Theme Of Patriarchy In Vertigo

964 Words4 Pages
Framing the Female Gaze Through Patriarchy: Scopophilia in Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo When the male gaze drives a film, especially when that gaze derives pleasure from participating in watching a woman, one must ask what agency the woman has in the film and what her gaze is. Throughout this essay, I will investigate the effects of scopophilia, or the act of looking, on Madeline’s in Hitchcock’s Vertigo. In her essay, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema,” Laura Mulvey aims to expose and dismantle the patriarchy that is prevalent in cinema. She begins her argument with stating that cinema exists in an already patriarchal society, as the world of cinema exists much like the real world and the subject of the film, man, is existing in a place that has been crafted for him. In order to shift this gaze and privilege, the woman in the film must work much harder to prove her contribution to the plot. In Vertigo, Madeline exists…show more content…
However, Scottie does not become disadvantaged for long. As soon as he is released from the hospital he begins a new quest to fill the void that Madeline’s death has left. This is where he becomes entranced by the similarities between Madeline and Judy and sets out to transform Judy into a Madeline duplicate, despite her disinterest and desire for him to love her as the person she truly is. “He will not be satisfied until the ghost [Madeline] is made flesh, until he has created a living woman out of the dead one,”(Keane 236) Marian Keane explains in her essay “A Closer Look at Scopophilia.” She goes on to say that this recreation of Madeline is not an act out of wanting to fetishize Madeline, but to fulfill Scottie’s own “vision,” once again creating an example of the power of man in film, as he gets what he wants at any
Open Document