Study Guide

His Girl Friday Justice and Judgment

Justice and Judgment

His Girl Friday seems concerned with justice at first; a big part of the plot is trying to keep Earl Williams from being executed. But why does Walter want to keep Williams from being executed? Is it because Williams is innocent (he isn't)? Or is it because Walter wants to embarrass some politicians and thinks the stay of execution will be good for the circulation of the paper?

Justice seems secondary, in the end, to rooting for Walter and Hildy, the glamorous and entertaining stars. Stars are good guys, so there's a plot that makes Walter and Hildy good guys… but the actual morality of their actions isn't considered too much.

Questions About Justice and Judgment

  1. Is the film concerned with justice for Earl Williams?
  2. Should Walter end up in prison at the end of the film? Why or why not?
  3. Does the film believe that ends justify means? Explain your answer.

Chew on This

Walter isn't any more interested in justice than the Sheriff.

Earl Williams kills a black policeman; the film doesn't seem to believe that that black man's life matters.

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