Final Project

For my final project I am going to look at what it means to be human for a teenager. It seems that the question, “What is human?” refers to the average adult who has experience, proves to be wise, and fully civilized. I almost see there to be different stages of being human depending on what point we are at in life based on age, maturity, etc.

After trying to figure out how to show this, I wanted to focus on media, in particular movies. The media portrays a stereotype and in my case, a stereotype of the teenager. My archive will be teen films in general but I plan to mainly focus on two films, The Breakfast Club and Project X. These movies depict the average teenager in two different time periods, nearly thirty years apart. I plan to compare and contrast the differences between the two depictions of teenagers at the two eras and show how the idea of being a teenage human has changed and developed.

I specifically chose these two films because there seems to be a general theme in both of them: A bunch of teenagers forced into a confined space with little to none adult supervision. The teenagers are forced to fend for themselves and interact with each other. I want to bring up some key thoughts and perspectives that the teen characters bring up in each film and how these thoughts shape what it means to be a teenage human at the time. I also plan on analyzing the actions that the teens make as a whole that define who they are. I almost see these two films as depicting the “raw teen” in a sense where they are left alone with little parental intervention and forced to make decisions on their own that oppose the adult.

I plan to incorporate the technogenesis of the teen and show how the teen has evolved. Also, I want to offer insight onto what the teen may turn into next, after the current teen human.

It is common to look at the adult human when asking the question “What is human?” but what about the stages that the adult had to take to get there? All adults had to go through the teenage years and learn from their mistakes to be the wise and experienced people they are depicted as.

I chose this topic because I have previously done some research and analyzed teen films in another class. I did not focus on the same topic but have a very good idea of the topics and issues brought up in teen films that will definitely help in asking the question “What is a teenage human?” I almost see this topic as a subset of the actual question “What is human?” I think it is fair to say that teenagers are held to a different standard than grown adults and this should be recognized.

I appreciate any criticism or ideas to help make my final project better.



  1. I really like this idea!! I think you will notice some similarities, mostly because of the age and period of life that both movies take place during, but obviously there will be numerous extreme differences between the two. I think asking the question “what is human?” in a teenager point of view, because not only are they changing their views on the world, but they are also just really beginning to discover who they are, in my opinion.

  2. I actually find this topic very interesting. It is a multifaceted topic that I wonder how you will be able to cover in a single paper. To be honest, i feel as though everyone’s definition will be slightly different. I think it is great you are willing to try to give your side on the topic.

  3. This is a really cool idea! I am excited to see what you find similar because from what I can put together they are very different. I really like how you are incorperating “what is human” along with what does it mean to be a teenager because a lot of us can relate to that! I am excited to see what you do with this.

  4. I really like this idea. I think there are a lot of differences between the two, but I am curious as to what the similarities are. I like the idea of incorporating “what is human” into a teenager’s perspective. During the teenage years, you really get to discover who you are and the views you have on the world.

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