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Psycho: Interpretative Analysis

  • Date Submitted: 09/27/2010 05:47 PM
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Psycho: Revenge Is Murder, Man - Grahm Long

    Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho depicts the encounter between a secretary, Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), who is hiding at a hotel after embezzling $40,000 out of her employer, and the motel’s owner, Norman Bates. The aftermath escalates into the pivotal and famous shower scene, where Crane is stabbed multiple times by an anonymous figure. Hitchcock’s Psycho is generally characterized by most critics as a suspense/horror film that provides thrills to amuse the audience. However, through careful examination, one can surmise that Psycho is much deeper psychologically, laden with moralistic undertones that make arguments about society. Marion Crane, who is the protagonist, is the center of the film’s main argument of revenge. Crane’s facial features and overall body language suggest that her past has been marked by guilt and anxiety stemming from her actions. This idea is compounded with Crane psychically trying to remove her problems as a mean to “cleanse” herself. And in the end, Crane shields herself away from her inevitable fate. Thus, Alfred Hitchcock exhibits through Marion Crane’s murder that wrongdoing cannot be washed away.
    Marion Crane’s subconscious body language demonstrates a person’s psychology after feelings of guilt and anxiety begin to pervade the mind. In the beginning of the scene, Crane sits in her robe in sobering thought and calculates financial figures, apparently working out how she can repay the stolen money she has already spent. Crane’s shoulders are hunched down over the table she sits at, indicating that an exerting psychological pressure is placed on her to rectify the situation. Crane’s attentiveness to the situation manifests into complete concern, as illustrated by Crane’s rapidly blinking eyes and the sigh she gives afterward. These two physical reactions are a result from Crane’s external stimulus. The
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constant batting of Crane’s eyes is a direct impulse of her dysfunctional...


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