The five main characters are named Andrew Clark; Brian Johnson; Claire Standish; John Bender; and Allison Reynolds. These characters wrestle with self-acceptance; longs for parental approval; and fight against peer pressure. The objective of these students are to write an essay of no less than one thousand words about who they think they are. This is given to them by their principal/ warden for the day, Richard “Dick” Vernon, played by Paul Xavier Gleason. He tries to keep them in their separate cliques by telling them to remain quiet and stating that any monkey business is ill-advised.
He starts out by saying “It is now 7:06. You have exactly 8 hours and 54 minutes to think about WHY you are here – to ponder the error of your ways. You will not talk… you will now move… from these seats. ” Andrew Clark, played by Emilio Estevez, is an athlete, a jock, and a “sporto. ” He is currently on the high school wrestling team. His dad is always pushing him to do better since he doesn’t want his son to be a loser because that’s not “acceptable” in his family. Andrew learns to accept the pressure and his wrestling life, although he doesn’t want to be in it.
He also learns to accept the fact that taping Larry Lester’s butt cheeks was very wrong and the fact that his dad was okay with it and wanted him to do worse to Larry was also wrong. Brian Johnson, played by Anthony Michael Hall, is a “brainiac”, a geek, and a “neo-maxie zoom deebie (a dork). ” Brian is always looking for acceptance from the popular crowd and could never get it. He learns the most important thing is to accept himself. His reason for being in detention was he brought a gun to school to attempt suicide. Claire Standish, played by Molly Ringwald, is a princess, a prom queen, and “miss popularity. She struggles throughout the movie to accept that she is unhappy. She also realizes she is trying to be something she’s not so she would be considered “popular. ” Claire discovers that she is not alone. She learns that everyone needs to mask their feelings to become what people expect them to be and eventually learns to accept herself. At home, her mother tries to keep Claire from having fun. John Bender, played by Judd Nelson, is a criminal, a rebel, a punk, and a rebellious bad boy. He starts out as a tough guy who no one really knows well.
He shows no respect towards anyone especially teachers and school property. Eventually, he shows acceptance for himself and his classmates and changes his attitude when they share things about themselves. Throughout the movie, he makes fun of Claire but by the end of the movie he shows compassion for her. To show he changed, he stops being rude to Claire and begins to accept everyone else. John becomes more comfortable in his own skin as well as with the other people around him. Allison Reynolds, played by Ally Sheedy, is a basket case, a loner, and a weirdo.
She has always felt like an outcast, she is also the most socially isolated and says she has no friends. Throughout the movie, she discovers the unhappiness in her home life is not her fault. At home, Allison is a victim of child neglect from her workaholic parents, and as a result carries a large bag with her to school every day in case she feels like running away. She is the least hesitant to talk openly about her home life and is not afraid of being different. She is also a compulsive liar. She also learns to accept herself and her classmates.
Allison claims she is in detention due to the fact she had nothing better to do. I feel I can best identify myself with the character Claire Standish. One thing we have in common is the fact that we believe in relationships where there is one guy and one girl. In the movie, you find out that Claire doesn’t fool around with just any guy and sex isn’t just about physical pleasure for her. Another thing we have in common is the roles our parents play in our lives. Our parents tend to discipline us for the wrong things we do. The third thing we have in common is we both have a sense of security.
Because these characters are from different random groups, none of them are from the same background and are all odd. Although they seem different, they find out they are very similar. They learn to overcome their difference and sort of become friends. They leave detention having a sense of who they are and how they want to remain. In the end, Brian wrote the essay stating they know what they did was wrong and they think Mr. Vernon is crazy for making them write an essay telling him who they think they are because he sees them as he wants to see them.