Study Guide

Fargo Choices

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Coke or Pepsi? Sox or Yankees? Take your spouse to dinner or hire someone to kidnap them? We all face these difficult choices in life. In Fargo, we get to see how Jerry handles that last one. His decision to order the kidnapping of his wife in order to trick his father-in-law into giving him money ends up destroying everything. The consequences are nothing like what he expected—seemingly random twists of fate throw everything off track.

The same goes for Gaear and Carl: their decision to accept Jerry's offer ends up going in a completely unanticipated direction (not that these guys seem particularly good at or interested in anticipating anything).

Questions About Choices

  1. In the Coens' universe, are the wicked always punished and the good always rewarded?
  2. Jerry's choice affects his own fate—but how does it affect the innocent people around him? Do they get any recompense for what happens to them?
  3. Do you think that Jerry's plan could have worked? Or were circumstances such that the scheme was always bound to fail?
  4. How do some of the small choices Marge makes reveal her character?

Chew on This

We're responsible for the decisions we make. You reap what you sow, and all that. Like Jerry.

Sometimes, acts of God or twists of fate intervene to such an extent that you seem to reap bad consequences regardless of the choices you make. Like Jean.

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