be a man in this story?

Jim feels constantly pressured to prove himself as a "man" in this story because he feels as though his father hasn't proved himself. He thinks that his father isn't a real man because he always follows the mothers lead and never makes his own way and because he performs jobs that are stereotypically supposed to be done by the women in the household. To Jim being a man means standing up for yourself and not being a "chicken," unlike his father.

Rebel with a cause

Plato is portrayed as a wealthy character who is a bit of a misfit. Although it seems that Plato is making a fuss when he has nothing to worry about there is more problems that can initially be seen. Plato never sees much of his parents, his father left him as he was a child and only sends him a check every month, his mother provides for him but is always away at work. Because of these problems at home he craves attention which could be the reason for the abuse to the puppies and his strong attachment to Jim.


The theme throughout the entire movie is family dynamic and how it really shapes you into who you are. Throughout this movie we saw how it negatively affected these adolescents but if children are surrounded by a stable and positive family it could have the opposite effects.

Character traits: Plato

Throughout the story you can tell that Plato is a very clingy boy, after knowing Jim for less than a day he claims to be his best friend and in the mansion he begged for Jim and Judy to stay with him. But he is also a very reliable and trustworthy friend, he goes to the chicky run to support and cheer on Jim and when Jim was at risk of confrontation with the group of boys from school he offers him a safe place to stay.

The mansion

In the movie the one thing that all three of the "rebels" have in common is their unstable home lives. When the three of them are their together they play the game house. I feel that the mansion symbolizes a stable home which is something that all three of them are longing for.

Plato Evolves

I don't think that Plato has changed by the end of the story. He begins the story with trust issues and ultimately that is how he dies. Although this may be summing it up a little too much I think that that's what it really comes down to.