Study Guide

Bonnie and Clyde Society And Class

Society And Class

Bonnie and Clyde shows us the sticky the relationship between crime and celebrity: achieving notoriety as a result of being notorious.

Almost immediately, our "heroes" become media sensations. People—many of them beaten down by the hard times and angry with those in power—root for the outlaw pair and see them as folk heroes.

And Bonnie and Clyde both revel in all this attention. It makes them feel important, and, because it means they'll be remembered, it serves as a kind of immortality. Lesser-known gang members have their own reactions to this, too. Buck seems envious that Bonnie and Clyde seem to get all the media attention. On the other hand, C.W. is more like a groupie, someone who's happy just to be close to the celebrities.

Questions About Society And Class

  1. What are some specific reasons why many people seem to be rooting for Bonnie and Clyde?
  2. How does all the media attention affect the law enforcement efforts to bring the gang down?
  3. Do Bonnie and Clyde actively court media attention in ways other than robbing banks? If so, how?

Chew on This

In some respects, Bonnie and Clyde's craving for media attention grows as they continue to pursue their life of crime.

Even though she's acutely aware that a violent death is near, Bonnie, more than anyone else in the Barrow gang, sees celebrity as a way to achieve a kind of immortality.