The Doppelganger Character in Psycho, North by Northwest and Vertigo

1190 Words 5 Pages
Double or nothing? Filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock believed having a double persona in his movies made them twice as suspenseful. The motif of doubling characters is common in the Hitchcock films Psycho, North by Northwest and Vertigo; each film uses the doppelganger technique of portraying figures in the film as a double or second self. In literature, the doppelganger character is often presented as a twin, a shadow or mirror image of the central character. The doppelganger figure characteristically appears as an identical closely resembling the protagonist. By morphing of two characters in his films, Hitchcock doubled the thrill factor for his viewers.
The famous Hitchcock film Psycho depicts an encounter between a travelling secretary,
…show more content…
He pretends to be her. At times Norman actually lived as both personalities and carried on both sides of a conversation between himself and “his mother”. Other times, the dominant "mother" half of his split personality takes over completely. Norman was never completely “Norman”, but was often only his mother.
When Norman met Marion he was attracted to her. The attraction angered the envious Mother side of his personality, and it was Mother who killed Marion. Afterwards, Norman would return as if from a deep sleep and respectfully clean up after Mother's wrongdoing. Mother eventually won the inevitable battle, driving Norman out completely. Adding to the suspense of the film, the doppelganger effect represented in Psycho is a clash between one character’s two personalities.
Another Hitchcock film portraying a double figure is North by Northwest. North by Northwest tells the story of an innocent man, Roger Thornhill, who is being followed across the United States by government agents who suspect he is involved in a mysterious association. The agents believe Roger is trying to interfere with their plans to steal microfilm that contains government secrets. Roger Thronhill is a successful advertising executive in New York City whose relatively ordinary existence changes dramatically during the film. He is mistaken for a man named George Kaplan, a fictitious character created by the agency as part of a plot to trap master spy

Related Documents