Breakfast Club: The Criminal (John Bender)

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Breakfast Club: The Criminal (John Bender) by Mind Map: Breakfast Club: The Criminal (John Bender)

1. Psychoanalytic Perspective

1.1. Defense Mechanism: Displacement and Reaction Formation

1.1.1. Displacement A defense mechanism that involves shifting sexual or aggressive impulses toward a more acceptable or less threatening object or person. In the film, it is evident that Bender is constantly frustrated and upset by his dad's actions. Instead of releasing these aggressive impulses towards his father, he releases them towards Claire and Andrew.

1.1.2. Reaction Formation A defense mechanism that describes the tendency of an individual to act in a manner opposite from his or her unconscious beliefs. Bender bullied Claire. He elevated Claire's family background and mocked her. In the end, Bender kisses Claire, which would suggest that he loved her for much of the movie. He acted in a manner that contradicts his true feelings for Claire, which is exactly what reaction formation describes.

1.2. Stages of Personality Development: Fixation at the Oral Stage.

1.2.1. Being overindulged or under-indulged in this stage of development results in an oral receptive personality in which one is preoccupied with oral activities. In the film, Bender is both a smoker and drinker which is normal activities for infants fixated in the oral stage of development.

2. Social-Emotional Development

2.1. Marcia's Identity Diffusion

2.1.1. The status in which an individual has not made a commitment to an identity, nor has even explored an identity At one point in the film, Andrew belittles Bender for not having any goals for his life and that Bender might as well not exist at the school due to the lack of identity. Andrew describes Bender accurately, as Bender is in a state of Identity Diffusion due to his tough upbringing, as he has not yet realized his social identity.

2.2. Baumrind's Parenting Styles: Neglectful

2.2.1. Parenting style where the parent acts indifferent to the child and has little emotional involvement. The parents make few to no demands and are univolved in the child's life At the very beginning of the film, the audience sees all the kids get dropped off by their parents, except Bender. This may suggest that his parents do not care about his life. Also, Bender makes many comments throughout the film about how his father doesn't pay attention to him. This type of parenting is quite similar to that of a neglectful parent.

3. Social Psychology

3.1. The Mere Exposure Effect

3.1.1. A psychological phenomenon by which people tend to develop a liking for things because they are exposed to it over and over again. At the beginning of the detention, Bender acts contemptuously towards Claire due to their differing lifestyles and personalities. However, by the end the detention they become much more acclimated and comfortable with one another due to getting to know each other better, to the point of kissing each other. This drastic change in their relationship within a short time frame can be explained by the Mere Exposure Effect.

3.2. Self Fulfilling Prophecy

3.2.1. The process by which ones expectations about another person eventually leads the other person to behave in ways that confirm these expectations. At one point in the movie, Bender was imitating his father by saying, "Stupid, worthless, no good, retarded, big mouth, know-it-all, jerk". By his father placing expectations on Bender's behavior and treating him in this manner, Bender unwillingly starts to behave in this manner in order to live up to his "prophecy".

3.3. Fundamental Attribution Error

3.3.1. The fundamental attribution error is people's tendency to place an undue emphasis on internal characteristics to explain someone else's behavior in a given situation, rather than considering various external factors. Prior to their getting to know Bender in detail, other people considered him aggressive and disrespectful and believed that such quality is a result of his predisposed personality. However, Bender has been treated badly at home, constantly abused verbally and physically, and he has had to defend for himself alone. While everyone attributed his rude actions to personal predisposition, the aggressive behavior of Bender could be more due to the impact of his domestic environment than it is due to his preexisting characteristics.