Study Guide

Chicago Manipulation

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The pen is mightier than the sword. While the sword can change the way a person looks—a scar here, a stump there—the pen changes the way a person thinks. The media can change public perception on any issue. But who is in charge of the media? Is it the company that owns it, the celebrity feeding them stories, or the lawyer wrapping an entire courtroom around his little finger? Chicago takes a look at all parties' powers of persuasion.

Questions About Manipulation

  1. What tactics does Billy Flynn use to successfully manipulate the courtroom? Why do they work?
  2. Are Roxie and Velma able to manipulate Billy in any way?
  3. How do Roxie and Billy manipulate Amos? How does he serve as a pawn in their schemes? When does he realize he's being manipulated, and how does this affect him? Do you feel sorry for him?
  4. Does the public know they're being manipulated by the media circus surrounding the trial? Do they care?

Chew on This

Being a lawyer and being a celebrity have something in common: both have to be able to manipulate their audience.

The manipulation game is a long con—the celebrity has to manipulate the press who, in turn, manipulates the public. It is almost impossible to find the truth in this chain.

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