Study Guide

Casablanca Admiration

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The characters in Casablanca might as well start up their own Mutual Admiration Society. Because everyone is going around admiring everyone else. Even if their personal philosophies or political affiliations aren't in line with someone else, there still seems to be a great deal of mutual esteem floating around.

Renault admires Rick for his sentimentalism (even if he makes it sound like an insult at times). Rick admires Victor for his devotion to his cause, even in the face of death or imprisonment. Victor admires Ilsa for standing by him even as he puts them in constant danger. Ilsa admires Sam for being a loyal friend and one heck of a piano player. She even get the impression that Strasser may have a (very) grudging admiration for Rick and Renault for being able to walk a fine line in this chaotic political environment. Sam admires…well, we don't really get to know enough about Sam to know what he admires.

So let's just say he admires people who are able to parallel park. We sure do.

Questions About Admiration

  1. Does Renault admire Rick all along, or does his appreciation for him build throughout the movie instead?
  2. Where is the line drawn between admiration and love? Does Ilsa love Rick but admire Victor? Or is it the other way around?
  3. Even though Rick is quiet and sullen and refuses to drink with his customers, he seems universally beloved and admired by every patron of his club. Are the people of Casablanca really that desperate? What's up?
  4. Strasser clearly doesn't trust Rick further than he can throw him (3.7 feet). But is there a chance he admires him at the same time? Why would he?

Chew on This

Rick admires Victor's devotion to the cause because he knows he himself hasn't had the guts to openly defy the Germans.

Rick actually admires Renault more than Renault admires him, because Renault isn't weighed down by a sense of moral responsibility.

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