Introduction Cinema is widely known to be an element that has throughoutthe years helped to advance psychoanalysis, thus why there has been aninfluential connection between particular films and certain characters thatresemble and almost mirror most psychoanalytical theories which have been developedby psychoanalysts Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. It can be argued that theFreudian theory mainly gives a deeper insight in psychoanalysis whichcorrelates more to cinema, particularly highlighting Sigmund Freud’spersonality development which involves the Id, Superego and Ego thus whymajority of films and cinema have more of a deeper relationship and insightwithin his theories than Jung would have. Psychoanalysis has developed over theyears and the modern aspect of it not only focuses on the unconscious butemphasises the means of capable works of cultural values through the use of cinematicfilms. Hitchcock’s movies had a huge impact in psychoanalysis mainly to do withtheir deep connection between psychoanalytic theories conducted by Freud at thetime. The cinematic film ‘Psycho’ (1960) is still to this day seen to be acultural piece of work from the director Alfred Hitchcock with themes of theOedipus Complex and personality development due to the clashes of the egos inthem as it is stated that the movie itself relies very much on Freudiantheories.
For many reasons, this particular Hitchcock film is used as an example,due to the many Freudian connections in the movie. Specifically, ‘Psycho’ as itis noted by many film analysts and historians at the time as the first appropriate”psychoanalytic thriller” (Kaganski 2010). As self-explained by thetitle of the film, it is a movie that is directly based on the Freudian theoryof the Oedipus complex. Till this day within modern society, cinematic filmsare still used to describe and represent psychoanalytical theories and Freudiantheories through the use of art and culture. About the artefact The cinematic movie ‘Psycho’ (1960) was directed by the famousdirector Alfred Hitchcock however was based on a novel written by written byRobert Bloch (1959) who based his novel on a disturbingly true story of anexcessive serial killer who was known to be psychotic. Many critics describe thefilm ‘Psycho’ to be part of genre that involves fatalism and the mood of pessimismin which the characters for example ‘Norman Bates’ lives a life that has notbeen fulfilled and human desires are not reached (Palmer 1986). The Freudianelement to this movie especially, comes across the aspect of the constructionof Norman Bates personality type.
First of all, the movie starts with a traumaticincident that affected Norman Bates which then caused a sensation of, this thencauses almost a loss of “the self” which explains why Norman’s mother’sdeath that caused him to act out psychotically. Therefore, it is suitable tomention that Hitchcock’s film ‘Psycho’ is structured and almost based on thepsychoanalytic procedure and theory. The film ‘Psycho’ starts with thecharacter Marion Crane who is an office worker, her boss asked her to handle$40,000 for the business, Marion saw this as an opportunity to start a new lifedue to the fact she can’t marry her boyfriend due to money problems, therefore,she leaves town with the money and ends up in a motel in which Norman Bates ayoung boy with a pressurizing mother manages due to a heavy rainstorm thatdisrupted her trip to California. However, during the night at the motel Marionchanged her mind about escaping with the money and decides to return back toher work place with the money the next morning. Unfortunately, during that samenight at the motel, Marion decides to take a shower and while she is taking ashower, an anonymous individual enters her bedroom in the motel and stabs herto death. Throughout the movie, it is later on revealed that Norman has kepthis mother alive within his mind due to his multiple personalities, thereforethe fact his personality is mainly dominated by his mother’s existence withinhis mind, Norman murders anyone he personally feels attracted to. In the finalscene of the movie, viewers find Norman in prison, traumatised by his mother’sself, thinking of how to prove his innocence and not plead guilty of murderingmultiple people due to his psychotic condition. Oedipus Complex andFreud’s theory relating to the artefact The ‘Oedipus Complex’ is a psychoanalytical concept theory thatwas developed by psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud in 1910 and the theory itself was historicallyadvanced from an ancient Greek tragedy in which Freud used to interpret childhooddevelopment into adult development and how an individual’s shape of personalityoccurs due to their parents.
