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Rebel Without A Cause Essay

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Rebel Without A Cause is a 1955 movie about three adolescents challenging societal norms of their time period. One of the adolescents, Jim Stark, has issues with his family because he humiliated them by publicly fighting on more than one occasion. The cause of his anger stems from his frustrations with his father’s submissiveness to his step-mother. In reference to the allegory of the cave, Jim is the ignorant one, while the reality of his family dynamic challenges his reality. Jim Stark, aged in his late teens, is a character who is full of angst. Learning the ways of life and how to be a man himself, he is a sponge for information and is now able to express his opinions of the outside world. In the 1950s, women were expected to be inferior …show more content…
He told his father to remove the apron and informed him of what he thought was necessary in order to increase his masculinity and superiority (hitting her). Later, when his step-mother was around, Jim hinted for his father to take action, but his father would not. This scene of the movie represents the part of the allegory where the enlightened individual is challenged by the ignorant individuals, and is met with disbelief and rejection. During this scene, Jim is the ignorant individual, while his parents are the enlightened. His father refuses to take action to his son’s request not because he is a weak person, but because he is accepting of the changing social norms and the superiority of his wife. Jim’s step-mother and father have been enlightened through their marriage and through their experiences with each other. It can be assumed that, before he remarried, he shared the same values with Jim, because he was most likely the person who taught his son these values as he grew up. This would also explain Jim’s constant frustration with his father - having a conflict within himself about the authenticity of what he had been taught and wanting to hold onto his core

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