The other day, I finally watched Rebel without a Cause, which stars the mesmerizing James Dean. The Movie title sparked my interest when it was mentioned in a history book as the movie which symbolized the feelings of teens in the 50’s. During that time many middle-class Americans had a cozy, sheltered existence which led to a problem of conformity and delusional, complacency. Their general complacency was delusional because many Americans were still in extreme suffering and the quality of life in America was definitely not increasing. As a result, many intellectuals, artists, and teens were extremely dissatisfied with their surroundings. So, parents of 1950 teens had many worries, and, we today have brilliant, thought provoking movies .
Rebel without a Cause is a prime example of that last statement. There were several themes running through the movie such as parenting, family structure, honesty, love, etc. But, the theme that caught my attention was the importance of sincerity and moral strength. Jim Stark (Dean), for all his vices, was sincere and morally strong. His own moral strength is what made him dissatisfied with his father, the icon of a younger boy named Plato, an unfortunate witness to Buzz’s death in a Chickee Race, and the prey of a group of bullies armed with knives. While, Jim wasn’t very smart, his moral strength made his character admirable. Jim’s sincerity is what “gets the girl”. At first, Judy wasn’t very impressed with him. But later, she comes to admire him because Jim is honest and true which “is the most important thing.”
Even though Jim Stark’s character wasn’t by any means “bad”. His character does explain some of the appeal of the “bad boy” or “bad girl”. No one in this world is perfect; everyone has a vice. When a person’s vice is not hidden, others can get used to it, and look past it. A person with obvious vices (as long they aren’t terrible like murder or thievery) makes others feel comfortable, because that person probably won’t be an ugly surprise. On the other hand, a person who appears vice-free could be okay or, full of some nasty surprises. To illustrate: I’d feel more comfortable buying a used car that’s advertised as needing a “few minor repairs “, than buying a used car that’s advertised as “in perfect condition”. In Conclusion, everyone shouldn’t “let it all out” because moral strength is a quality we all should cultivate, but, whatever we are going to do (good or bad) should be unpretentious and sincere.
To end on a fluffy musical note, I added a music video by one of my favorite bands The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. I love how fizzy and chill the music is but how expressive the lyrics are. My favorite member of the band would have to be Peggy Wang. I adore the long hair and long bangs.
I hope you enjoyed this post. Much thanks for reading. Many many hugs and warm feelings. J