“Home Alone” is a 1990 family comedy film directed by Chris Columbus. The plot revolves around an eight-year-old mischievous Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) being left alone at home mistakenly during the family tour to Paris on Christmas. Kevin enjoys his newly founded freedom at first. As time passes, he realizes the loneliness and starts missing his family. Kevin realizes the true essence of a family’s love by spending Christmas at home alone and wishes for his family’s return. During his stay at home, he defends his house from a pair of burglars who try to rob his house. This series of events help the coming of age development of Kevin. He learns the lesson that he cannot live without his family and regrets his wish to be alone. The plot of “Home Alone” reflects the coming-of-age story of Kevin’s mischievous and vigorous character.
This paper intends to reflect the character evolution of the protagonist Kevin McCallister in the movie “Home Alone” by going through a series of events alone at home during Christmas. Firstly Kevin’s wish to be alone without his family starts the process of development in Kevin’s character. Kevin wishes to be alone after getting in a fight with his brother Buzz and getting punished by his parents to sleep in the attic alone. Kevin states, “This house is so full of people it makes me sick. When I grow up and get married, I’m living alone. Did you hear me?” (Columbus, 1990). The statement of Kevin’s wish validates his short temper nature, neglecting behavior towards his family, and immaturity. The important turning point in Kevin’s life starts with him being left alone at home by his parents. Rather than being upset and trying to contact his family, he is overjoyed by his family leaving him behind. His acts of running around the house, eating junk food, and watching violent movies reflect his childish nature. Kevin’s stereotypical behavior towards freedom without any family pressure reflects his immaturity.
Secondly, after enjoying his newly founded freedom all day, the turning point comes in Kevin’s character when he begins to feel lonely for his family and is feeling terrified in the house, especially by his neighbor. Kevin’s short tour to church starts a new evolution in his character and a small chit-chat with his neighbor Marley. Kevin’s advice to Marley upon meeting his son again reflects his wish to meet his family. In the church, he gets a new inspiration to defend his home from the two burglars who are planning to invade his house. This inspiration for defending his house also reflects the positive development of Kevin’s character.
Thirdly, Kevin’s character truly evolves while fighting the burglars through his mischievous traps set all over the house. Kevin wishes Santa stating, “This is extremely important. Will you please tell Santa that instead of presents this year, I just want my family back. No toys, nothing?” (Columbus, 1990). Kevin’s wish for Santa validates his character evolution towards self-actualization. The level of aggressiveness and giving up all his presents to get his family back is vivid in this dialogue. The level of Kevin’s intellect can be reflected in his strategies to keep the burglars out of his reach.
In conclusion, Kevin embodies the coming-of-age development by passing through a series of events in the movie. The character of Kevin evolves from being a short-tempered and family-loathing boy to a family-loving and mature kid.
Home Alone. Dir. Chris Columbus. 1990.
“Home Alone plot” 1990. IMDB. <https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099785/plotsummary>.
Teng, Danica. Home Alone 1990. December 2019. < https://themedium.ca/arts/home-alone-1990/>.