Cameron is a walking, talking ball of anxiety (until he has an emotional breakdown and neither walks nor talks, that is). And who can blame him? His parents are remote—specifically his dad, who treats his Ferrari like more of a son than he does Cameron.
Ferris, on the other hand, is as fearless as Cameron is fearful. For example, Ferris walks right into Chez Quis and steals Abe Froman's table. He's confident, and it works: He gets the table and an apology from the stuck-up maître d'. Ferris and Cameron are a study in contrasts, and the movie suggests that Ferris's bold approach is the way to go. In other words, if you want to be free, argues Ferris Bueller's Day Off, if you have any ounce of self-worth, you must face your fears.
Questions About Fear
- Cameron's father, Morris, looms large in the film, but we never actually see or hear him. How would the movie change if we got a firsthand glimpse of Morris?
- Spotting the mileage the parking attendants put on his dad's car causes Cameron to "[go] berserk," reevaluate his life, and realize that he's tired of being afraid. Why do you think this specific incident sets him off?
- Cameron's not the only character that evolves over the course of the film. Jeanie does, too. What's she afraid of?
- We'd argue that Ferris stealing Abe Froman's table is the most fearless thing he does all day. What do you think would've happened if the real "Sausage King of Chicago" turned up to Chez Quis?
Chew on This
Ferris's sole mission is to help Cameron become more confident in the face of his father's cruelty and materialism.
Cameron isn't afraid of his dad; he's afraid of the homicidal fury he'll unleash if he goes off on his dad.