On a sunny Saturday morning, five very different adolescents came together to serve a Saturday detention at Shermer High School in the movie The Breakfast Club. Forced to sit for eight hours with students whom they normally did not associate, they would soon make a discovery - themselves .
Whether it is intentional or not, families mold their children into reflections of themselves. Society encourages us as adolescents and people to "cut free from the past, to define our own selves, to choose the groups with which we wish to identify" (Bellah, 154). Adolescents are first exposed to this socialization at home, but it is enhanced by school through peer pressure experienced in every social circle as well as in sports, clubs, and other communities. Socialization creates identity as its natural product (Selznick 197). It is thus, through a student's affiliation, or lack there of, with clubs, sports, etc, that he becomes labeled as a "preppy", a "jock", a "nerd", a "burner", and so on, thereby gaining some sort of initial identity outside the home. The "psychological development of adolescents is shaped by contemporary societal conditions" (Mitterauer 18) such as those created by a student's affiliations or isolations.
Adolescence is "a period of preparation and self-definition" (Hine, 11). Adolescents are able to grow in the settings of a community because communities are based on a "framework of shared beliefs, interests, and commitments [that] unites a set of varied [people]" (Selznick 195). The members of the breakfast club are much varied, yet they are able to come together in order to discover themselves. The Breakfast Club finds its characters immersed in the state of middle adolescence. The students are introspective but at the same time "morbidly preoccupied with what others think of them" (Harter 122). They attribute characteristics not as their own, but as to where they were derived (Harter).