Essay Dualism in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho

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The characters in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) each have a dual nature that is masterfully portrayed through character development and use of mirrors throughout the film. The very first shot in Psycho is zooming in from an open view of the city where it is a bright and sunny day. As the shot zooms in further and further it comes into a dark and shaded room that shows Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) and Sam Loomis (John Gavin) having an affair in a undisclosed hotel. This is dualistic image is just one example of many that Hitchcock has placed in this film. Marion Crane is the first main character that is focused upon for the first half of Psycho. “All that Marion Wants, after all, are the humble treasures of love, marriage, home, and …show more content…
Marion’s death is very symbolic and dualistic in a multitude of ways. “The fact that Marion is nonetheless murdered after her self-realization suggests that neither she nor the society that produced her is recuperable” (Gottlieb, Brookhouse 362) [Christopher Sharrett 362] Once Marion had made that fatal mistake to become a criminal, she was destined to die as a criminal, with no chance of salvation. This is very dualistic of the ending of the frontier, which was right around the time Psycho was produced. “the movement of the film is steadily downward and inward, away from the feeling of daylight, abundance, and expanse to a nightmarish claustrophobia that exteriorizes the unconscious mind.” (Gottlieb, Brookhouse 362) [Christopher Sharrett 362] The image of the West being a gigantic open expanse was coming to an end and Hitchcock showed that the frontier was finished and there was no chance of it coming back. Hitchcock places a large amount of dualism between the characters of Marion, Sam, Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), and Lila Crane (Vera Miles). “The first couple, Sam and Marion, engenders the second, Norman and Marion: Norman has thus taken the place of Sam. Yet he has actually, diegetically speaking, taken the place of Marion, given the mirror dialectic between the sexes and their psychic structurations.” (Deutalbaum, Poague 357) [Bellour 357] The couple of Marion and Sam never got a chance to be married, but as the film goes through the
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