Teens Psychology in the Rye and the Breakfast Club

Published: 2021-08-24 19:00:08
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Neuroscientist, Carolyn Gregoire, talks about the mystery of teenage brain in her interview with HuffPost Science: “The frontal lobes, which are the seat of executive function, decision-making, empathy, judgment, insight and impulse control are the last places that hook up to the rest of the brain during development.” Gregoire answered to the question: “In terms of decision-making, would it be accurate to say that teenagers are wired to be risk-takers?” Her answer shows that teengaers’ brains are still in development, so they might appear as risk takers who do not think and act as adults. Teens’ decisions are under more emotional influence, than they are in an adult, since their brains are not fully developed until the age of 25. The Catcher in the Rye and The Breakfast Club illustrates teens anger towards the society and how it causes them to make impulsive decisions and have negative consequences. Holden from The catcher in The Rye and characters from The Breakfast Club show how their decisions have consequences for others and themselves.
In chapter 7 of The catcher in The Rye, after talking with Ackley, Holden is walking in the corridor, trying to avoid going back to his room to see Stradlater but: “All of a sudden, I changed my mind. All of a sudden, I decided what I’d really do, I’d get the hell out of Pencey- right that same night and all. I mean not wait till Wednesday or anything. I just didn’t want to hang around any more” (Salinger 51). Under the circumstances Holden was in, he did not think it was necessary to inform his parents, teachers, nor his friends, because his main concern was leaving everything and running away with no plan. Holden appears as a risk taker because he takes a risk of leaving to go to New York with completely no idea of what he’s going to do next. Therefore, he does not care that his parents or teachers might worry, or that he is abandoning his education and future, because of this decision people who care about him are going to lose their trust and faith in him. At one point in The Breakfast Club, when everyone is sitting the circle in the library, Brian asks: “what is gonna happen to us on Monday?” then he adds: ” I mean. I consider you guys my friends, I’m not wrong, am I?” Meanwhile Claire says they are friends, on Monday they would act as they do not know each other because of their social status in the school, which made Bender furious: “And as far as being concerned about what’s gonna happen when you and I walk down the hallways at school, you can forget it! ‘Cause it’s never gonna happen! Just bury your head in the sand…and wait for your fuckin’ prom!” (Bender).
Claire chose her popularity over her friends without even thinking how that might affect them. Even though, she made a point how Andrew would do exactly the same thing because of his image, everyone else said they would never do such a hideous thing. By making this decision, Claire keeps pushing people away which might cause both her and her friends to be self conscious and insecure. Holden from The catcher in The Rye and characters from The Breakfast Club show how anger causes them to be irrational make irrational decision.
Throughout the book, The Catcher in The Rye, Holden keeps reminiscing and admiring his brother, but when he passed away Holden lashed out: “I was only thirteen, and they were going to have me psychoanalyzed and all, because I broke all the windows in the garage. I don’t blame them. I really don’t. I slept in the garage the night he died, and I broke all the goddam windows with my fist, just for the hell of it… It was a very stupid thing to do, I’ll admit, but I hardly didn’t even know I was doing it, and you didn’t know Allie” (Salinger 38-39). Holden is furious that Allie died so young, leaving him feeling abandoned because he idealizes him, so now he does not know how to act nor what to do. At that moment, it’s easier to deal with physical pain for Holden, then emotional pain. His rage provoked him to make irrational decisions like ignore his feelings or disconnect himself. In The Breakfast Club, when Vernon locked Bender in a closet because of his behavior, he gave a speech about how Bender is nothing compared to him and added: “…And I’m gonna kick the living shit out of you, man, I’m gonna knock your dick in the dirt!” (Vernon). Creeped out, Bender asks: “Are you threatening me?” (Bender) As he gets closer to Bender, Vernon shouts: “What’re you gonna do about it? You think anybody’s gonna believe you? You think anybody’s gonna take your word over mine? I’m a man of respect around here. They love me around here, I’m a swell guy…you’re a lying sack of shit!” (Vernon). When Vernon yelled at Bender, he reminded him of his father who is always telling what a shameful son he is. Bender got angry which led to him sneaking out of the closet even though, he was told to sit there till the rest of detention. Sneaking out was his way of showing that he is not afraid of him and that he can not stop him from doing whatever he desires. Bender is afraid to deal with his feelings, so he escapes and does not think rationally. This behavior is shown throughout the movie, Bender argues with Vernon which makes both of them bitter instead of listening to him.
The Catcher in the Rye and The Breakfast Club emphasize how adolescence irritation towards the community have an impact on them in different ways. Holden, Claire, and Bender portray how their emotions cause them to make impulsive decisions that have negative consequences. Teen’s emotions clouds their judgement of what’s right since their brains are still in development.

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