Through the same theory the main characters in The Rebel Without a Cause can be analyzed. None of the three children have supportive families and there is a lack of communication at home. Jim, the main character is found at the beginning of the film drunk on the street. When he tries to give his parents any form of explanation they start quarrelling. Jim tells the police officer how a child is supposed to grow up in an environment like this. Judy is also present in the police station because she is found wandering about the streets late at night possibly looking for ‘company’.
She explains herself and it can easily be concluded that she deviates from social norms to get attention from her father. In both movies children without a supportive father figure end up in trouble whereas Boyz ‘n’ the Hood provides a stark comparison by adding a character that does have his fathers support.
The labeling theory explains why certain characters act a certain way in the films. “The labeling theory states that of people are called something or told who they are often enough shall begin to act in that manner.” (Leblanc 64) For example, if a child is labeled a bully in school even if he has done the act one and continues to be called a bully it is quite likely that he will try to or conform to the label that has been given to him. On the other hand if a person is told that they can excel over and over again they will most like live up to those expectations. In Boyz ‘n’ the Hood this contrast is observed between Ricky and Doughboy. Their mother continuously puts Doughboy down and praises Ricky.“You ain’t shit, you don’t do shit, and you ain’t never going to amount to shit,” is one of the remarks passed by the mother to Doughboy. When we observe the first half of the movie which depicts the boys childhood it is apparent that Doughboy was not always a deviant. When the boys in the hood, pun intended, take away Ricky’s football Doughboy is appalled. The child simply wants his brother to have his ball back.
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