Why Eddie when annoying Sarah provokes her into

            Why did
Sarah Packard kill herself?  In
the film, The Hustler, written by Walter Tevis, it’s about a man
named Eddie Felson who is a pool hustler. He loses a pool game to Minnesota
Fats, which messes up his reputation as a pool player and then falls in love
with an alcoholic drinker named Sarah Parkard. This paper should focus on what led to Sarah Parkard to
killing herself.

            The film starts off by Eddie traveling
to New York to compete with the pool great Minnesota Fats. After a long pool
session, Minnesota Fats beats Felson. After losing Eddie can’t find anyone to
play against him. This is where Piper Laurie’s character Sarah Packard comes
in. Presented to viewers and to Eddie as a loner and a drinker, Sarah
desperately wants to be loved, telling Eddie at one point that she needs to
hear those words from him, “… and if you ever say them, I’ll never let
you take them back”. By insinuating, Eddie does not say, “I love
you”, to Sarah until after she kills herself in Bert’s hotel bathroom, an
act she takes after writing, “Perverted”, “Twisted”, and
“Crippled” on the mirror in lipstick.

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Those three words reflect her self-image as much as how
she sees Bert and Eddie in that moment. Walking with a pronounced limp, Sarah
lives with the idea of “crippled” and “twisted” every day,
but she also sees herself as a drunk and as, basically, a prostitute, telling
Eddie at one point that she owes her livelihood to the last “rich
man” she dated. She also sees herself as a writer who creates
elaborate, and dishonest stories to feel better about feeling and drinking, alone. Sarah embodies a creative
twist on the “hooker with a heart of gold” trope, not only in the
sense that only she would think to call herself a “hooker”, but also
in the sense that instead of her love bringing improvements to Eddie’s life,
it’s his stable companionship that redeems her, at least for a moment. She stops
drinking and starts writing, however, the film doesn’t go into details on what,
exactly, she is writing about. Eddie when annoying Sarah provokes her into
telling him what appears to be a true story about her having polio as a kid and
a wealthy father who buys off her affections with money, funds that allow her
to live a low-key and separate life, but also one where she feels like a
“kept woman”.

Bert is Eddie’s new partner in crime, but isn’t a good
guy and believes that he controls Eddie. Unsurprisingly, once he feels that he
owns Eddie, Bert also feels the need to claim Sarah. When at a party it is
unclear what Bert whispered in Sarah’s ear, but looking at the aftermath when Sarah
through the drink at Bert, the viewers can insinuate that Bert whispering an inappropriate
proposition in her ear at the party. After sleeping off the champagne, Sarah,
at this point, seeing Eddie go back into his old ways, feels abandoned by
Eddie, she accepts Bert’s proposition and then commits suicide.

Why did Sarah Packard
kill herself? Sarah Parkard was ignored and treated badly by men her whole
life. The only man she trusted was Eddie and he watched her get hurt. Sarah
felt like if she is alone now, she will forever be alone. Sarah believed that
if she was dead it wouldn’t affect anybody because when she was alive she wasn’t
making a difference in anybody’s life, so what’s the point of living if you’re
just going to be miserable and lonely forever. Her death causes Eddie to notice
her in the way she needed, but it was too late for her to feel his love in the
way she desired. He sobers up and goes to Minnesota Fats for a rematch, but his
main focus now is Bert, who he sees as a villain that took part in Sarah’s death.
In defeating Minnesota Fats, he takes away Bert’s power over him, which stems
from Bert’s belief that Eddie is a “loser”. Being forced out of
competitive pool playing is the self-punishment that Eddie will do for not
responding to Sarah’s needs to leave the world together while they still could.