Study Guide

Die Hard Duty

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Villain's gotta vill. Hero's gotta save the day. Bureaucrat's gotta get in the way. In Die Hard, everyone does their duty—it's just that their duties often clash. And, to be fair, some people are better at it than others. John McClane? He never shirks his duty—not once. That fact has cost him a few things here and there—like, say, his marriage. But in the end, it's that sense of duty that also redeems McClane and his marriage—and keeps him alive, too.

Questions About Duty

  1. Where does McClane's bigger sense of duty lie: with the NYPD or with his family? Does the answer change over the course of the movie?
  2. Does Gruber operate with any sense of duty? If so, duty to what?
  3. Where does Sergeant Powell's sense of duty come from?

Chew on This

McClane's values ultimately show us that a healthy balance between work and family isn't possible.

McClane's strong sense of duty to his job ultimately proves him hero-like, as he's able to solve all of his problems.

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