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Essay about Good vs. Evil in Psycho

2113 WordsMar 16th, 20139 Pages


“Psycho” is a classic suspense film directed by Alfred Hitchcock which features a central female protagonist, a seemingly ordinary young woman named Marion Crane, who crosses paths with a dangerous mentally ill motel owner, Norman Bates. As their strange relationship develops, a dominant theme of good versus evil is introduced to the audience through the use of characterisation, editing, mise-en-scene and various other media techniques.

From the outset, Hitchcock introduces an initial theme of good versus evil during the opening credits. The title scene could be seen as a reflection of the personality of Norman Bates as the credits themselves are presented as fragmented titles which come together as one on the screen but then…show more content…

In a similar shot, only half of his face is shown and this clearly symbolises the fact that only one half of him can ever be fully good at any one time – the other half will always remain evil. However, sympathy is also evoked for Norman in this scene as we see that his mother takes an instant dislike to Marion – something which you would not normally see between two strangers. We see how close – and slightly strange – the relationship between Norman and his mother and the unnatural dependence they have on each other, showing that Norman is trapped in his current situation and making him seem like a good person. A similar effect is used throughout the scene in Norman’s parlour by with the use of light and dark as the lighting picks out significant features such as only one side of Norman’s face and the underside of the owl’s wings. The owl with its wings spread signifies his mother controlling his mind and shows that she is ever present, although we never see her, even when he is behaving normally she will always be inside his mind, therefore making the viewer feel sympathetic towards him as he has no control over his actions. Conversely, framing him next to an owl may suggest that Norman is a predator and the owl is his equal. Like the owl, many other birds are featured in the parlour scene, linking back to the recurring theme. Framing Marion next to them when she first enters the room makes her seem vulnerable and presents her as equal

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