Rebel Without a Cause

Adam Wehking

Plato

Shy: Plato is shy because he doesn't stand up for himself all the time when other people are mean to him. He doesn't really fit in with the "cool" kids and doesn't talk with anyone.


Lonely: Plato is seen as lonely in the movie because he doesn't have a family in his life and he is searching for people that can serve as one. He finds friends in Jim and Judy, and even mentions wanting Jim to be his father.


Violent: Plato is easily pushed into taking violent action. He killed innocent puppies because he is seeking attention and doesn't want them to suffer. Then when he discovers the "cool" kids are going after Jim he goes after them with a gun and shoots one of them.

Problems:

Plato's dad is no longer a part of his life. He left when he was young. Plato's mom isn't around very much because she goes off without him. Plato does certain things to get attention and to feel like he has people around him that love him. For example, Plato kills the puppies because he wants attention for his actions and he doesn't want the puppies to have to suffer without their parents like he does.

Change?

Plato did not change or learn from his experiences throughout the movie. First of all, when things started going bad he would resort to violence as a way to cope with the problems he runs into. He also begins to trust Jim and Judy, and says they are his family, but is later hurt by the fact that they went into a different room because they "left" him just like his father had done. If he is so worried about people leaving then maybe he shouldn't open up to people as easily as he did.
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The Mansion

The mansion represents family. This is where Jim, Judy, and Plato really come together as a group and they even mention how they are somewhat of a family. When Buzz's gang

comes

it symbols a family being faced with a problem and how they deal with it. The feeling they experience when running from the gang members and then the police are similar to those that one might have when faced with family struggles. The mansion seems to be there safe place to be away from everything, but in reality they are found by the gang members and the police.
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Theme:

The theme of the movie, "Rebel Without a Cause" is to show teenagers searching for their place to fit in and become who they will become in the world. They act out because they are seeking attention and are trying to do the right things and make the right decisions. They are doing all sorts of things that may seem like rebelling because they are trying to find their place and trying to do what is right for themselves and others.

Do you think Plato killed puppies because he is a bad person, or is there an alternative, deeper or psychological reason? Explore that idea.

Plato killed the puppies both as a way to get attention and as a way to protect them. He thinks that if he acts out, maybe his parents will realize that they need to be in his life and will come show him the affection he wants. Also, he kills the puppies as a way to protect them because he doesn't want them to suffer through being away from their parents like he has to.