Sixteen Candles, by John Hughes Essay

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Director John Hughes does it again. In Sixteen Candles, he captures the essence of high school from the views of the nerds to the jocks. Depicted in the daily lives of the main characters, he shows even back in 1984, there is a division by popularity and grade. The struggles and pressures students faced are the same as what students are faced with in today’s high schools. This movie relates to teens year after year, generation after generation. Just as the author William Zinsser states in College Pressures, “They are too young to be prisoners of their parents’ dreams and their classmates’ fears” (385). Hughes is able to capture this through the eyes of high school students and the pressures they feel. High school …show more content…
Zinsser quotes it best, “One of the few things America does not proclaim is the right to fail” (381). If Jake breaks up with Caroline, in his mind, to his friends, he would be a failure. So he continues to be unhappy and date her. The nerds of the movie, with their freshman leader, “Farmer Ted”. They just want to be noticed. Farmer Ted tries to impress Samantha, while riding the school bus with her. He quickly gets shot down. He gets another chance to speak with Samantha at a school dance. Although Samantha is already annoyed that her family entire has forgotten that it was her sixteenth birthday, she agrees to bring her Grandparents foreign exchange student, Long Duck Dong, with her. This is when Farmer Ted strikes again. He has been pressured by his friends to prove that he has “gotten” somewhere with Samantha. The nerds request he produce underpants, as said proof. Zinsser quotes it best, “Peer pressure and self-induced pressure are also, intertwined, and they begin almost at the beginning of freshman year” (384). During the dance, Jake confronts Farmer Ted about Samantha. Farmer Ted is worried he maybe in trouble with the popular senior. But Jake just wants to know more about Samantha. Farmer Ted goes back and gives this information to Samantha. He then asks to borrow her underpants! All is well in the nerd world, for the time being. Caroline and Jake have a huge party, after the dance, at

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