Study Guide

Ferris Bueller's Day Off Choices

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Not to get all Latin on you or anything, but the notion of carpe diem is central to Ferris Bueller's Day Off. The movie is all about making choices and taking chances—you know, seizing the day. Through the evolutions of Cameron and Jeanie, the film shows us that your right now doesn't have to be your forever; there's always another path to choose.

Cameron, for example, starts the movie as an insecure hypochondriac. Then he borrows a car, goes to a Cubs game, eats pancreas, and has a complete emotional breakdown. Typical day off stuff. In the end, he chooses to take a stand against his dad and break it off with his old, fearful self. This whole route to freedom? Totally kick-started by his best bud Ferris, who already knows that life's pretty sweet if you choose to pay attention to it.

Questions About Choices

  1. Does choosing to do what he wants, when he wants, make Ferris a narcissist? How about a hedonist? What about any other fancy words that end in -ist?
  2. How does Jeanie change after she chooses to take the boy in the police station's advice and stop worrying about Ferris so much?
  3. What do the choices that Rooney makes say about him and his sense of self-worth?
  4. If you had a day off from school, and access to a sweet Ferrari, what would you choose to do?

Chew on This

The message of Ferris Bueller's Day Off is to make sick days count.

Cameron achieves freedom when he chooses to disregard his self-created problems.

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