Jim Stark

Character traits


Jim was insecure about becoming his father, a chicken. Jim has this imagine in his head about what an ideal man should be and it is not his father. His father doesn't stand up to his mom when she wants to move away because of something that happened with Jim. Because of this, Jim views his father as a chicken and doesn't want to be him. Jim think a man should be in charge of the house and be masculine and only do "manly" things. Jim's insecurity is because he is so worried about becoming a chicken. He even goes out of his way to prove he is not a chicken when Buzz and his friends call him a chicken.

Outside of the observatory on the tower Plato and Jim run into Buzz and his friends and Buzz and Jim begin to fight with knives. At first Jim did not want to fight with a knife but picks up the knife and starts to fight when he is called a chicken for not wanting to fight. Another time being when Jim is called a chicken and challenged to a chickie run he goes to meet up with them and race just because he would be able to prove that he wasn't a chicken to them. Jim went as far as risking his own life to prove he isn't a chicken. Jim will do what whatever it takes to prove he is no chicken because of his insecurity of becoming his dad.


Jim is a compassionate guy and we get to see that more and more as the movie goes on. He is compassionate towards Plato as he befriends him and cares for him even when knows no one else does. At one point during the night of the chickie run when both Jim and Plato are outside at night and Plato gets cold and Jim gives Plato his jacket. Plato even asks if he can keep the jacket and Jim tells him he can. Jim also shows compassion towards Plato at the mansion when Plato has a gun and Jim is concerned for Plato's safety and tries his best to make Plato feel safe with all the police outside. Jim isn't just compassionate towards Plato. After the chickie run when Buzz dies Jim feels bad and he wants to confess what happened. He felt the need to tell Ray about what happened because he didn't think they should just let buzz death be a mystery to his family because they wouldn't ever really know what happened to Buzz. He felt the need to tell them what happened because he is a compassionate guy.


Jim Stark is a determined character in the movie Rebel "Without A Cause." Throughout the whole movie Jim is determined to prove to everyone that he is not a chicken. In doing so, he does a few life threatening things such as fighting with knives and then the chicky run where Buzz actually did die. He puts himself in those kinds of situations because he is very determined to show everyone that he is nothing like a chicken. He is also very destined to help Plato when he has the gun in the mansion. When Jim first realizes that Plato has the gun in the house he tires to take the gun away and help calm him down. He aims to help Plato make it out of the house when the police show up and are asking Plato to come out. Jim know what things the police are doing that will make Plato agitated, for example having the lights on him made Plato nervous and Jim knew that and he asked the police to turn off their lights. Jim only wanted Plato to make it out safely and did as much as he could to save him.

In the beginning of the movie we learn Jim and his family have moved from place to place to allow Jim to have a new start in his life. We learn that Jim is tired of running away while his mother sees no wrong in it and so when Jim encounters a new issue this time around Jim's mother wants to move but Jim wants to stay and face his problems instead of running from them as he is usually does. When his mother first tells him they are going to move again Jim stands up to her and tells her that they can't and that he must face his problems because he set on facing his issues this time around.

How Jim's family influenced his actions

Jim's family influenced his actions in multiple way. One being that because Jim's dad didn't live up to be what Jim wanted him to be. Jim wanted his dad to be masculine and to stand up to his mom and be "the man of the house." Because Jim's dad didn't stand up to his mom Jim viewed his dad as a chicken and that's why he didn't want to be like his dad, a chicken. This made Jim do everything he possibly could to prove to whoever he could that he wasn't a chicken such as getting into fights with people at school and the chickie run. Another way his family influenced Jim to act differently is because his mother liked to run away from Jim's problems and move. This made Jim want to stand up to his mother and stay and deal with his issues instead of run from them. Jim's family played a big role in who Jim was and what he did.

Did Jim learn from his expierenced

I would stay that Jim did learn from his experience throughout the movie. I believe that his character did grow as a person. Jim Stark in the beginning of the movie didn't really care for anyone and kind of did his own thing. As the movie goes on you see him start caring for other people such as Plato and Judy. He cares for Plato as he takes him in and listens to him and what he thinks and Jim even tries to help him. He starts to developed feelings for Judy and so he cares for her. Throughout the whole movie I think Jim matured a lot.

Chickie Run

The Chickie run both Buzz and Jim participate in symbolize that both of them have something to prove. Buzz wants to prove that he is better than the new kid Jim. Jim also is trying to fit in by participating but also trying to show he is not a chicken. The chickie run symbolizes both their egos because they both want to prove themselves to each other and to everyone else there.

Individuality vs. Conformity

The movie "Rebel Without A Cause" has a theme of individuality because each main character rebel and act on their own. Some other characters also do things different that what the society in the fifties would have been like and accepted. First Jim was an individual and became friends with Plato even tho Plato was an odd boy. Also Judy would be a good example for someone who conforms because in the beginning she is hanging out with Buzz and all his friends and she acts differently towards Jim around them because she is trying to conform to what her group thinks of him. Plato is another example of someone who is an individual because he does he own thing and doesn't really mind to much about others.

For Jim, Why can't he abide being called a "chicken"? Is it a big deal?

Jim can't stand being called a chicken because he thinks of his dad a chicken for not standing up to his mom every time she wants to move away so that Jim may start over at a new school. He doesn't want to be like his dad because he thinks a man should be in charge and so when he views his dad a chicken and doesn't want to be his dad he gets upset when he is called that in fear of becoming his dad. To Jim being called a chicken is a big deal. He goes to many length to prove that he isn't a chicken like doing a chickie run and risking his own life.