Study Guide

Home Alone Appearances

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We all know the saying, "Don't judge a book by its cover"—and that couldn't be more useful in Home Alone. Marley is like a book with a cover that appears to be bound in the skin of people he's murdered—but inside it's a cute story about fluffy rabbits. Harry, at first, seems like a book bound in an official government issued cover—but inside he's a sleazy copy of Maxim.

If you made snap judgments with Harry at the beginning of the movie, when he's dressed as a cop, or with Marley, based on how Buzz describes him, you'd be wrong both times. Harry isn't really a cop—he's the exact opposite, a robber. And Marley isn't a serial killer—he's just a friendly neighbor who helps shovel the snow of people's sidewalks, salting them to remove the ice.

Kevin has to learn to distrust this impulse to judge based on first impressions, and this lesson ends up helping him. After all, Marley saves Kevin's life when Harry and Marv finally catch him.

Questions About Appearances

  1. Have you ever been mistaken about someone based on appearances? How would that experience compare to Kevin's in the movie?
  2. Is it ever okay to judge someone based on their appearance? Are there any examples of correct judgments like this in the movie?
  3. How does Kevin learn not to judge based on appearances? What experiences help him?

Chew on This

Kevin is wrong to judge Marley based on his appearances. You should get to know someone before you make a judgment on them.

Given the known perils of "stranger danger," Kevin is right to be suspicious of any and everybody—Marley included. His judgments based on appearances are just evidence of a well-honed self-defense mechanism.

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