Similarities Between Edgar Allan Poe and Alfred Hitchcock

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Similarities Between Edgar Allan Poe and Alfred Hitchcock Fear, terror and suspense are the most vivid emotions created by

Poe's stories and by Hitchcock's films. Several themes are common to


the madness that exists in the world, the paranoia caused by isolation

which guides people's actions, the conflict between appearance and


along with the double aspect of the human nature, and the power of the


over the living. Not only the themes are similar in both men's work


also the details through which a story is written or shown. The


themes and narrative techniques can be seen clearly in "The Fall of


House of Usher" and in Psycho.

For both Poe and Hitchcock, madness exists in the world. "The Fall

of the House of Usher" and Psycho are two very similar studies in


Roderick Usher and Norman Bates are both insane. They have many common

traits although they are also quite different. They are victims of


fears and their obsessions. Norman who seems agreeable and shy is, in

reality, a homicidal maniac who has committed matricide. He suffers


schizophrenia - he acts as both himself and his dead mother. Roderick

Usher appears strange from the beginning, almost ghost-like, with his

"cadaverousness of complexion" - however, he is not a murderer. He


from a mental disorder which makes him obsessed with fear: fear of the

past, of the house, of the dead. He finally dies, "victim...

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achieve the perfect balance of suspense and terror in the "shower

scene" of

Psycho. They leave the viewer in suspense until the very end when the

stories unfold. It is not until then that the audience understands


the disturbed state of the main characters and the twisted plot of



There are many similarities between Edgar Allan Poe and Alfred

Hitchcock, in their themes, their methods for reaching the reader or

spectator, and their fascination with the human mind and its

complexities -

their view of the world. The semblance of two of the most well known

masters of terror and suspense is striking - as seen in Poe's "The

Fall of

the House of Usher" and Hitchcock's Psycho. Both men are fascinated by

mystery, by horror, by madness, by death.