In the movie The Breakfast Club, five students are to spend the entire day together in detention. These five teenagers all come from extremely different backgrounds and social groups within their school. As the movie progresses they learn more about one another. This bond comes about due to the students trying to have fun while in detention. In the beginning ten minutes of the movie one can see the setting of a team form. This means that it was clear that there would be a plan of action made by the teenagers, and that they would execute this plan that would involve going against the rules set forth while they are in detention.
Once this has been made clear, the orientation phase begins within the movie. The most notable part of this phase is how three out of the five students do not talk, and the other two make remarks at one another. This causes primary tension within the group; and increases as such derogatory words like “asshole” and “jerk” are used to reference others. The primary tension really begins when one of the characters say, “Let’s close the door and impregnate the prom queen. ” As time goes on, we see the students begin to talk to one another more; but we also see a power for struggle occur.
This comes about as the students learn that they all have a common interest: they do not like the detention teacher and want to have fun while in detention. During their time alone, however, the struggle between the “jock” and “bad boy” of the group over power is seen. This comes about due to the authoritarian role needed for the group. Within the group there is no official decision as to who the leader is; rather it is a position that is accidently taken on. Further, there is a split for power because of how the two characters trying to be leaders have split roles within the group.
In the movie, Andy, the jock, is the orienteer and the follower at times because he wants to finish his time in detention and not get in trouble. However, Bender, the criminal, has the role of being the blacker and self-confessor. This is because bender brings up his life stories and compares it to Andy’s and Claire’s. He also in turn leads the group away from the assignment given to them by the detention teachers. During this time, the secondary tension occurs. In this Andy and Bender get into a “physical” fight, in which Bender pulls out a switch blade.
Almost immediately after the fight between Bender and Andy, the emergence phase occurs. The movie portrays this phase very well through the scene in which Bender begins to whistle. After a few seconds pass the four other characters within the movie join in. It can be said that this is where we see the emergence of Bender being the group leader, mostly because he defies the teacher and has fun; making the rest of the group want to follow him to reach their goal while in detention. The emergence phase also comes about because the teens begin to learn more about one another.
This is evident in the multiple scenes where they begin to accept the differences among themselves and do not react in the same way they did. The final phase we see before the group begins to take on their task for the day is the reinforcement phase. During this phase, we see the real task at hand come into play. The task is to have fun while they are in detention for an entire day, and we then begin to see how the teenagers work together to go about completing this task. In this phase there is little to no opposition towards Bender, who has become the emergent leader.
Bender takes on the role of leadership by leading the group to safety, taking one for them by being caught, and retrieving marijuana, which is used to help reach their goal. During the end of the reinforcement phase, the teenagers break their social boundaries and become “friends”. After this point, they are able to enjoy the majority of their time in detention. At the end of their detention day they realize that they have formed friendships and strong bonds with one another. Throughout the course of the movie, it is clear how the students are used to represent how a group of diverse people interact with one another.
To directly state how the movie does this, one must look at the group roles involved. Looking at the task roles within a group it is clear that the task roles are best represented by Andy and Brian. Andy is an opinion giver because he openly speaks about his ideas without a second though. Brian is an orienteer because he ends up completing the original task that was given to all the group members at the beginning of detention. Looking at the social roles within the group, one would have to look to Brian and Allison.
Brian is also seen as a follower because he goes along with the group and long with Claire’s suggestion of finishing his essay without question. This is a role of a follower because he also supports his temporary leader, Bender, and goes to smoke with him and Claire. Allison is seen as an emotion expressor because she physically reacts to the emotions of the group. This is partly due to her emotional state of not talking, but she expresses herself the most when there is conflict and opposition within the group. The individual roles within the movie are beset seen through Bender and the entire group as a whole.
Bender takes on the role of the joker because he tells humorous and non-humorous jokes in an effort to make his time in detention enjoyable. The most amazing thing when it comes to individual roles is that, each member of the group takes on the roles of a self-confessor in order to reach their goal, or task. In one scene of the movie, all the teenagers discuss their personal life and how they feel. This becomes the most inspirational part of the movie, and it was interesting to see how group think went into this by allowing them all to break away from the ideas set in their heads about one another.
The Breakfast Club is based on social stereotypes and groups; and shows what can occur when they interact with on another. The diversity seen within this particular group of teenagers causes the initial conflicts within the group. At first, the teenagers are at odds with one another. This is caused by what the intro states as, “have the criminal, jock, nut case, princess, and brain. ” The different worlds being in the same room with one another causes the teenagers to clash with one another; and creates physical and emotional situations to break out. However, the diversity among them allows for them to see a different side of life and people.
This allowed the group to move on from the conflicts that originally arose; and be able to work with one another to make a horrible situation a better one. To achieve this, the group used collaborating management as a style to be able to work with one another. In the end, they were able to see that the conflict laid in the world around them and not in their personal beings and ideas. After watching The Breakfast Club, it is clear that the movie portrays social groups, group think, and communication. As Claire states, “You don’t know how it feels. What they do to you.
In this Claire is referring to her friends, her world; the group think found in it. However, the teenagers found the flaws and unique aspects of one another by bridging the gap in their differences. They did this by being willing to talk about and praise one another and who they are as normal people. This is clear by how Allison talks to Andy, and it is the first time any of the characters have ever heard her speak. They further bridge their difference by trying new things. This is extremely obvious when the group smokes marijuana, some for the first time, and almost instantly grow closer.
In a final analysis of the movie, the group of teenagers can be seen as forming and becoming a team throughout the movie. This particular team has the task of enjoying a day in detention and trying to make the most out of it. However, these teenagers end up completing a different task along the way, which is looking at the difference in people and accepting it and being able to work with them. It was interesting to see how even though a leader emerges; it was just a process of bringing the group close together and being able to complete their tasks. In saying this, there was little to no power presented by any character.
Referent and expert power was seen a few times when Bender influences the rest of the group into sneaking out and smoking marijuana. However, in the end the characters individual roles of being self-confessors allowed the group to reach synergy. This synergy comes from the groups’ willingness to get to know one another; and ultimately become at team and reach their goal of enjoying detention. I really enjoyed this movie, and seeing how group think caused the conflicts to occur, due to social pressure and ideology of their peers, and become closer with one another.