Essay on Voyeurism: A Freudian Concept Analysed in a Movie

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In this essay, I shall try to illustrate whether analysing the movie Rear Window as a classical example of the Freudian concept of voyeurism, is appropriate. Voyeurism is defined in The Penguin dictionary of psychology as: “Voyeurism: characterized by a pattern of sexual behaviour in which one’s preferred means of sexual arousal is the clandestine observing of others when they are disrobing, nude or actually engaged in sexual activity. Arousal is dependent upon the observed person(s) not being aware of their being observed. (Arthur S. Reber, 1985, p.825)”. Freud used the term “scopophilia” to describe the initial stages of the tendency to look. According to Freud, scopophilia can be active and passive. What is known to us as voyeurism is…show more content…
Most of Jeffries’ spying takes place in the night, in the darkness. We, as spectators, are seating in the dark, watching too. This makes us uncomfortably conscious of whatever is happening in the film. We are voyeurs, the same as Jeff, drawing up pleasure by watching into people’s houses. Jeff and Lisa are two characters with contrasting style of life. On one hand, Jeff lives “out of one suitcase”, he does not want to get married and he likes to wear combat trousers. Lisa, on the other hand, works in the fashion industry; she wants to get married and likes to wear $1100 dresses. Even their “perversions” are different. Jeff gets sexually aroused by watching his neighbours while Lisa gets aroused when she dresses up for him to show her latest buy. In human history through time, the male would be out in the world, leaving his mark. But because of Jeff’s injury, he has to rely on the female figures of the movie. This is leaving him with the sense of temporary castration and without any sexual desires. He has to replace his stimulus with whatever he can: in this instance, watching his neighbours leading their lives. His need for voyeurism has reached the point of perversion. In the beginning of the film, after he takes a look around the neighbourhood, his leg itches him. He relieves it with a wooden spoon and his motion reminds me of masturbation. His face lights with satisfaction, like he had just relieved himself. The only activity that can bring him sexual

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