Psychoanalysis of Brian from "The Breakfast Club"

1169 words 5 pages
Brian Johnson (Nerd)
Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development Brian Johnson, as well as the rest of the characters from Hughes’ The Breakfast Club, can be categorized in more than one level/stage of Lawrence Kohlberg’s levels/stages of moral development. Many of the characters grow as people and can be seen at different levels of moral development throughout the film. For the purpose of this analysis, Brian will be categorized based on the general impressions and behaviors he expresses before reaching his “changing moment” near the end of the film (along with the other characters). Brian can be categorized as being in level two (conventional reasoning), stage four (social systems morality) in accordance to Kohlberg’s theory. He
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Brian was always concerned with what was “morally right” throughout the film.
There were also moments where Brian would appear to be confused with his role because he would try and “fit” into many different roles to be accepted by his peers. One example of this role confusion was when he stated he had slept with Claire to be “cool,” but then admitted to being a virgin once confronted about his lie. When Brian mimics Andy’s behavior when talking to Allison about her “stealing,” Brian is also trying extremely hard to “fit in.” Brian knew he was a “nerd” (as he is labeled that by the other characters) and mentions his intelligence and participation in academic clubs in the film. Brian also mentioned the constant pressure he felt from his parents and teachers to maintain his high grades and how this pressure was detrimental to his emotional state. This pressure is one of the key characteristics of Erikson’s identity versus role confusion conflict and this pressure served as the main reason for Brian attempting to commit suicide using a flare gun. This unfortunate act was because of an “F” Brian was given for a dysfunctional lamp he had created in his shop class. According to Erikson’s theory, Brian was definitely experiencing the “identity versus role confusion” conflict.
Marcia’s Theory of Identity Development In this film, Brian can be categorized in one of the statuses of Marica’s theory of identity development that almost all of