Rebel Without a Cause

By: Erin James, 8th hour English 11


Plato seems to be sort of a loner of the group, he does not really fit in with anyone and stays to himself most of the time. He seems to get into trouble just because it's something to do. He is mostly by himself, he does have a mother, but she is gone most of the time. The only person that Plato has to depend on is the housekeeper, otherwise he seems to be extremely lonely and misunderstood. He possibly has a chemical imbalance in his brain, he seems to not be able to have social contact with many people, talks almost childlike, and in the beginning of the movie, we find out that he had actually shot puppies. I wouldn't say that Plato is a bad person, just extremely misunderstood.

Plato does have a cause...

Even though the title says "rebel without a cause", every character in the movie does in fact have a cause for their rebellion, the most common one was the dysfunctional families they were raised in. The main problems and the challenges that Plato face during the movie, are his troubles with trying to conform to the normal and trying to be normal. Whenever he attempts to try and be like the other teenagers around him, he is thought of as more strange, and that is when he seems to want to rebel. Plato is not sure how to express how he is feeling to people so he becomes frustrated with himself and then comes out as something unhelpful to his cause. No one understands what is going through his head during the movie, but the only people that attempt to try are the people that were closest to him in the movie, Jim and Judy. The people who he had met just in a couple days seemed to be closer to him than his own mother was, his mother would leave and visit his sibling, so Plato felt as if he was not wanted and unimportant. The biggest challenge in the movie for Plato was...himself.


Plato changed a little throughout the movie, when he first started, he did not manage to trust anyone, and not be able to communicate well, and in the end, even though it is accompanied by his death, he does have friends who support and try and understand him. Plato shows that he gains trust throughout the movie, because before he would have wanted to have been in control of everything and would have never handed Jim the gun that he had. But in the end, Plato's life was ended suddenly because he seemed to be unstable and made poor choices.

Going in depth

When the kids discover the abandoned mansion, it might have just seemed like fun and games and that they were all messing around, but the mansion symbolized more than that. The mansion was a symbol of how badly each one of the children wanted a "perfect" family, one that all stayed together and seemed happy. Showed how desperately each one dreams of having that kind of a family so their children don't end up being rebels like they were.


I think the main lesson in this movie was for parents to stop worrying about their children rebelling so much, because in reality not everyone was rebelling, it just seemed that way. Showed people that teenagers then were not as bad as they had thought, and that they can be kind citizens just like everyone else. Also showed us that they were kind of rebelling to just be their own person and not to conform to what everyone else wanted them to be. They wanted to be individuals and Be noticed.


Do you think it would benefit Jim for him and his family to move again?

No, i don't think that it would be beneficial for Jim to love again. He hasn't had enough time to put his feet down and make friends. That's why i think he showed his parents who Judy was, so that they realize that he finally feels like he belongs some place for the first time in his life. Moving away would just take all the stable ground that he has made now. I think if they moved him away that he would rebel more because he wouldn't know what to do with himself otherwise.