Analysis Of Alfred Hitchcock 's The Mother Essay

Analysis Of Alfred Hitchcock 's The Mother Essay

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“Frailty, thy name is woman!”
Domineering. Overbearing. Controlling. The last qualities thought of within the mother figure. Sinister it is as the enigma between the mother, the lover and the daughter, are confronting both mentally and sexually. Provoking the audience subconsciously, this psychoanalytical phenomenon can be further appreciated through a combination of feminist and psychoanalytical theory. Through which we are able to pull apart the pivotal role of the “mother”, most famously in the cinematography of Alfred Hitchcock. Here, he contemplates the notions of the idealistic mother and indigent memories by manifesting compelling maternal figures. Not only as maternal, but also as a lover or a daughter, these roles become mother surrogates, as Sigmund Freud reveals.

As literature progressed, the medium of films has been able to capture the mysteries of human intricacies, however none have been as poignant as the psychoanalytical feminist theory - especially in visual form.

The confronting truths between the lover by your side, the mother at your home and yourself are held in a fragile entanglement of a malevolent force. It encompasses the theory of oppression, which asserts that men have an inherent psychological need to subjugate women. Through the application of psychoanalytical techniques, we are able to understand the differences between both males and females, as well as the ways in which gender is constructed through the patterns of early stages of human life.
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A turbulent time for feminists during the second wave meant that the roles of women were transformed rapidly; this “new social movement” was dedicated to attaining equal rights. Therefore this dynamic change in the role of women was actively being p...


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...of being abandoned again.” Due to this psychological factor Marnie too forms a shell around men, and chooses to not form any relationship, as she fears being abandoned by them. As psychologist E. Ann Kaplan stated “Marnie’s terror is linked to a desperate need for the mother”, Marnie repeatedly kneels alongside her mother and attempts to reset her head on her mother’s lap. According to Freud’s interpretations this can be depicted as a symbol of obsession, and unsuccessful efforts of regaining her mother’s love back. Similar to the way a jealous lover aims to win his love back. Furthermore, the obnoxious presence of the “other daughter” (Jesse) is blamed for Marnie’s condition- as Mrs. Edgar attracts all her attention towards this other daughter. Making Marnie question her on the fact of “why don’t you love me, Mama? You never give me the one part you give Jesse”




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