Abstract or Introduction
Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 film Vertigo is the story of an acrophobic detective and his descent into deceit, obsession, and madness. Vertigo has frequently been criticized by feminist commentators as a reflection of the often misogynistic male gaze and desire.
In the same vein of criticism, this essay attempts to examine how Hitchcock weakens male characters by feminizing them and strengthens female characters by masculinizing them, effectively creating a dichotomy between the masculine and feminine which propagates pre-existing structures of male dominance and female submission.
Hitchcock also uses formal and stylistic elements of film to convey this dichotomy, further enforcing the idea of the powerful, positive masculine and the submissive, negative feminine.
Additionally, Vertigo can be analyzed through a Lacanian psychoanalytic lens in which Scottie’s relationship with Madeline can be deconstructed into the interplay between Lacan’s three psychosexual stages: the Real, the Imaginary, and the Symbolic.
Finally, I will examine how Hitchcock not only plays into traditional gender roles, but how he totally and completely objectifies the feminine.
- Quote paper
- Lena Dassonville (Author), 2016, The Gendered Object. Hitchcock’s Objectification of the Feminine, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/346603