Study Guide

Rear Window Dissatisfaction

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Jeff is bored. Bored, bored, bored, bored beyond all possible limits of boredom. That's what leads him to his creepy voyeurism to begin with. But he's not the only one who's dissatisfied. Lisa doesn't like the way he blows her off; she wishes he'd take her along on his assignments. Even Thorwald is dissatisfied—fed up with his marriage and willing to kill his wife to run off with another woman. These are the three most important characters in Rear Window, all driven by discontent and eventually risking life and limb—quite literally—in order to be happier.

Questions About Dissatisfaction

  1. Would Jeff have spotted the murder or kept up with the investigation if he weren't so bored? Why or why not?
  2. How does Lisa's dissatisfaction with Jeff lead her to participate in his investigation?
  3. What does Jeff's boredom say about the neighborhood he's living in, and by extension the kind of life he normally leads?
  4. How does Thorwald's crime reflect his own unhappiness with domestic life? How does that make him different from Jeff? How does it make him the same?

Chew on This

Everyone's dissatisfaction here is reflective of life in the 1950s: a stifling conformity that none of them can stand.

Jeff's dissatisfaction (a man of action being stuck in a chair) is the complete opposite of Thorwald's (a man stuck in his life eager to try some action).

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