Study Guide

Million Dollar Baby Duty

Duty

Duty isn't just a fun word to say—it's also one of the heavier themes in Million Dollar Baby.

Frankie's all wrapped up in responsibility. He owns the Hit Pit, manages Big Willie, then Maggie, hits mass everyday, and writes letters to his estranged daughter like he got his stationary on sale. While decisions weigh extra heavily on Frankie's old shoulders, he's not the only character in the film dealing with obligations they just can't shirk. Scrap keeps the Hit Pit running like a well oiled, albeit a little rusty, machine. Maggie has a duty to herself: to overcome her rickety Missouri roots.

And all three of the movie's main characters are bound together by their duty to each other.

Questions About Duty

  1. Did Frankie mismanage Big Willie's career?
  2. How do Frankie's duties to Maggie shift over the course of the film?
  3. Why does Scrap feel obligated to stand up for Danger?
  4. What are your duties as a son or a daughter? Are they similar to Maggie's?

Chew on This

Frankie has a duty to help Maggie die.

Frankie feels obligated to attend mass everyday, write letters to his daughter every week, and train Maggie because he's seeking redemption for his mistakes with his daughter. In his case, duty=guilt.

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