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comppaper2 - In analyzing American teen movies, one must...

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In analyzing American teen movies, one must remember that the themes of these films are supposed to be occurring from the point of view of a teenager. Teens think differently than adults, for they are at pivotal stages of psychological and physical development. This stage of life is characterized by an exaggerated concept of self- importance and self-centeredness. Teenagers psychologically process events differently than adults do, for they believe that what happens in their lives is the most important and grandest situation to ever occur (Berk, 2006). For example a teen might believe that a member of the opposite sex who does not find her attractive is sabotaging the future of her romantic life, or an embarrassing moment in the school cafeteria will severely and permanently affect her reputation, which will in turn ruin her life. Adolescence, as depicted both on screen and in reality, is “that intense, suspended moment between yesterday and tomorrow, between childhood and adulthood, between being a nobody and a somebody, when everything is in question, and anything is possible” (Julian, 2). Adolescence is unique and fascinating because it is the sole period of life when one lacks responsibilities while simultaneously possessing many newfound freedoms of emerging adulthood. Teen movies display fictitious, yet relatable encounters with this newfound freedom. Although some of the situations found deep within the halls of the on-screen high schools are exaggeration representations of what truly occurs within America’s high schools, they are reality based and completely possible. Most of what happens in teen movies could happen in real life if the right combinations of people, attitudes, and motivations were present. Most adolescents explore emerging adulthood fairly calmly and controlled, including some experimentation, sexuality, and irresponsible
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behaviors. The contents of teen movies fall in these categories of typical adolescent socialization and experience while providing an audience with entertainment. If teen movies simply presented exactly what occurred in a typical high school on any given day, it would not be entertaining. Through the presentation of realistic teen life situations exaggerated to the next level, or the further exploration of what teens wish they had the audacity to experience, teen movies become a form of entertainment that is in sync with the life stage of the typical teenager. Teenage society, based upon a self-constructed mock of America’s class based society (Beck, 18), tends to enable some while preventing others from confidently and completely enjoying adolescence. Alpha males and females, whom usually come from affluent families and are physically appealing, tend to dominate high school society and use their power to oppress the outsiders, or those who lack the personality or physicality to behave or appear like the alpha group. Situations that occur within actual American high schools between subgroups or subcultures of students are not as pronounced as
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This note was uploaded on 04/29/2008 for the course ENG COMP taught by Professor Ing during the Fall '08 term at Skidmore.

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comppaper2 - In analyzing American teen movies, one must...

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