Good vs. Evil in Psycho Essay

Words: 2088
Pages: 9


“Psycho” is a classic suspense film directed by Alfred Hitchcock which features a central female protagonist, a seemingly ordinary young woman named Marion Crane, who crosses paths with a dangerous mentally ill motel owner, Norman Bates. As their strange relationship develops, a dominant theme of good versus evil is introduced to the audience through the use of characterisation, editing, mise-en-scene and various other media techniques.

From the outset, Hitchcock introduces an initial theme of good versus evil during the opening credits. The title scene could be seen as a reflection of the personality of Norman Bates as the credits themselves are presented as fragmented titles which come together as one on the screen but then
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She has changed her mind about stealing the money and has made the decision to go home. We are able to pinpoint the exact moment of relief as she flushes the toilet: it is as if she is flushing away her problems and guilt. This effect is also used when the water goes down the plughole in the shower: representing the washing away of her sins. However, I feel that this image could also be taken to represent evil as Marion’s life is being washed away and she is going to down to Hell for the sins she has committed. A contrast between Norman and his Mother is clearly displayed in this scene although we also see that Norman can be evil while being totally himself as we see him spying on Marion before she is murdered.

After the murder, Norman is linked to the crime in many ways. The camera work and editing assists this by panning directly to a view of Norman’s house, telling the story without the need for dialogue. Almost immediately following this we see Norman running from the house and consequently directly linking himself to the murder. We see him automatically assume that his mother has killed Marion without questioning her, making the viewer even more suspicious of him. Both good and evil sides of Norman are presented to the audience at this point as, although he seems flustered and hurried when he first discovers