Study Guide

Sixteen Candles Betrayal

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Betrayal's a strong word for what happens in Sixteen Candles. No one has an affair with someone else's spouse. No one drops their best friend off a cliff to save themselves. But teenagers love using strong, melodramatic words, and Sam definitely feels betrayed by her family for forgetting her sixteenth birthday. Her life is ruined. Ruined.

At least for one day. But a day is a long time when you're sixteen. It's .02% of your whole life.

Questions About Betrayal

  1. Why is Sam so upset that her family forgets her birthday? Why is it so important?
  2. How does Sam show her family she is upset that they forgot?
  3. How does her family make it up to her that they forget? Or do they? Does Sam forgive her family for forgetting her birthday?
  4. How does Caroline betray Jake's trust? How does he let her know that she hurt his feelings?

Chew on This

Some people would lash out, but Sam reacts to her family forgetting her birthday by retreating into her own head and getting depressed. This is a pretty realistic depiction of anger at sixteen years old.

No one's good about actually expressing that their feelings have been hurt. Jake searches for a new girlfriend without even telling Caroline, which makes Sam's passive aggressive attitude toward her family pale in comparison.

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