Friday, 8 April 2011

Lesson for the day.

Rabid Lit Major
Mood: Chipper
Watching: Mentalist
Reason I love it: 1. Simon Baker's adorable, even without his Australian accent. His eyes twinkle. Also, this week, MORENA BACCARIN GUEST STARS! (For those of you who did NOT watch Firefly after I told you to...shame on you...Morena Baccarin plays Inara Serra)

Ok, so I was talking about Ferris Bueller's Day Off with a friend, and it occurred to me that most people probably think that Ferris Bueller is the protagonist of the story.


So here is your quick lesson for the day.

The protagonist of the story is not necessarily the title character, or the hero, or even the character we see the most. These are all false assumptions. The protagonist...the main character...of a story is the character who is changed by the events of that story.

Cameron Frye is the main character of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off". Not Ferris Bueller.

I'm completely serious. Take a moment and really think about the film. Whenever you look at a story, you have to ask yourself what is so special about these events that we start the story here? What is the point of what Ferris does? If it was simply supposed to be about sipping school, then why this day? He's already skipped nine times. There is something special about this day. Now think about the climax of the film. The most dramatic occurrence of the film was easily the destruction of the Ferrari 250. This is definitely the climax, because it is the action that marks a shift in the story and sparks the resolution. It is at this point that Cameron has his catharsis and overcomes his neurotic nature, ready to take a stand.

Everything Ferris does is centered around Cameron. At every point he is involving him, breaking the fourth wall to talk about how worried he is about him, and asking him to have a good time.

Because I love metaphors, I will put it in another way.

Cameron Frye is Bilbo Baggins. Ferris Bueller is Gandalf the Grey.


  1. Wait, what? Those two actors played those two characters? And then Bilbo and Gandalf? o.0

  2. I can't decide if you're being facetious, so I'll answer as if you meant that question seriously.


    I'm saying that the characters fulfill similar roles. Cameron is like Bilbo, not wanting to leave his house and very timid. Ferris is like Gandalf, dragging him out on an adventure that will ultimately help him and make him grow.

  3. In the new Hobbit movie, Gandalf is played once again by Ian McKellen and Bilbo will be played by Martin Freeman (whom I adore for his portrayal of John Watson in BBC's "Sherlock")

  4. I do admit that Simon Baker is adorable even without the accent, but why can't he be an Aussie consultant? For me, the American accent takes away some of the charm. Maybe you could do a post about why we love the accents of other English-speakers. Don't know how that relates to literature, but I bet you could manage to tie it in somehow. :)

    Sorry I can't comment on your actual post - I don't actually remember most of the plot of Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Guess it means you have to make me watch it, right? Ha.