Motifs in Psycho
In the film Psycho there are many reoccurring motifs such as birds, mirrors, and voyeurism, which are implemented by Hitchcock and often may be unnoticed by the viewer. Mirrors frequently appear throughout the movie, for example when the bathroom mirror reflects on the money Marion has taken. Probably the most noticed use of mirror is when Marion’s sister sees her reflection in two mirrors and is startled because she thinks someone is behind her. Voyeurism is also a reoccurring motif, not only seeing characters spy on others, but also making the viewer feel like they are also the ones spying. This is seen when Norman, the owner of the hotel, begins to spy on Marion and then the camera view enters the view of Norman causing the viewer to feel like they are also spying on Marion. The most used motif by Hitchcock is reference to birds as the film opens in a bird’s eye view and then enters through an open window. There are also many references to birds in conversations between characters like when Marion is told by Norman she eats like a bird. Norman also has a collection of birds in his parlor the mains ones being an owl and a hawk. The continuous reference to birds placed throughout the film help symbolize life and the aspect of predator and prey. The types of birds seen in Norman’s parlor and more predators which could suggest he is associated with the killer. Hitchcock’s ability to implement various reoccurring motifs throughout his storyline helps suggest a deeper and in depth meaning to the film.
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