Jim Stark, A Rebel With a Cause

Challenges

Jim Stark, mostly a normal teenage, had a few problems that affected him emotionally. From the beginning, we see that Jim has problems with his families, his parents in particular. We don't know right away why that is but we find out soon enough. In the opening scene when Jim is at the police station we see how fed up Jim gets with his parents arguing and he kind of opens up to the detective. Additionally the night that the boys had planned to go play Chiki run Jim asked his father to give him advice. Jim wants his dad to tell him what he would do if he were in that situation, but the dad avoids the question as much as he can. He doesn't give Jim the answer he's looking for and instead is a coward. Later on in the movie we see more family problems really erupt the night Jim tries to tell them about Buzz's death. Trying to get his parents to understand him and give him solid advice, Jim opens up to them and tells them about the events of that night. Jim's mother doesn't want much to know about it, she just starts saying that they need to move again. This causes Jim to go off because he just wants his dad to be a man, he wants his dad to say something and stand up to his mother. Jim doesn't want his family always running from all the problems that are presented to them. All Jim really wants is for his father to stop acting like the women in the family and for their family to finally confront and overcome their problems together. The fact that his father is a push over really affects some of the choices that he makes. For example, in the beginning Jim is completely wasted at the police station which I think is because of his parents although it's never specifically said. Another example is after the planetarium the rebellious boys taunted Jim into playing chicken by calling him a chicken. Being called a chicken is what got Jim in trouble at his last school because being called a chicken reminds him too much of his father and he doesn't want to be anything like him. Finally the frustration he felt toward his father's cowardness pushed Jim to go on the Chiki run. Jim eventually chooses to leave the house and run away with Judy.

Change is Inevitable

Most of the characters in this movie went through a change at one point or another. Jim Stark learned not only about himself, but about others also. He learned to care and be compassionate of others as well as the influence he had on people like Plato. His change wasn't the only one that influenced him. The change his parents underwent also affected Jim. At the end they were no longer arguing with each other, but they actually managed to smile and hug each other. I think this change will greatly help Jim in the future. Most of his rebellious behaviors were because of the type of relationship his parents had, so now with this change, it will probably push Jim to stop behaving the way he does. Jim won't necessarily have a point to prove anymore.
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The Mansion

The symbol behind the mansion is more of an emotional symbol for the teenagers. Each one sees this mansion differently and as a way to get over their problems differently. Plato sees this mansion as a real home. He wants to stay here with Jim and Judy to pretend that they are a family, something he desperately desires. Judy sees this mansion as a place to run from her parents, which aren't giving her the attention she wants, but also this mansion is where she finally gets what she wants. Judy finally finds someone to love and that loves her back. Jim sees this mansion as a place to stop running. He feels he can finally just stop to think and relax for once without having to see how big of coward his father is. Aside from this he falls in love with Judy and they just have a good time there, forgetting about their problems. The mansion signifies a unity between the three and a safe haven for them to forget their problems.

Theme

The theme that I captured from this movie is a feeling of belonging. All three of the teenagers are rebelling due to not feeling like they belong or feeling confused. Plato didn't feel loved or like he belonged anywhere because of the abandonment from his parents causing him to act out for example killing puppies on his birthday. Judy was confused and lost, she didn't understand why her father wouldn't show love towards her like he used. Finally, Jim felt lost because he didn't know who he really was. He knew he didn't want to be like his father, but he also didn't want to continue getting in trouble and running from his problems. They were all just trying to find a place to belong.
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"Which character are you most like and why?"

I think I am a mix between Judy and Jim. They both have aspects that I can find myself relating to. Judy throughout the moving is trying to get the attention of her parents through her actions. This past year I did the same except I tried getting the attention of my friends. I started hanging out with a more rebellious group and ended up adapting their behaviors. I did things to try to fit in and get noticed by all my friends. I didn't care if I got in trouble or if my parents tried to stop me, I did it anyways kind of like Judy. With Jim, I think I can relate to him in two things. First of all Jim hates being challenged and being called Chicken. He does things to prove to people that he is not a chicken. I am the same way, I hate being challenged. When someone tells me I would never do something or I don't have the guts to do something I do it just to prove them wrong. I don't think about the consequences I just do it so that people will see me as tough and not a chicken. Another thing I feel like I can relate to with Jim is that he is always trying to prove a point. It doesn't matter if I'm wrong, I always do certain things to prove my parents wrong. To prove to them that they don't really have as much control as they think they do. I can relate with both of them in that they are both rebellious and I was too. I have calmed down a lot, but I use to love causing trouble.