Study Guide

Bonnie and Clyde Justice

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When they start out together, Bonnie and Clyde see themselves and each other as special—people who are too good to lead humdrum lives and who are also clever enough to rob banks, successfully evade the law, and ultimately lead the good life.

In many respects, the film's narrative is constantly chipping away at this belief. In fact, the first bank they rob together turns out to have no money. Often, other robberies turn out to be disappointments as well. And both our "heroes" greatly underestimate the tenacity and ferocity of the law. As the story proceeds, rather than living the good life, Bonnie and Clyde are constantly on the run, fearing for their lives.

Questions About Justice

  1. When they begin, what kind of life do Bonnie and Clyde envision for themselves?
  2. Although Bonnie and Clyde never achieve the kind of financial success they want, do they achieve riches of another kind? If so, what?
  3. In what ways do Bonnie and Clyde underestimate the reaction both victims of their crimes and the law have to their actions?

Chew on This

In certain respects, Bonnie and Clyde are like Shakespearean heroes that fall victims to their own pride (or hubris).

Although Bonnie and Clyde are both bright, clever people, they're also quite naïve at first about what the consequences of their actions as bank robbers will likely be.

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