This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Bonnie And Clyde Essay

1876 words - 8 pages

Bonnie and Clyde: Legends or Economics?
What accounts for the persistence of the legend of Bonnie and Clyde? For two not particularly distinguished criminals from a bygone era in American history, the staying power in the collective consciousness of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker is nothing short of remarkable. In part, the media has played a substantial role, with the early 1967 Arthur Penn film having been succeeded in 2013 by a television miniseries about the duo and their gang. I hope to demonstrate through an examination of the historical source material that the reason for Bonnie and Clyde’s persistence is explainable in one single word: economics. What Bonnie and Clyde signify ...view middle of the document...

As Phillip Steele writes in his biographical study of the Barrow family (written in consultation with Clyde Barrow’s youngest sister) the Barrow family was able to find an economic windfall in Texas based on the sudden emergence of cars in American life:
Henry Barrow, with financial help from his daughter Nell, managed to acquire a small frame home for his family near the campground. Soon afterward, Clyde helped his father convert the front part of the home into a gas station and garage, while they kept the back apartment for their living area. Recognizing Clyde’s natural ability for repairing and servicing automobiles, Henry encouraged his son to help him develop a successful business. This offered Clyde his first opportunity to “own” his own business, and at the same time help his parents, brothers, and sisters establish roots and better survive the seemingly endless depression. (Steele 33-4)
The fact, then, that automobiles would become crucial to the livelihood of Clyde Barrow’s criminal activity later is not accidental: he was essentially part of the founding generation of American car mechanics. The difficulty here is that he was repairing and servicing vehicles in Texas, a period that would be particularly devastated by the economic crisis of the 1930s for a variety of reasons.
At the time that Bonnie Parker first met Clyde Barrow in early 1930, both had been badly affected by the Great Depression. Schneider notes that, although Bonnie Parker had previously found work as a waitress, by the time she met up with Barrow (at the age of nineteen) she was again, unsurprisingly, unemployed: “[Bonnie Parker] lost her job, and she came to my beauty shop looking for work, says Artie, who, unfortunately, doesn’t have any work to give her little brother’s girlfriend. ‘She was just another one of those Depression kids like Clyde.’ Bonnie is between jobs in an economy with unemployment at 20 percent and heading up.” (Schneider 119). Barrow’s circumstances were similarly a reflection of the overall economic climate of the country, but in particular the devastation that would sweep Texas and the surrounding regions as the Great Depression combined with the Dust Bowl to essentially collapse local economies. As Jeff Guinn writes in his study of the pair, after Barrow had lost his work in the family-owned service station, and not long after he had met Bonnie Parker,
[Barrow] began job hunting at a time when the state and local economies were at their lowest point yet. Particularly in the South and Southwest, 1931 had been financially devastating. Cotton prices dropped to four cents a pound. The year’s wheat crop set a record of 250 million bushels, but the twenty-five-cent sales price of each bushel was half of what it cost the farmer to grow it. Banks had no choice but to foreclose on farms, and then the government began its own stream of farm foreclosures for failure to pay taxes. An average of twenty thousand farms across America...

Other Essays Like Bonnie and Clyde

The Versatility And Flexibility Of OLED's

1014 words - 5 pages In April 1, 2002, organic light emitting diodes gain rise in the scientific community with their published, more practical form at Ames Laboratory. “Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory, in collaboration with scientists at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, have developed and demonstrated a novel, fluorescence-based chemical sensor that is more compact, versatile and less expensive than existing technology of its

Comparing The Moral Virtues Of Antony And Julian The Apostate

1103 words - 5 pages Roman emperor Julian the Apostate and Christian leader Antony both exhibited many qualities of character during their existence. Both of them led very distinctive lives although shared several ethical values. Book 25 of “The Later Roman Empire” and the book “Early Christian Lives” show concrete evidence of this. In the following essay, I will argue how both leaders’ lives were devoted to their religious beliefs and their mutual cardinal virtues

Living In A Cashless Society

1637 words - 7 pages Money in a traditional sense no longer exists. Money is becoming much of a concept than a physical material, and most ordinary bitter have not see the reality of the switch. People today are using credit and debit cards on a regular basis and in everyday situations such as meal purchased at fast food, highway tolls, clothing, groceries, gas stations, etc. all of these means of systems could be regarded as a cashless society or world. The

The French And Indian War: The "Real" First World War

1955 words - 8 pages The Seven Years War, or more commonly referred to as “The French and Indian War”, has been called the true First World War. In this book The French and Indian War: Deciding the Fate of North America, the author and historian Walter R. Borneman paints a detailed and elaborate picture that justifies the claim of it being the first true war of global proportions. If ever there truly was a climax to the never ending feud of the European

Is The Use Of Animals In Medical Research A Necessary Measure?

