The Relationship Between The Scottish Couples

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In clear opposition to the encounter between Annabella and Hannay is the relationship between the Scottish married couples. Robin Wood explains in his book Hitchcock’s Films Revisited that “the two episodes are linked, their oppositeness stressed, by one detail: Hannay serves Annabella haddock, the crofter’s wife serves Hannay herring.” (Wood 278) In fact, Hitchcock critiques traditional marriage in the sequence that follows. Hannay finds his way to a Scottish cottage, seeking shelter for a night, and encounters a married couple, with whom the viewer can relate. The wife is a young and oppressed woman, with dreams of escapes. Her husband, however, is an older and tyrannical man, with surprising expectations of love from his wife as he…show more content…
This is reflected in his marriage, as his wife never contradicts anything he says or reacts to his, at times outrageous, actions. What differs here from the crofter couple is the concept of sharing. The Professor’s wife is aware of her husband’s actions, but much like the crofter’s wife, whether she agrees with the situation or not, she believes it is not her place to say anything.
Hitchcock shows in these sequences that he has a deep understanding of the human mind and represents here the “worst aspects of traditional marriage, [with] the woman owned, dominated, tyrannized, and eventually beaten by the husband.” (Wood 279). These portrayals are not only incredible representations of reality, but they highlight the astounding contrast that exists between these relationships and Hannay’s, as well as opposing the wives against the single women. In fact, both Annabella and Pamela enter a relationship with the hero and they both remain somewhat free, at least until one of their deaths. In Pamela and Hannay’s, at first, forced relationship, there is the concept of a wished equality between genders. However, within the time frame of the 1930s, this hope cannot be completely realized. In fact, it is Hannay who continues to lead the way, making decisions for the both of them, and reproaching Pamela when he does not agree with one of her decision. He has the position of power and is not afraid to lie and threaten in order to keep it.
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