Quote 2

Pop Leibel:   “He [Carlotta’s lover] threw her away. Men could do that in those days. They had the power and the freedom.”

These are Pop Leibel’s words as he shares the tragic story of Carlotta Valdes with Scottie and Midge, the woman who supposedly possesses Madeleine Elster. Significantly, Pop Leibel echoes the words “power” and “freedom” that were used by Gavin Elster when he spoke nostalgically with Scottie about the San Francisco of the past. This power and freedom are precisely what Gavin Elster desires, and in the murder of his wife, he achieves this desire in much the same manner as Carlotta’s lover. Ironically, Judy, in playing the role of Madeleine possessed by Carlotta, eventually shares Carlotta’s fate. She, too, is “thrown away” by her lover, Elster, once she has served his needs. And while Judy does not commit suicide like Carlotta, her death is the result of her submission to and exploitation by men who claim to love her—both Elster and Scottie.