1513 words - 7 pages Throughout history, animals have been used in experiments to test product safety and obtain medical knowledge that benefits both humans and animals alike. Every year there are numerous medical breakthroughs, such as medications and surgical instruments, which are tested on animals to insure their safety before they are deemed acceptable for human use. Even though the results of the experiments saved millions of human lives, they are also

Education And The Evolving Job Market

2363 words - 10 pages The lives of students today are changing. They are preparing for lives and jobs that have never before existed. If teachers hope to have a significant and worthwhile impact on these quickly changing lives, they must change the way they think, prepare, and instruct our future generations. Children cannot afford to have teachers who remain stagnant in their methods and ideals. Students crave instructors that are willing to allow them to tap

Young And Relentless

1737 words - 7 pages There are numerous influences that can be responsible of teenager’s behaviors and attitude as they develop. One factor that is important to these behaviors is parental figures being over involved or uninvolved in their children’s lives. Many of these effects include illegal substance abuse, rising sexual activity, underage alcohol consumption, and tobacco use. Studies show parental participation plays a key role in the characteristics developed

The Natural Law Theory

1231 words - 5 pages Obeying by the natural law theory is the only true and moral way to live life; especially a life lived in God’s image. God’s presence is a guiding factor to obtaining a moral and virtuous life, which can only be obtained by following the natural law theory. God created a set of laws as a supreme guide for humans to live life, like any law these laws were created to ensure wellbeing for everyone. The laws he created are the civil law, the natural

Resolved: Presidential Signing Statements Threaten To Undermine The Rule Of Law And The Separation Of Powers

1811 words - 8 pages The subject of signing statements has created much debate among the houses of Congress, government officials, and the public alike. These signing statements fall under the categories of constitutional and legislative history signing statements. Constitutional signing statements are those in which the president deems certain provisions of the legislation as unconstitutional, therefore they should not be enforced (Bradley & Posner, 2006

Oppressive Systems Of Government In Egypt And Animal Farm

1529 words - 7 pages As in Egypt, Orwell demonstrates through his allegorical novel “Animal Farm” that leaders are able to establish and maintain power over a people, and in turn create an oppressive and corrupt government system. Orwell shows the significant difference in the education and levels of knowledge in the animals, and how the government takes advantage of this difference. The split between the levels of intelligence is portrayed in the first chapter

The Pathway To Psychosis

1415 words - 6 pages “How all occasions do inform against me” is a line from act IIII, scene IIII of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. This line, spoken by Hamlet, expresses his emotional state as he is currently overwhelmed by the death of his father, the king of Denmark, and the situation surrounding it. After Hamlet learns of his father’s death he finds out that his mother has married Claudius, Hamlet’s uncle. On top of all of that, Hamlet soon after

Related Papers

Bonnie And Clyde Essay

661 words - 3 pages Changing When someone looks into the history of crime in the United States they see things like Presidential assassinations, bombings, the Mob, and the notorious bank robbers, Bonnie and Clyde. If you ask a person about Bonnie and Clyde and what they thought about the couple most would mention the words "criminals" and "lovers". For the most part they are correct, but what most people don't know, and what the movie Bonnie and Clyde (1967) does

Marshall Mathers Essay

1477 words - 6 pages gaining some of the most bone chillingly moving songs a listener could hope for. Songs such as “Kim”, “Drips”, “97' Bonnie & Clyde”, and the break up anthem “Superman” will hit home to anyone who’s sweet love has gone sour. These songs chronicle the disintegration of an eleven year long love that slowly turns to loathing. On the other hand his declarations of devotion in “Hailie’s Song” might catch some fans off guard with it’s sincerity and soul

Titles Are Dumb But So Are Serial Killers

2457 words - 10 pages . Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, and Julie Benz. Showtime Networks, 2006. Netflix. “‘Don’t Be Seduced By Dexter,’ Says Serial Killer’s Creator.” Dawn.Com. Dawn.com, 17 Oct. 2011. Web. 5 May 2014. “Fallout”. Heroes. Dir. John Badham. Perf. Santiago Cabrera, Milo Ventimiglia, Jack Coleman, and Zachary Quinto. National Broadcasting Company, 2006. Netflix. FBI, “Bonnie and Clyde.” FBI.gov. Federal Bureau of Investigation, 21 May 2010. Web. 7 May 2014

The Separation Of Capital Ownership And Control

1577 words - 7 pages The argument of whether the separation of capital ownership and control is an efficient form of organization has constantly been a controversial issue. The criticism whether the controllers’ act is in the best interest of the owners’ wills never end as long as hired managers operate management. As the number of public companies has been increasing over the course of this century, meanwhile the American style of contact based corporation has