Rebel Without a Cause Essay

Jim transformation can be seen in costuming as his unique process of individuality in finding his identity, at the start of the movie his clothing was a suit jacket with a collared top and tailored pants. By the time James was about to approach the ‘cool kids’ his outfit changes dramatically. He wears jeans, a red jacket and a t-shirt. This technique explores the idea of how James came of age by changing his identity.

At first his clothes symbolizes constraint and conservative were as his new clothes are interpreted as more contemporary. The red jacket represents danger, as his new identity causes him to act out of risky decisions. The clothing of the time was very formal, and by dressing casually and using an ‘I make my own rules’ approach his process of coming of age as an individual is new. Another technique used in the movie to portray his identity can be seen in the car race scene.

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Before the race starts there is a high camera angle with shows a clear track, this tells the audience that they have a clear road ahead of them to start a new identity, and as soon as the race starts, the camera shot is of the back of the cars, this is telling the audience that they are leaving their old identities behind them. This distinct coming of age experience of trying to fit in by risk taking, gives him the ability to find his own identity. Jim coming of age process can be seen when he risk takes by going into a knife fight with the ‘cool kids’.

The camera angle changes to low, looking up at James, every time he tries to stab buzz. This indicates his superiority towards buzz and shows the independence he is able to obtain as he stands up for himself. During the fight camera angles of close up of Jim’s face shows the determination to win. Winning the fight represents the changes he wants to occur which is being a better person, and finding the right thing to do. The process of coming of age is individual to everyone, In Jim’s case this is true as he is stand up to his parents, as Jim is trying to find a father figure, but his overbearing mother always takes control of his father.

Jim wants to see his father stand up for himself. Rebel without a cause exemplifies the incompetence of Jim’s parents to act as responsible adults, and their unwillingness to help their child become an adult. In the police station at the beginning of the movie. Jim’s parents argue he sees them through a door hold. The camera angle changes so it looks like you the audience is looking though it with a black circle around the boarders to make it look so, ssisted with Jim’s and the audience not hearing anything, makes Jim’s confused and anger about his parents cooperation and love towards him which makes him act out in risk taking behaviour. This coming of age process makes Jim’s realise he has to stand up to him parents if he is ever going to be an individual. This process is finally accomplished when Jim’s finally stand up to his parents, he stands higher than them when he talks to them this shows his power and dominance in achieving his coming of age experience of finding an identity.


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