Million Dollar Baby displays a contrived, provocative, and dramatic sequence of events that culminates in the death of a paralyzed woman, Maggie (played by Hilary Swank), a boxer by trade, who became a quadriplegic after her opponent “cold-cocked” her during a championship fight. The cheap shot caused her to fall on her wooden stool and break her neck. She calls upon her trainer, Frankie (played by Clint Eastwood), to kill her through an injection of adrenaline. Maggie claims that she has already died in that she can never be a boxer, which represents the only self she knows and loves. Ignoring Frankie's efforts to dissuade her, Maggie evokes a story from their shared past. The story, first told in a diner in which Maggie and Frankie had stopped to eat, described her own father's decision to kill the family dog. She iterates the story from her hospital bed and begs Frankie to do what her dad (to whom Maggie refers as “daddy”) did to the dog. In effect, she asks Frankie to assist her suicide, as she defines herself as useless beyond any reason to live.
Katovich, M.A. (2011), "Death Becomes Mead: Toward a Radical Interactionist Reading of Million Dollar Baby", Denzin, N.K., Athens, L. and Faust, T. (Ed.) Blue Ribbon Papers: Interactionism: The Emerging Landscape (Studies in Symbolic Interaction, Vol. 36), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 161-181. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0163-2396(2011)0000036009Download as .RIS
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