In the film Thelma and Louise, we see the deviations of Thelma and Louise from the imagined proper path. They do not choose to walk the way which is perceived as a right by society. Examples illustrate that Thelma and Louise both run away from some social institutions, like law and marriage. In this paper, the deviations of Thelma and Louise and the resolutions of these deviations will be discussed.
Thelma and Louise deviate from the social institution of law throughout their journey. After Louise kills Harlan, they are supposed to be caught by the police and put into jail. But they choose to flee to Mexico instead, and as the journey to Mexico proceeds, they commit more crimes, for example, Thelma robs a supermarket and then locks the police, and the two of them blow up a truck. However, they never think of facing the law and get caught. They are not following the law thus deviate from this social institution.
Prices start at $12
Prices start at $11
Prices start at $12
Besides law, Thelma is also running away from her marriage. As a married woman like Thelma, she should be loyal to her own family with her husband. Moreover, she should be content with her identity as a housewife. According to our usual perception of gender position, Thelma should be responsible for domestic life all the time without thinking of dropping it. Even if she wishes to go out for the weekend with Louise, she should ask her husband beforehand but not just leave with a note in the microwave.
Thelma indeed has her reason to go out because her husband is so dictatorial that most probably he will not allow his wife to stay overnight outside with Louise even if she asks him. Still, then a family is supposed to be more important than going out with friends. So Thelma’s decision to run away from her husband without informing is not supposed to be made by a housewife according to our usual perception.
Also, after leaving home, Thelma flirts and has sex with other men. She dances “cheek and check” together with Harlan in the bar and later has a one-night stand with J.D. These are not supposed to be done by a married woman. Even though her husband is not loved and cared for, flirting and having sex with other men is still viewed as indecent and inappropriate for a married woman. These deviations are all interrelated; they resolve one crime by committing another one. For example, after killing Harlan, they decide to flee, and as they flee, they meet J.D. and Thelma has sex with him and then she has to rob the supermarket because J.D. steals her money.
The progress of the journey makes them deviate more and more from the imagined proper path. The police are chasing them, and they have nowhere to escape except “flying” over the Grand Canyon to run away from this world. This final resolution contains both optimistic and pessimistic implications. It shows that the two women refuse to compromise to the social institutions (marriage and law) which made them suffer. They never thought of going back home and being caught by the police. Rather, they choose the way which makes them totally escape from all the constraints.
The flying car is giving us the impression that Thelma and Louise are not dead, they are only flying away from the world to where they can regain their integrity. However, on the other hand, although both of them have new dreams to be fulfilled like living in a hacienda and getting a job in a club, they just do not have to chance to fulfill them because they are already outlaws of the society which do not welcome them. They fly over the Grand Canyon can only help them escape from this unwelcoming world, the problems they have been facing are still there without a real resolution.