Analyzing Cinematic Satire Elements

Analyzing Cinematic Satire Elements



Discuss the following with your classmates.

  • What were some of the details you enjoyed from other trios’ modernized city mouse/country mouse stories?
  • To what degree were the characterizations exaggerated? Was this an effective strategy?
  • Turning to the Hughes article, what is the usual topic for his movies? And what’s his perspective, according to the article?
  • What other Hughes movies have you seen? Any thoughts on his approach to satire?

Stereotypes in Film and Television

Work Time

John Hughes was a master at using stereotypes to connect with young viewers, while simultaneously calling them to question such stereotypes and reconsider how they see themselves and others.

For example, in The Breakfast Club , a group of students in Saturday detention unites and leaves a letter to the assistant principal, asserting that he, like most adults, views students as he wishes to in the most convenient and trite terms, “You see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal.” The students, who themselves once reduced each other to stereotypes, leave detention viewing each other as individuals.

  • Consider the role that stereotypes play in satire.
  • Consider your experiences with stereotypes in film and television.
  • Conduct an online search to further acquaint yourself with a film or television show that uses high school stereotypes to make a point.

High School Stereotypes

Work Time

Consider the following about your film or television show.

  • What stereotypes are being used?
  • What is the effect of this characterization?
  • In what way is it satirical?
  • Does the portrayal reach the level of parody or does it seem authentic?

Open Notebook

Share your ideas with a few classmates and then with the whole class.

Stereotypical Characters

Work Time

Consider what’s been shared about the stereotypical characters and discuss the following.

  • What details did you miss?
  • Which character do you find most sympathetic? Least sympathetic?
  • What point is the writer making from what you see here?
  • What details make these characters more like caricatures than real people? Are there some who are more obviously exaggerated than others?
  • How do these caricatures add to the satire?

Juxtaposition of Characters


Consider the juxtaposition of characters in the clips you’ve seen and complete a writing response.

  • What for you was the most interesting juxtaposition of characters?
  • Why? How did this placement help develop the satire or the characters themselves?

Open Notebook

Stock Characters


Write a response to the following.

  • What are two stock characters in high school today that weren’t covered by the movie? Describe them.

Open Notebook