Study Guide

Chicago Violence

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What's black and white and red all over? A newspaper with a sensational murder as part of its front-page story.

The media love sensational crimes, and the bloodier the better. The more violent a crime, the more people find out about it, making it a fine line between infamy and fame. And you better believe that the majority of the characters in Chicago want to use their infamy to gain (more) fame.

Questions About Violence

  1. What is the justification each woman has for murdering her man? Do you agree with them? As the song says, "I betcha you would have done the same."
  2. Do any of the women commit a crime with the explicit purpose of being more famous? Or do they use the violent act to then achieve fame?
  3. Are these women dangerous? Will they commit another violent act if they are released from prison?
  4. Are women the only violent characters in the movie? How do the acts of violence committed by men compare to the acts of violence committed by women?

Chew on This

The women in Cook County Jail tend to get off of death row because women were viewed as inherently innocent in the 1920s.

Society glamorizes violence in the same way it glamorizes women—so a murderous hottie is doubly sexy.

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