Withclose reference to at least one scene, and any relevant background information,write an analysis of character transformation in Hitchcock's film, 'The Birds'

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With close reference to at least one scene, and any relevant background information, write an analysis of character transformation in Hitchcock’s film, ‘The Birds’

Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’, produced in 1963, was a thriller, based upon the novel by Daphne du Maurier – he used this author as inspiration for many films, including the well known, ‘Rebecca’. ‘The Birds was an apocalyptic story of the small Californian coast town, Bodega Bay. This film has many underlying themes. It has allegorical levels, whilst also having literal and even oedipal levels. In this essay I will attempt to explore these levels, with close reference to anything in the film which may suggest such things. I will look at Hitchcock’s life in relation to the one of Mitch’s in the film, to, how the motives of the birds contribute to the fear of the town, amongst many other things.

When analyzing the film, on a deeper level than basically watching it, we see that the dynamics, development and relationships of characters are significant and add to the depth of the film analytic side.

Mitch is such a character that seems to keep himself to himself. However when analyzed, he, and his mother both seem to relate to the Oedipal complex. When studied in Freudian terms, we can interpret the deeper levels of their relationships.

Sigmund Freud’s oedipal complex draws on a Greek myth, Freud put forward the theory that at the very young age of six, a boy will become aware of his sexuality on a very basic level. He will begin to identify with other males, and develop an attraction for the female form, primarily the mother figure. Because of this, the child will also begin to fear the father, as someone who, in the eyes of the child, owns the mother and is all powerful. Freud called this ‘castration anxiety’. The boy must resolve this conflict by identifying with the father and accepting him as a role model. Any unresolved conflict, which might happen when the mother refuses to let go of the son, might result in the boy failing to develop into a rounded individual. In such cases, the young man might find it difficult to form meaningful relationships with other women; this difficulty will be accompanied by the mother’s reluctance to accept relationships between her son and any woman, unless they are merely of a sexual nature.

There are many omens in ‘The Birds’, which seem to lead ones mind towards the question of whether oedipal is being put forward as a prominent idea, with Mitch being the prime figure. His mother cannot seem to let go. Through conversations we see, between Annie and Melanie, which hint at a certain oedipal complex, we realize she does not mind casual relationships. She does not see these women as a threat. These women provide her son what she can not give him, whilst still constantly mollycoddling, to re assure herself that he will always return to her. She is afraid of him committing. She has a fear of abandonment as she does not what to lose her prime carer.

It is quite possible however, that the mother’s fears may well be true. Mitch and Melanie’s relationship does develop into one of an affectionate nature. Their romance blooms in such a way that he describes the lovebirds he wishes to purchase. “Not too frisky, not too cold”. Therefore it is a mature relationship, based on caring. Exactly the one the mother fears.

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During the scene after the attack of the birds from the fireplace, we see a portrait of the father of the house. He is obviously dead. This means that Mitch perhaps didn’t get a chance to fully accept his father as a role model. The mother may subconsciously believe that through keeping hold of Mitch, she is, in some way, keeping hold of the father. Although this does not follow the exact oedipal complex, it is an abstract version of it.

This portrait which we see on the wall is a very abrupt, empowered one. It seems to ...

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