Study Guide

Gigi Wealth

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What's in your wallet?

Just like today, the characters in Gigi get or don't get certain freedoms and opportunities based on what they have in the bank. We're not talking the basic freedoms like speech or religion, but things like being able to afford takeout instead of having to cook dinner when you're really tired from work, or having the cash for a visit to the dentist before you start getting cavities.

Gaston can afford to try out every exotic and extravagant activity in all of France, even if he can take or leave any of them. Cars, restaurants, tuxedos, vacations, just wasting time—they're all available to him and Honoré as rich men. Gigi has to depend on Gaston to drop by and bring some small luxuries. And she needs to cheat at cards just so she can get a chance to look at the ocean for the first time. Her family's precarious financial situation is what limits her career opportunities to the life of a courtesan. It's her best bet to get those things that Gaston has. One problem, though: she doesn't want them.

Questions About Wealth

  1. What connections does the movie draw between wealth and boredom?
  2. Gaston is always hanging around Madame Alvarez's home; what do you think it is about that environment that he likes?
  3. The poverty portrayed in the movie still seems like a semi-cushy life. (Have you seen Madame Alvarez's red velvet drawing room?) What kind of challenge do you think the filmmakers faced in walking the line between "real life poor" and "movie poor"?

Chew on This

Wealth leads to a superficial, self-involved life in this movie.

In Gigi's world, being rich means your life will end up in the newspapers as entertainment for the poor.

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