The Theme of Abusive and Absent Fathers in the Movie Stand By Me

123 views 4 pages ~ 1007 words
Get a Custom Essay Writer Just For You!

Experts in this subject field are ready to write an original essay following your instructions to the dot!

Hire a Writer

The movie Stand By Me

The movie Stand By Me narrates a story of four boys, Gordon, Teddy, Chris, and Vern, who hikes to the woods in search of a body of a boy who had gone missing for days. The story starts with the boys playing cards in a tree house. Vern comes running shares with his friends how he overheard his brother, Bill, telling another boy from the gang how he found the body (Gideon and Evans). The boys decide to go into the forest to search for the body so that they can be recognized as town heroes (Gideon and Evans). They walk for two days following the railway line into the forest. Finally, the boys found the body by the railway track but their plan of taking the body back to the town is interrupted by Ace and his gang. Gordon scares the gang away by a gun and the boys report the whereabouts of the body through an anonymous call (Gideon and Evans). Throughout their journey, the boys reveal a lot about their parents. The theme of abusive and absent fathers in the movie is revealed through Gordon who feels invisible in his family, Teddy is physically abused by his sick father, and Chris’ father has a reputation for violence.

Gordon’s Absent Father

Gordon’s father is absent in his life because he does not support him. His father is presented as a man who favors his eldest son, Denny and despised Gordon. From a flashback, the audience learns that Denny was a famous athlete and this made his father hold him in high regards (Gideon and Evans). He did not care about the life of his youngest son who had a talent in writing. He did not take notice of the great stories that Gordon wrote at school. This makes Gordon feel invisible and unloved in the family (Gideon and Evans). In the journey into the woods, Gordon tells Chris that his father hates him. Chris tries to console Gordon by telling him that his father does not know him (Goodman 1; Herman 3). When the boys find the body, Gordon breaks down into tears wishing it could have been him dead so that he can go away from his unloving father (Gideon and Evans). Through the relationship of Gordon and his father, it can be seen that the fathers are absent in their kid’s lives.

Teddy's Abusive Father

Some of the fathers in the movie such as Teddy's dad are physically abusive towards children. Teddy’s injury on the ear was sustained after he was beaten by his father. As described, Teddy is beaten by his father on many occasions and in one instance, he held his ear to a hot stove resulting in a permanent injury (Gideon and Evans). Later, this injury prevented him from serving in the military (Zawicki 2). Teddy’s father served in the second world war a reason that inspires Teddy to be interested in the army (Hannaford 1). Since Teddy’s father is mentally ill, he is absent in his boy’s life. The boy lacks a father figure and a mentor which has a negative impact on life. As noted at the end of the movie, Teddy has been in prison (Gideon and Evans). This indicates that he lacked a father to guide him as he was growing up. Therefore, the fathers depicted in the movie are abusive and absent in the lives of the children.

Chris’ Abusive and Violent Father

Chris’ father is presented as a person who is abusive and violent which earns the family a bad reputation. This man is known in the town as an abusive person and even had guns. When the boys plan to go on a hike, Chris steals a gun from his father (Gideon and Evans). He did not care about the boys and Eyeball, his eldest son was in a gang that vandalized other people’s property and engaged in drug abuse (Gideon and Evans). Since his father was known to be physically abusive, his boy is despised by the members of the community. Everybody in town believed that Chris would turn out bad just like his father (Benson 2). He once stole money from school but due to remorse, he returned it. It was stolen by someone else and Chris was blamed because he came from a family with a bad reputation (Gideon and Evans; Wojik-Andrews 13). This happens because his father was abusive.


In conclusion, the theme of abusive and absent fathers in the movie Stand By Me is propagated by the characters of Gordon, Teddy, and Chris. Gordon’s father ignores his boy and favors Denny for his athleticism. He is absent in Gordon’s life since he does not support him and this makes Gordon feel invisible in their family. Teddy is physically abused by his mentally ill father. His right ear was injured when his father held him to a hot stove. Chris’ father is known in town as an abusive man and he even kept guns. These incidences from the movie indicate that the fathers are absent and abusive towards their children.

Works Cited

Benson, Sheila. "From the Archives: 'Stand by Me' is a summer standout." Los Angeles Times,       snap-story.html. Accessed 3 Dec. 2018.

Gideon, R. and Bruce Evans. "Stand By Me [Film]." (1986).

Goodman, Walter. "Movie Review: Rob Reiner's 'Stand By Me'". The New York Times,    Accessed 3      Dec. 2018.

Hannaford, Alex. "25 Years of 'Stand By Me'". The Telegraph, June 2011,            Accessed 3 Dec. 2018.

Herman, Karen. "Interview with Rob Reiner". Archive of American Television,                Accessed 3 Dec. 2018.

Wojik-Andrews, Ian. Children's films: history, ideology, pedagogy, theory. Routledge, 2002.   Print.

Zawicki, Neil. "30 years on for Stand By Me". Albany Democrat-Herald,      5694-   b2fc-e2465266c491.html. Accessed 3 Dec. 2018.

September 25, 2023

Movies Books

Subject area:

Stand By Me

Number of pages


Number of words




Writer #



Expertise Stand By Me
Verified writer

Samuel has helped me on several occasions with my college assignments. It has been both simple and complex for my Cinematography course. He is a creative person who will always inspire you. When you need a person to boost your forces, contact Samuel.

Hire Writer

This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Eliminate the stress of Research and Writing!

Hire one of our experts to create a completely original paper even in 3 hours!

Hire a Pro