Essay about Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window and the Crime Fiction Genre

2515 Words Sep 29th, 2010 11 Pages
Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window continues and expands on traditional themes of the Detective Fiction Genre. In 1841, Murder in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe broke the traditional character constraints of the Crime Fiction Genre, by introducing a new type of lead detective figure. The ideal detective figure encompassed traits of superiority, intelligence, wit and a keen sense for observation. The lead detective figure is a sophisticated character that is not bound to the constrictions and limitations of the Law and the exploration of this figure through the use of visual aid and techniques, provides contrast and variation on the common themes within the genre. Hitchcock provides an alternative approach through a new medium carving way …show more content…
The minimal use of dramatic irony plays an important role to the structure of the mystery, when Jeff falls asleep on the night of the murder and Mrs. Thordwell is seen to leave the building at six a.m. Jeff calls on Tom's assistance to investigate further, yet Tom believes that there is a perfectly sound explanation for Jeff’s ‘delusional’ accusations “I think you saw something with a very simple explanation” (Tom Doyle). Tom seems to already have made up his mind that Jeff is delusional, therefore does not apply the keen observation skills that a detective would have towards the investigation, creating a contrast to the ability of the classic detective figure reminiscent to Poe’s work. Hitchcock explores the ‘Locked room method’ by creating a ‘reversed locked room’ situation, as it is now the detective that is restricted to an area rather than the victim. The locked room method, and sense of entrapment is prominent throughout various areas of the films environments; Thordwells constant locking and unlocking of his door, the entrapment of Mrs. Thordwell as bed ridden, the small claustrophobic apartments, the closed-in courtyard, even to go as far as the confinement of the newlyweds whom open a window scarcely to get air. The audience is also alert to this pattern through the closing