• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

With close reference to the setting of 'Psycho' and 'Edward Scissor hands' discuss how the directors use elements of the Gothic tradition.

Extracts from this document...


ENGLISH COURSEWORK SOPHIE HARTFIELD 10SJR ROSEBERY SCHOOL With close reference to the setting of 'Psycho' and 'Edward Scissor hands' discuss how the directors use elements of the Gothic tradition. The gothic tradition is rooted in many great works of fiction such as, 'Wuthering Heights' and 'Dracula'. It comprises many distinct features including Gothic architecture, lighting and the colour black. Setting is a very important aspect of the gothic tradition. In the two film texts studied 'Psycho' and 'Edward Scissor hands', the directors have used the gothic tradition to create interesting effects. To define the word gothic when being used in the form of a novel, one can say that it contains supernatural or horrifying events. Alfred Hitchcock the director of 'Psycho', uses many effective camera shots throughout the film to add depth and tension to the atmosphere of the scene that the viewer can easily relate to. For example when Marion the leading female role is traveling on the highway in her car towards the 'Bate's Motel', prior to her arrival the scene shows a very open and light space around her. There is lots of other traffic on the same stretch of road and gives a presence of safety in numbers to the viewer. As the sunset starts to emerge the lighting dims and Hitchcock uses a medium close-up shot of Marion in the car, the focal point being her face that is the only luminous thing that can be seen. ...read more.


To emphasize the charactors of the two people Hitchcock has placed the light beside Marion so that when the camera shoots at her, her face is lit up and when it focuses on him he is in shadow and in a darkened corner away from the light. Just before he commits the murder Hitchcock takes another shot of the house on the mount using the same low angle camera technique that gives the impression of power. The two lights that were bright upstairs have now been turned down to a minimal level of lighting and dark black clouds have congregated in the background which gives a far more atmospheric feeling to the surroundings of the Motel. Hitchcock chose to make all the bathroom facilities and decoration brilliant white so there would be a bigger more lucive contrast with the blood red when Marion was stabbed to death. When she is in the shower Hitchcock always uses a medium close-up, high angle shot to show that Marion is vulnerable, small and weak. However when the camera is on Bates it looks up to him like the house and so gives him a sense of superiority as well. 'Edward Scissor hands' the other film studied, also showed Gothic elements that had been used to create a successful effect by the Director, James Burton. ...read more.


Towards the end of the film the witch hunt gathers for Edward, tension builds up and the sky turns black, which is a key factor that Burton has finally used to create a sinister, Gothic atmosphere. The mansion garden, shown throughout the film to be a colourful, wonderful place, is plunged in to a deep darkness. The flowers black, the animal carved bushes threatening, and a garden that now matches the interior, of the Gothic mansion upon a hill. In these films one can conclude that both directors have tried to incorporate influences and elements of the Gothic Tradition in to the desolate and sometimes bleak film settings. In particular, the attic of the large house in which Edward Scissor hands lives and the large dark remote house where Norman Bates live, both have a strong correlation with Gothic Traditional architectural style. This is often characterized by dark 12th - 16th Century castle type structures with vaulted ceilings and pointed arches. Also they have used many symbolic objects within the sets that portray themes dealing with macabre and other events typical of the genre. The lead characters in both films are to a large extent depicted as social outcasts, displaying severe psychopathic tendencies thus further reinforcing the Gothic impression created by the film sets. From studying the films I feel that they both successfully display the Gothic Tradition and the settings and other background props greatly contribute to achieve this distinctive theme. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Robert Louis Stevenson section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Robert Louis Stevenson essays

  1. With particular reference to the construction of Mr Hyde, discuss how portrayal of the ...

    Stevenson suggests that Hyde is pure evil when he "turned a dreadful smile" and then when he opens the package he "uttered one loud sob" which was "of such immense relief" that Lanyon "sat petrified". This event is building up the tension, and it appears that Hyde is getting so

  2. Consider the writers' intentions in writing their Gothic stories - To what extent do ...

    This suppression is due to the fact that Jekyll's reputation as a doctor depends vastly on the actions that he has committed. So when his suppressed anger is let out it takes the form of Hyde. Although count Dracula is also in the same high position, his anger is not

  1. Consider atmosphere and setting in the 19th century stories you have read, and discuss ...

    The "resurrectionists" found a way to make money here, by digging up fresh corpses and selling them to medical schools. This made the rate of bodies for medical use increase; however in 1832 the Autonomy act was passed which meant that any poor who died in the workhouses, and whose bodies remained unclaimed, could also be used for medical use.

  2. Explore Stevenson's Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and the Body Snatchers as both gothic ...

    and consideration", was a murderer with a 'black soul' underneath, this quotation represents the hypocrisy of the character because in society he is view as a respectable nobleman who is wealthy and is well to do, however he is committing a huge social crime by being a murderer.

  1. Compare and contrast the presentation and development of the gothic genre, over the past ...

    My second topic is the socio-historic setting of the novels. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Frankenstein, and Tales of Mystery and Imagination were all written at a time when the British Empire was booming, and when the respectable middle-class white Christian male was the role model for society.

  2. To what extent can Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea and Jamaica Kincaid's Ovando be ...

    (78) Therefore, we see the postcolonial notion of the 'other' featuring in the novel. When we learn that Rochester views Antoinette in such a manner - as 'that which is unfamiliar and extraneous to a dominant subjectivity'3 - a certain unease is created, which amplifies the gothic tone of the novel.

  1. Examine how a sense of mystery, terror and suspense is created and maintained in ...

    This essay will examine 'The Old Nurse's Story' by Elizabeth Gaskell, analysing the build up of terror, mystery and suspense throughout the story. Furnival Manor is the first thing that actually begins to instil suspense and terror into the reader.

  2. Victorian Villains in Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

    All three settings are very different firstly; all of them are in very different locations with different atmospheres apart from they are all fearsome. The physical appearance of Bill Sikes is that he is a physically strong man. Firstly, in the extract he is brooding which indicates he is in intense thought in a menacing way, which is rather emotional.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work