Jim Stark

The Rebel

Jim's Problems

Jim parents always want to move so they can run away from their problems; they use Jim as there scapegoat. This makes it hard for him to face his problems and make friends because his parents don't allow him to have those opportunities. Jim doesn't want to become like father, a chicken, so he's always trying to be confident and stick up for himself which gets him into trouble with Buzz and his friends. He becomes involved in a knife fight and then a chickie run because he doesn't want to be called a chicken. Towards the end of the film his biggest problem becomes helping Plato and making sure that he's safe, but Plato end up dying in the end anyways.

Character Traits

Leader: He takes care of Plato when they're at the abandoned building. This represents leadership because he's like a fatherly figure to Plato and to be a father you have to be a leader to your children; Jim is Plato's "father". He proves this when he gets Plato to trust him even after Plato shot at Jim saying he wasn't his father.

Confident: Even though Jim could get hurt he agrees to meeting Buzz on the cliff for a chickie run. He also uses the confidence he has to try and get the cops to back off. He believes that he will be able to get Plato out of the building and to the cops without any harm if the cops would turn out the lights. Another time that he's confident is when he told his mother off for wanting to move again. He told her she can't keep using him as an excuse to run away from her problems. He was also able to tell him father off for being a chicken and doing whatever Jim's mother told him to do.

Determined: Jim is determined to make sure is nothing like his father, he doesn't want to be a chicken, so he stand up for himself. He tries his hardest to not fight the kids even though they're all surrounding his car, but eventually he gives in when they call him a chicken. When Plato shoots at Jim he still tries to pursue him and get Plato to calm down and understand.


Jim changed throughout the film. He started as a lonely, self-destructive boy, but by the end he became a leader and a friend. He no longer fears becoming his father; he now realizes that he's his own person. With Judy by his side Jim feels like he can do anything, and he is no longer lonely because he's finally made some friends (even though Plato died). He's changed because he's no longer afraid of being a chicken because through the experiences of the day, from the knife fight to trying to save Plato, he's realized that he is only afraid of fear itself.

Symbolism: Chickie Run

The chickie run symbolizes Jim, his fear, and self-destruction. He's afraid to turn down the chickie run, but he's afraid to keep going till the end of the cliff because he's afraid of death. His fear of being a chicken is what got him into this mess to begin with, but it's also what kept him from dying. Self-destruction is symbolized by the chickie run because by Buzz trying to show off and get someone else hurt he ended up hurting himself instead.


A major theme in the film is teenagers trying to find their place in the world, while their parents have forgotten what it was like for them to be teenagers. This, in turn, causes the teens to learn they can't look to anyone else for help, especially their parents. The only one that can truly help them find their place in this messed up world is themselves. So the theme or lesson learned is that teens have to find theur

Question Yourself

Would you go to the police if your parents told you not to? Why or why not?

If my parents told me not to go to the police I most likely would go to them if it was an important situation. I would go to them because it's the right thing to do(morally). Also, I would like to think that they could help me with whatever was going on. If my parents were to tell me to not go to the police for something they did I still would; if it was an important situation. Even if I didn't go to the police right away I would most likely end up going to them later.