Animal Diction In Psycho

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Turn off the sound while watching a horror movie. Watch the asinine teenager investigate the door, creaking open by some haunting force. Scared? Probably not. The horror movie genre feeds off of brilliantly unsettling soundtracks to terrify the audience, peeking through their hands as the creature emerges from the hollow darkness behind the girl. Even the great director Alfred Hitchcock alloted much of his movies’ successes to the clever use of the soundtrack, like the screeching violins in the illustrious film, Psycho. Daniel Blumstein, an evolutionary biologist, ascribes the terrifying sound to the fact that this music emulates the restored cries from babies which trigger emotional distress in the surrounding humans. Similar to how music …show more content…
For example, Faulkner describes Abner, the father, as presenting the characteristics of “wolf-like independence” with “latent ravening ferocity”(271). This specific choice of animalizing Abner as a ‘lone wolf’ allows the reader to assume his selfishness and his willingness to cast aside the needs of his family to burn barns. Faulkner’s ability to illustrate Abner as a barbaric persona continues to hint towards his father’s individual quest to torch barns and rebel against the wealthier individuals. Similarly, Carver tells narrator’s wife’s love story as a child where she “was in love with the guy, and he was in love with her, etc”(102). By using this “etc” in the narrator’s voice, Carver leads the audience to believe that the narrator feels uncomfortable outlining a truly romantic story because their pure, fairy-tale love emasculates him. This colloquial shortening of his wife’s life reveals the narrator to be upset by love outside of his own. Moreover, during an intensely emotional scene where Abner recently “struck [his son] with the flat of his hand”, Faulkner describes the strike like one to strike “the two mules at the store…[or] to kill a horse fly”(272). The degrading diction that the son is merely a an unimportant mule to the father forces the reader to despise Abner as a solipsistic man who fails to contain an ounce of compassion for the horrid experience he, alone, brought upon his family. Faulkner uses these comparisons to animals to belittle Sarty and to bestialize Abner in hopes of swaying the reader towards vilifying the father. Sarty, as the mule, carries the burdening weight of the abusive father and their possessions from one farm to the next. Both these authors utilize specific diction to add depth to characters: Abner’s brutal selfishness towards fulfilling his own vindictive needs and, in Cathedral, the

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