Hitchcock's fans and film scholars have taken particular interest in the way the relationship between Jeff and Lisa can be compared to the lives of the neighbors they are spying upon. The film invites speculation as to which of these paths Jeff and Lisa will follow. Many of these points are considered in Tania Modleski's feminist theory book, The Women Who Knew Too Much:
* Thorwald and his wife are a reversal of Jeff and Lisa—Thorwald looks after his invalid wife just as Lisa looks after the invalid Jeff. Also, Thorwald's hatred of his nagging wife mirrors Jeff's arguments with Lisa. * The newlywed couple initially seem perfect for each other (they spend nearly the entire movie in their bedroom with the blinds drawn), but at the end we see their marriage deteriorate as the wife begins to nag the husband. Similarly, Jeff is afraid of being 'tied down' by marriage to Lisa. * The middle-aged couple with the dog seem content living at home. They have the kind of uneventful lifestyle that horrifies Jeff. * The Songwriter, a music composer, and Miss Lonelyhearts, a depressed spinster, lead frustrating lives, and at the end of the movie find comfort in each other: The composer's new tune draws Miss Lonelyhearts away from suicide, and the composer thus finds value in his work. There is a subtle hint in this tale that Lisa and Jeff are meant for each other, despite his stubbornness. The piece the composer creates is called "Lisa's Theme" in the credits. * Miss Torso, a beautiful dancer, initially seems to live a carefree bohemian lifestyle and often has various men over at her apartment. In the end, however, it is revealed that she has been waiting for her sweetheart, a slight-framed and boyish soldier, to return.
The characters themselves verbally point out a similarity between Lisa and Miss Torso (played by Georgine Darcy).
Other analyses, including that of François Truffaut in Cahiers du cinéma in 1954, center on the...
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