Taylor Urbaniak

Character Traits

Morbid- Plato is morbid in his use of violence in order to deal with his stress in life. Plato shot puppies and stole his mothers gun to go to the mansion. At the mansion he has an episode where he feels trapped and scared, there he pulls out the gun and begins randomly shooting officers.

Observant- Nick named after the philosopher Plato himself; Plato through out the movie makes keen observations about others and from this trait he is able to better help Jim make his adjustment to the new school.

Loyal-Loyalty is one of the main character traits that is shown in the film. Plato displays his loyalty to Jim and Judy by wishing to play house with them in the mansion. He shows them around on a mock realty tour, as though they are interested buyers who are a conventional family. While this displays his need for a family, it also speaks to how loyal he is to Jim and Judy. Plato wishes for them to be a family of sorts, and when Jim and Judy leave Plato to sleep on the ground he asks Jim angrily why they left him. Jim explains that Plato was sleeping and that they'd be coming back later on. Plato acts completely offended, as though Jim were totally abandoning him. His obsession with loyalty stems from his own lack of stability in his home life.

Character Conflicts

Plato deals with abandonment issues in the film. An ever present servant in the movie states that his father has never been around and that his mother is frequently away on trips. The lack of stability and family support pushes Plato to act out in violent ways; killing puppies and stealing the gun again to bring with him to the mansion. Once at the mansion, Plato begins shooting policemen and randomly in the air. Plato has an erratic, unstable personality because that is what he was raised around.

Character Growth

While Judy and Jim grow as individuals in the film; Plato does not. Plato continues to act out aggressively and in violent ways until he is shot to death. If Plato had been given the opportunity to leave the mansion and get help, he would have been able to understand there are better ways out acting out and managing his stress. But since his character was never given the chance to improve or learn from his mistakes, his growth did not move forward.

Symbolism- The Mismatched Socks

In the film a symbol that repeatedly receives attention are Plato's mismatched socks. While this may seem like a simple wardrobe mishap, it is an intentional piece of symbolism. The socks represent Plato's unstable personality and his lack of regard for order and being politically correct. Certainly, this hints also to his two sided personality. On the one hand, Plato is very kind and gentle to Jim and Judy. He craves a stable home environment and closeness to others. On the other, he reacts to stress with violence and madness, stealing his mother's gun repeated times and acting out with it. The mismatched socks may also represent a child-like nature of being clumsy and having a certain air of naivete. A trait which is clearly shown in all of the characters in Rebel Without A Cause, but especially Plato with his erratic behavior and need for a Mother and Father.

Theme of Rebel Without A Cause

The theme in the film is that even though everyone has their own problems within their family it is important to react with maturity and know that it is much more common than you think.