Ferris is a high school rebel, and Sloane's the Bonnie to his Clyde. (You know, minus all of the murder and robbery.) To the two of them, "gym class looks like forced recreation in the prison yard, and students at school are like subjects in an experiment to see how long human beings can remain awake in the face of unbearable boredom" (source). In other words, they're typical teenagers. And rules and order—especially those established by inept authority figures like Ed Rooney—have no place in their freewheeling, adolescent world.
Then there's Cameron. He's been brought up under a ton of rules, and we can see how well that's worked out. He's indecisive, insecure, and perpetually sick. The movie suggests that the best thing for what ails Cameron would be to break some rules and, even better, make some of his own.
Questions About Rules and Order
- What are three things Ferris rebels against, and why are they (or aren't they) targets worthy of dissent?
- If teenagers are supposed to be all about rule breaking and rebelling against authority, what's the deal with Jeanie?
- Does your school have any bogus rules? Explain why they need to be revised or repealed.
Chew on This
Ferris Bueller's Day Off is the ultimate expression of the American idea of freedom; it even has a baseball game.
As a privileged young white man from an affluent home "rebelling" against the "injustices" of a wealthy suburban school, Ferris Bueller is the picture of entitlement.