Dr. Mark Smith



This essay should use the movie Bonnie and Clyde as a basis for a comparison/contrast essay. Remember that "comparing" means examining similarities, while "contrasting" means expounding on differences.

The movie presents us with several possibilities for comparing and contrasting. The most obvious topics would involve the characters. Bonnie and Clyde, for instance, are possessed of different personalities and goals. At the beginning of the movie, Bonnie seeks adventure and a way out of her boring life; later we find that she desires a family and security. Clyde, on the other hand, wants fame and fortune. Robbing banks is a game to him, and he sees himself as a sort of Wild West hero.

You might also consider comparing/contrasting Blanche and Bonnie. Blanche comes from polite society, and she regards herself a "lady." She is a "traditional" female, depending on her husband for everything. Conversely, Bonnie is tough and independent. She takes an active role in the robbing, shooting, and driving. Blanche is silly and annoying; Bonnie is intelligent and sexy.

If you do not like any of the above ideas, you might consider examining some abstract ideas suggested in the movie. For instance, you could compare/contrast the "good" guys and the "bad" guys in the movie: Sheriff Hamer, a law officer, is portrayed as evil and vindictive, even though he is supposed to be good, as is any law officer. Similarly, Bonnie and Clyde--bank robbers and killers--are seen as virtuous and somehow misunderstood.

Whatever topic you choose, you need to construct a solid introduction that includes your thesis. An introduction might read--

Bonnie and Clyde follows the career of the two notorious Depression-era outlaws, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. In the movie, we witness their crime spree and subsequent ambush at the hands of the law. Although we suspect that the criminals will be caught at the end, we also find ourselves pulling for Bonnie and Clyde. Indeed, the movie presents Bonnie and Clyde--the "bad guys"--as attractive, compassionate, and fun-loving. Although society's norms dictate that crime is morally wrong, the movie makes crime appealing--or at least exciting.

You would then complete the paper, comparing the movie's depiction of crime with mainstream society's attitude toward crime.

As with the other essays in this class, make sure that you have a clear thesis and that your grammar and punctuation is correct. Use your handbook when needed and consult the dictionary.