Theme Of Duality In Psycho

927 Words4 Pages
‘How does Hitchcock use techniques to reinforce the idea of duality in Psycho?’

Duality within a person is the ideology that there is both a negative and positive contrast residing within everyone, which is usually referred to as the dark and light side of a person. The idea of duality is reinforced throughout Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 American horror thriller film, Psycho. Hitchcock portrays this idea of duality by utilizing the film techniques irony, recurring symbols and mise en scene. The film was produced in black in white to accentuate the concept of duality throughout the film. Hitchcock through the duality of the characters Marion Crane and Norman Bates influences the viewer’s emotions towards the moral choices being decided.

Norman
…show more content…
In the scene where Marion has her discussion with Norman while consuming sandwiches, the lighting takes on a major role in illustrating the dark and light in the two. When the camera is in a close up shot of Norman’s face, the lighting shadows most of his face, this symbolising the darkness that resides in him, while Marion is illuminated more so, showing how she is the more innocent of the two. This use of lighting also foreshadows Normans split personality between him and his mother, the shadow taking over more when Marion strikes a nerve. This use of light also suggests that Marion is in the killer’s or Norman’s sights, she is the one in the spotlight while Norman lurks more in the shadows. The placement of objects such as the birds and paintings also lays down the idea that there is more to Norman and despite Marion’s bad decisions, builds a sense of fear and concern for Marion, this changes the viewer’s view of her. Behind Norman are paintings that illustrate women being attacked, this brings to the surface what Norman is plotting to do to Marion, once he has the opportunity. The setting Hitchcock has created further reinforces the idea of the duality of people, by displaying the duality of the characters Marion and Norman.

Hitchcock in Psycho, presses the idea of duality in mankind with strong ironic and foreshadowing lines that evoke emotions in the viewers. Along with strong and recurring symbols, Hitchcock heightens the true nature one can hide and how one’s moral stance can change, this being due to the duality that resides in us. Mise en scene is important in Psycho additionally, as it further displays the idea Hitchcock is trying to press onto his audience, this being
Open Document