Analysis of Themes in Rear Window Essay examples

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Fear of Marriage and Voyeurism in Rear Window

In Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 classic thriller Rear Window, Jimmy Stewart stars as L.B. Jeffries, a world traveling magazine photographer accustomed to living a fast pace active lifestyle. When Jefferies injures himself taking a risky picture he is immobilized, confined to a wheelchair inside his apartment for two months. Bored with his uneventful life he becomes completely obsessed with the lives of his neighbors spending the majority of his waking hours watching them from his window. To obtain a better view he begins using a telescopic lens from one of his cameras. By watching his neighbors through the camera he assumes the role of both a spectator and a voyeur. This contributes to
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Each window Jeffries observes contains a plot which portrays a different view of marriage. At first, the newlyweds show a relationship full of joy and happiness with much hope for the future. The husband is shown as he carries his bride over the threshold as they enjoy their first moments together in their new home. Then the blinds are pulled and thus sexual relations are implied. As time goes on, Jeffries notices that the husband is being sexually exhausted by his young energetic wife. His wife seems to whine and constantly want him to be with her in bed. Upon this observation, Jeffries gains the perception of marriage as a physically and emotionally exhausting life.

The majority of the film deals with the events occurring within the Thorwald apartment. In many ways the Thorwalds marriage parallels Lisa and Jeffries relationship, except with a reversal in gender. Lisa and Lars Thorwald, both mobile and healthy, strive to make their respective relationships work. Thorwald brings his wife dinner in bed decorated with a rose. She only laughs at this gesture. On the other side, Lisa cannot even gain Jeffries attention by sitting in his lap. Mrs. Thorwald and Jeffries, who are both physically restrained, only complain to their partners. The Thorwald apartment becomes of particular interest when Jeffries begins to suspect murder. He believes that Thorwald finally became so tired of his nagging wife that