Gender Confusion in Hitchcock's Film, Vertigo Essay

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Gender Confusion in Hitchcock's Film, Vertigo

Post World War II America was a society full of anxiety. In the late 1950s Americans were deeply troubled by so many social shifts. Major changes were occurring both internally and externally. They were in the midst of the Cold War, and were vastly approaching the atomic age. There was a communist scare and fear of Russian expansion. Joseph McCarthy was hunting down major celebrities for their communist involvement and the 'Red Influence' seemed to be everywhere. The move toward suburbia and the growth of multinational corporations were flourishing. People seemed to be pulled in every direction. Another change that would have a major impact on society for years to come was the
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Because women now demanded equal or greater satisfaction than the male, they were beginning to control his sexuality (Kolker, 84). Scottie is the perfect example of the 'weak' male of the 1950's. In the film Scottie and his friend Midge go to a local bookshop to try to find out more about the history of Carlotta. They find out that Carlotta had a child with her lover, and once she had it the man took the baby and tossed her aside. The shopkeeper comments that, "men could do that in those days, they had the power." Obviously he is commenting on the lack of male dominance and power of the day, and men are not what they used to be. In the final scene of the film Scottie finally beats his vertigo, and makes it to the top of the bell tower. The audience thinks that the male will succeed and he has made it to the top. However, once he makes it up there his world has once again fallen apart when Judy tumbles out the window, literally illustrating that women are men's downfall. The power that he processed in Judy is lost again and he is left with nothing. In an interview with Alfred Hitchcock's daughter, Pat Hitchcock from the documentary Obsessed with Vertigo, she says that, "I think Jimmy (Scottie) personified, for my father, every man. So that when they would see the picture they could put
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