Rebel Without a Cause

By: Allison Lutz

Judy: Character Analysis

Trait 1: Weak

Evidence 1: Judy often gives into peer pressure, especially around her "friends." She is to weak to stand up for herself and realize that she is to good to hang out with these people, and to do the rebellious things they do.

Evidence 2: When they are at the planetarium and Buzz is trying to get Jim to fight, Jim asks Judy why she does this, and why she doesn't stand up for what he knows she believes in. When Judy is asked this, she doesn't give an answer, because she is to weak to stand up for herself and her beliefs about the situation.

Evidence 3: Judy runs away from home when ever there is a problem between her parents and herself. This is probably because she is to weak and afraid to stand up and face her problems. It's as if she thinks that she can just run away from her problems, and they will go away.


Trait 2: Fun

Evidence 1: When Judy, Jim, and Plato are at the mansion, they are all running around having fun, chasing each other, and pretending that they are a family, and they are looking at this house. This is the main part of the movie that you can see that Judy is actually having fun. In the other parts of the movie, she thinks she's having fun, but she knows that it's not really fun, and she doesn't actually enjoy it.

Evidence 2: Judy is laughing when they are at the planetarium and Buzz is trying to anger Jim. Judy is acting like she finds this enjoyable, and that messing with people is something that every teenager enjoys.

Evidence 3: When they have the chicken-run, Judy is acting as though she is having the time of her life. She and her group of friends find it really fun to do things that are super risky and rebellious.


Trait 3: Needy (wants love and acceptance)

Evidence 1: Judy runs away with Jim, to the mansion, even though it had only been an hour or so since her boyfriend, Buzz, had died. She needs to be with someone, and she wants to be accepted by someone, so she runs away with Jim, because he offers her that love and acceptance she is looking for.

Evidence 2: Judy tries to kiss her dad on the check, but he slaps her. She probably does this, because she wants to feel that love and acceptance that he gave her when she was a child.

Evidence 3: Judy always gives into peer pressure, because she wants to be accepted by a group of people, and she knows that if she turns against Buzz and the rest of the group, they will probably cut her off from the group.

Judy's Rebellious Cause

Judy rebels because she feels like her parents don't love her or care about her. She probably doesn't see the point in being good and listening to her parents if she doesn't get any love and affection in return. The problem with that, which Judy doesn't see, is that her parents can't give her love and acceptance if she is always getting her self into trouble, and disobeying her parents. The symbol of her rebelling is wearing make-up, because her dad thinks that it makes her look like a tramp. Therefore, since her father doesn't approve of her wearing make-up, she wants to wear it even more.

Did Judy Learn Her Lesson or Change?

No, I don't believe that she did. She did get the love and acceptance she wanted, at the end of the movie, from Jim and Plato. However, this didn't change her in any way and she didn't learn anything from it, besides what it's like to feel love and acceptance. She wanted it from her parents though, and she didn't change her behavior in order to get it, so, by the end of the movie, she never got love and acceptance from her parents.

Symbol: Plato's Mismatched Socks

All throughout the movie, Plato is trying to get his parents to notice him. That is probably why he shot the puppies, and that is why he wears mismatched socks. The socks represent the attention he wants from his parents, since mismatched socks get more attention than matched socks.

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

No, I don think that Plato killed puppies, because he is a bad person. I think that he killed the puppies as a way to draw attention to himself, in the hopes that his parents will finally see him, and pay attention to him. He felt as though he had to go that far, and kill living things, just to get the attention he wants from his parents. Sadly, though, he never gets that attention from his parents that he wants.