Rebecca and the Short Story the Tell- Tale Heart Convey Gothic Themes

Topics: Gothic fiction, Edgar Allan Poe, Short story Pages: 3 (1139 words) Published: June 19, 2013
Compare and Contrast how Successfully the Composers of Rebecca and the Short Story The Tell- Tale Heart Convey Gothic themes

The Gothic genre is a style of film and literature that expresses themes of madness, death, darkness, romance and obsession. Although Rebecca and The Tell- Tale Heart are fitted to the Gothic genre, the composers have conveyed similar themes in different ways. Obsession in Rebecca is that of Mrs Danvers, who is obsessed to the point it drives her mad. She would do anything to bring Rebecca back. Whereas in Poe’s short story the narrator is so obsessed with the eye of an old man he would do anything, including commit murder to get rid of it. Alfred Hitchcock’s film, Rebecca is a psychological thriller that uses cinematic techniques such as pathetic fallacy, characterization, motifs and lighting to convey gothic themes of madness and obsession. In contrast, Edgar Allen Poe’s short story The Tell- Tale Heart uses literary techniques such as narration and figurative language to successfully convey these same themes. While both composers convey Gothic themes of madness and obsession they communicate each with different techniques. Also the characters that they have created are portrayed as dealing with madness and obsession very differently.

In the film Rebecca, the different characters Max and Mrs Danvers are used to explore the Gothic theme of madness. Hitchcock manipulates the frame in key scenes, by making Max’s body language suggest his nervousness, worry, anger and the need to ease himself. Max goes on to acknowledge, “Perhaps I am mad”. This declaration sums up the theory that something bothers Max, and that it is obviously taking a toll on him. Hitchcock depicts the sincere and loyal personality of Max as hiding something which changes his personality and domineering status. This is used to explore the gothic theme of madness and the effects that it has on Max. However, Mrs Danvers’ obsession leads her to commit acts of madness....
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