Write about one of the themes of Psycho.
1. Marion and sexual morality. Is Marion a “bad girl”? Does the film make the connection – made in so many slasher films – between Marion’s sexual life-style (sex out of wedlock with a divorced man) and violence done to her?
2. Viewer/voyeur. Norman Bates is a sexual voyeur. Does the film suggest that the viewer of the film is also a voyeur?
3. Psychology. At the end of the film, a police psychologist gives a full psychological profile of Norman. What, basically, does he say? How does Sigmund Freud and his theories play a part?
4. The “psycho” as psychopath. The psychopath, in the form of Norman Bates, was relatively new to the cinema when Psycho was released in 1960. Now the psychopath is a common (even ubiquitous) character on television and in movies. How does one of the original psychos (Norman) compare to the psychos we see on our screens now?
5. MacGuffin. What’s a MacGuffin? (Hello, wikipedia!). What’s the MacGuffin in Psycho? (There may be more than one). How does it indicate that Hitchcock is challenging cinematic conventions?
6. What are the things that Hitchcock does “wrong” in Psycho, when you think of the film in terms of the conventional or classical Hollywood movie? (For instance, Hitchcock kills off the female lead relatively early in the film). Is Hitchcock making a claim, with Psycho, that he is a true artist, an auteur?