Psycho by Alfred Hitchcock was released in 1960. An important relationship in this text is the unusual relationship between Norman and ‘Mother’. This relationship is unusual because although they are two separate entities and Mother is actually dead, there is a constant struggle for control of Norman’s mind and in the end, ‘Mother’ wins. This relationship helped me understand the main idea of madness through the parlour scene, the fruit cellar scene and the police station scene.
The relationship between Norman and ‘Mother’ helped me identify and understand the idea of madness through symbolism, lighting and dialogue techniques in the parlour scene. This symbolism includes the stuffed owls, which seem ready to attack that are placed in the background in a low-angle mid shot of Norman. At another point in the scene, Norman leans forward into a close up. This shot helps support the idea that even though Mother is physically dead, she is alive and threatening to take over Norman’s mind. This can be seen through the lighting of Norman’s face, half-light, half dark, and the dialogue.
“It's not like my mother is a maniac... We all go a little mad sometimes. Haven't you?”
These techniques have been cleverly assembled by Hitchcock to subtly hint at the idea of madness and help us to get to know Norman, but is not yet prepared to reveal the extent of Norman’s madness due to Psycho being a horror film.
The complex relationship helps us understand Norman as a character and the idea of madness in the fruit cellar scene. The director reveals the situation when Lila, Marion’s sister, goes down to the fruit cellar to hide from the murderer and finds Mother’s corpse. During the scene, we see a close up of the corpse. In this close up, the director uses the technique of lighting to symbolise that although Mother is dead, she lives on through her mentally unstable son, Norman. Hitchcock shows this as the light bulb swings with a corpse in the dark and a seemingly alive figure...