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So I am curious John Bender is portrayed as a burn-out, soon-to-be on welfare, your future armed robber, killer, burglar, and alcoholic at first in The Breakfast Club. However, as the movie progresses we notice that he seems to have some compassion and might even care more about others than himself at the end. Maybe he was actually the hero. I don't know, but I think he was. Was he?

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    See also John Bender: Breakfast Club Wiki for a take on the character that suggests he is more a victim of circumstance (or at least feels like he is) who is 'acting out'. In a sense that justifies why, once his defences are at least partly broken down, the good side of him starts to show through. Not evil as such, but projects that persona to shield himself. – Andrew Thompson Feb 1 '17 at 3:26
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Breakfast Club producer Ned Tanen:

[Judd] Nelson was the Bogart of his era. The anti-hero hero.


In a sense, they are all "heroes," in that they all go through an ordeal and emerge from it stronger, more fully realized people. Judd Nelson's John Bender, however, does seem to more strongly define the characteristics of the hero's journey.

He initiates the call to adventure with his irreverent behavior, prompting the group to first react to—and interact with—each other. Later, he is responsible for the group's experience of crossing the threshold, in which they venture out of the library in search of Bender's bag of weed. Bender is also an integral part of the Reward step, also known as Seizing the Sword: here, he makes out with Claire (Molly Ringwald) and receives from her a diamond earring stud—which he puts in his ear.

Again, they're all heroic in individual ways, but Bender's fulfillment of classic hero stages is more pronounced and definitive than that of his schoolmates. The iconic final shot of the film, which freeze-frames on Bender punching his fist defiantly, triumphantly skyward, seems to underscore this.

Bender punches the sky

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