Study Guide

Home Alone Criminality

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Home Alone hammers out its "crime doesn't pay" moral pretty aggressively. Neither Harry nor Marv is an admirable Robin Hood criminal: they're a pair of frequently blundering idiots who flood houses by leaving the water on after robbing them. They also seem to be driven solely by greed and avarice—they just want all the riches and cool stuff that's probably stored away in Kevin's house. Simple.

There's no extra layer to their motives, no humanizing factor with these guys. They exist as cartoonish villains to be pummeled and broken in, battered by Kevin's vast array of booby traps, until the cops finally arrest them.

Questions About Criminality

  • Why do you think Harry and Marv became criminals? What do you imagine their home lives are or were like?
  • What motivates Harry and Marv to be criminals? Is it pure greed and avarice—or is there anything else?
  • What does the fact that Marv insists on flooding houses say about him?
  • Do you think that the prison term of Harry and Marv should focus on punishment, rehabilitation, or a mixture of both?

Chew on This

Harry and Marv became criminals because of social circumstances—like, their presumed impoverished childhoods and difficult lives. Criminals are made by society.

Harry and Marv are just cartoon villains who embody greed and destructiveness. There's no deeper layer to their personalities, and we can assume that their criminality is purely innate.

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