Crimes of the Heart Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Chick is presented as "too big" for her pantyhose, and her hairstyle threatens to become too big also. What does this bigness suggest about her character?

Chick is literally "too big for her britches." She thrusts herself into situations that are not of her business, and she says more than is tactful in Act I. Chick's bigness suggests that she does not fit into the McGrath family because she is proud, bossy, and overbearing.

2. What is significant about the fact that the play begins on Lennie's birthday?

Lennie begins the play sadly celebrating herself, but on this particular day she is forced to change, to see things differently, and so is reborn. Later, characters begin to see her differently, too.

3. The candy Chick brings, which is outdated and unwanted, might represent what?

The candy represents the girls' past, and the Southern habit of putting a sweet face on everything. The girls are tired of avoiding old uglinesses that have caused them so much pain, and the false sweetness of the Southern society has forced them to do this for too long.

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