Hitchcock's Psycho Social Commentary Term Paper

Pages: 7 (2126 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 7  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Women's Issues - Sexuality

SAMPLE EXCERPT . . .

Ultimately, Hitchcock's approach to serious issues of gender and gender roles, sex and violence, and Norman's psychological makeup makes it difficult for the audiences to focus on the few and far between tongue-in-cheek moments especially as they appear to be mostly constrained to a single sequence. Hitchcock is able to convey more through the characterizations of Sam Loomis, Marion Crane, and Norman Bates than through the dialogue that takes place between them.

Works Cited

Ager, Rob. "Subliminal Themes in Psycho." Collative Learning. 2007. 21 February 2013.

Bell, Rachael and Bardsley, Marilyn. "Eddie Gein." Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods. Web. 21 February 2013.

"The Cult of Domesticity and True Womanhood." Department of History. College of Staten

Island. Web. 21 February 2013

"The Production Code of 1930." University of North Dakota. Web. 21 February 2013.

Psycho. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. United States: Universal Pictures, 1960. DVD.

"Psycho TV series to air on A&E." Chicago Sun-Times. 2 July 2012. Web. 21 February 2013.

"Psycho 'Was My Comedy'." The Sun. 8 February 2013. Web. 21 February 2013.

Rhetorical Outline

Social Commentary in Hitchcock's Psycho

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Proposition: Despite Hitchcock's assertion that Psycho was supposed to be a big joke, because of its commentary on and insight into issues of gender sexuality, violence, criminal behavior, and psychology it is difficult to consider the film to be anything but a horrifying thriller.

Audience: Hitchcock enthusiasts, film students, sociologists who wish to see how social issues were portrayed in film and mass media

Goal: Demonstrate film is more serious than tongue-in-cheek as Hitchcock had claimed.

Outline

TOPIC: Term Paper on Hitchcock's Psycho Social Commentary in Assignment

I. Introduction

a. Alfred Hitchcock was an influential filmmaker.

b. Psycho is one of his most well-known films.

c. Psycho is based on a novel of the same name by Robert Bloch in 1959.

i. Based on true crimes of Ed Gein

d. Hitchcock claims film was supposed to be a big joke.

e. Proposition that Psycho cannot be taken lightly because of social issues it examines.

f. Thesis: Despite Hitchcock's assertion that Psycho was supposed to be a big joke, because of its commentary on and insight into issues of gender sexuality, violence, criminal behavior, and psychology it is difficult to consider the film to be anything but a horrifying thriller.

II. Social commentary on gender and gender roles -- Masculinity, Femininity, and Domesticity

a. Masculinity

i. How is masculinity represented in the film?

1. Sam Loomis and Norman Bates

a. Confident v. insecure

b. Physically fit v. thin

c. Construction industry v. hospitality industry

b. Femininity

i. What is considered to be feminine

1. Cult of Domesticity

a. Purity

b. Submissive

c. Domestic

i. Marion Crane and Norman Bates

1. Not pure v. pure

2. Independent v. submissive to mother

3. Employed outside home v. homemaker/motelier

III. Sex and Violence

a. Limitations imposed by Hollywood Production Code of 1930

b. How sex and violence are depicted in film

i. Intro sequence

ii. Shower sequence iii. Murder of Detective Arbogast

IV. Psychology and Norman's Psyche

a. Schizophrenic or dissociative identity disorder contribute to Norman's behavior

b. These mental disorders contribute to:

i. Autogynephilila

1. Allows Norman to imagine himself as his mother

ii. Voyeurism 1. Allow Norman to spy on Marion and plot when to murder her.

2. Voyeurism depicted in scenes leading up to shower scene iii. Sadism 1. Manifested in taxidermy hobby

2. Norman's fascination with "stuffing birds" crosses over from animals to humans

V. Refutation: Subtextual dialogue

a. Comparing Marion to a bird

i. How she eats

ii. How she appears passive iii. Surname Crane = crane (bird)

iv. Phoenix (home) = phoenix (bird)

b. Description of traps by Norman and Marion

i. Allow audience to anticipate what will happen in film.

c. Hitchcock's claim is limited to dialogue; cannot be… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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"Hitchcock's Psycho Social Commentary."  Essaytown.com.  February 22, 2013.  Accessed September 25, 2021.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/hitchcock-psycho-social-commentary/2977347.