Closely Examine the Character of Melanie in Hitchcock's the Birds, Paying Particular Attention to the Way in Which She Changes over the Course of the Film.

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The Birds is a psychological thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock. It centres around Melanie, a young city girl, who journeys into danger into a small coastal town called Bodega Bay to play a practical joke on a potential lover, Mitch. A series of unfortunate Bird attacks follow her and wreck havoc on the town and its inhabitants. As the film progresses, Melanie tries, on several occasions, to go against the social norm of women of the 1950’s; every time she does she gets punished and gradually destroyed until she becomes the dominant ideology.

At the start of the film, Melanie seems strong and independent. From the offset she is seen as an individualist. In the first scene she is first seen walking down a street in a fitted jacket and pencil skirt, this was seen as too provocative and was not the usual dress code for a 1950’s woman; the norm would be a dress with either a swing skirt or a poodle skirt. Along with the fitted clothes, Melanie has perfectly groomed hair and perfectly painted fingernails; these are signs of her emotional state and will change throughout the film. Also in this scene the audience can hear a wolf whistle from a man directed at Melanie, she turns and smiles, telling the audience that she enjoys male attention and is comfortable and confident in the city environment. In the next scene, Melanie is in a bird shop. This is when Mitch is first seen; when Melanie first sees Mitch she immediately becomes flirtatious and thinks that she is in control of what is happening, when really Mitch is in control as he knows exactly who Melanie is while she does not know who he is. After Mitch plays a practical joke on Melanie in the bird shop, Melanie sets out to speak to him again, and when she finds out that he is not staying in his home in the city but in a small town up the coast, Bodega Bay, she sets out on her own little practical joke. This journey will take her out of her comfort zone, the city, and put her in unknown surroundings and...
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