Within the idea of psychoanalyses specifically,the famous Freudian theory states that all young boys are destined and born todirect their first sexual drive unconsciously towards their mothers and direct theirviolent impulses towards their own father and the Oedipus Complex is stated tooccur within the specific age range of three to five years old during a child’sphallic stage that Freud also describes as the stage that if a child is borninto an ‘abnormal family set up’ then it may lead to the child having unusualrelationships with its mother and/or father which may lead to the child growingup with characteristics such as vanity, self-obsession, sexual anxiety andfeelings of envy (Freud 1930) also again occurs within the stages ofadolescence, therefore Freud concluded from this theory that if the young boyat this stage does not restrain his sexual drive towards his mother he cannot andwill not be able to develop a normal personality later on in his life. Inrelation to Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’ it is suggested that the theory of the OedipusComplex is seen to be the main psychoanalytical connection from the cinematic movieas the character ‘Norman Bates’ reflects upon this idea of expressing sexualimpulses towards his mother (Boulton, 2010). The character of ‘Norman Bates’ isa clear example of an individual (a young boy to be exact) not repressing hissexual drive towards his mother and later on proven that this is the reason hekilled his own father which was out of jealousy as his father took his motheraway from him, thus directing his violent impulses on his father and directinghis sexual desire towards his mother thus why the character of Norman Bates isa clear example of the outline of the Freudian theory the Oedipus Complex.However Norman Bates committing these crimes self explains why he later ondeveloped a split personality due to his guilt he tried to keep his motheralive by living her ‘life’ for her in his own persona and mind. Overall thecinematic movie of Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’ is a vivid example of how the Oedipus Complexoccurs and how it can disrupt an individual’s personality and way of thinkinglater on in adult development and this is shown through the character of NormanBates and his relations with other characters such as Marion and others hemurdered such as his father. This cinematic film is also self-explanatory onhow an individual may act out when guilt is transferred upon them. This thereforeamplifies Sigmund Freud’s theory and illustrates at the time how psychoanalysiswas developed after watching psychological films such as Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho”(1960).
How the Id,Superego and Ego relate to the artefact Another Freudian theory that Sigmund Freud adapted inpsychoanalysis was the development of the personality structure. Freud dividedan individual’s personality into three sub divisions; the id, the superego andthe ego. The ‘id’ is known to be the most important part of the personalitystructure that Freud developed at the time. The ‘id’ is described as the partthat allows individuals to meet our personal basic needs, the id is seen to bedeveloped when new-born and Freud believed that the id is particularly based onour ‘pleasure principle’ specifically aiming to suggest that an individual’s idwants whatever seems pleasuring at the time with no thought of morality orbeing realistic.
The ‘superego’ is another part of the structure of personalityand the ‘superego’ is described to be what controls the id’s needs and has thefunction of persuading the ego to turning into a more realistic and moralistic perspective.The superego involves two sub-systems; the conscience and the ideal self. Theconscience is known to punish the ego through creating feelings such as guiltand regret and the second sub-system which is the ideal self is described to bean imaginary thought of how you may be or what you may become, for example it mayrepresent aspirations, goals and how to appropriately behave as a member of today’ssociety. Lastly the third sub-division of the personality structure thatSigmund Freud developed is the ego. The ‘ego’ is known to be the organized andmost realistic part that moderates between both of the id and the super-egothat creates desires and needs. The structure of personality that Freuddeveloped, specifically has a connection with the cinematic film ‘Psycho’ asthe character Norman Bates showed feelings of guilt when he killed his motherand felt the need of comfort through his id so acted out and ended up having asplit personality with his mother to fulfil his need of comfort. However, healso lacked having some sort of personality structure thus why he is describedas a very disturbing character within the movie, therefore explaining how if personalityis disrupted from a young age it can later on affect the adult developmentstages as Freud states when explaining the stages of fixation as Norman Batesdeveloped a dysfunctional superego.
The Bates Motel itself can also be seen asan ideal explanation of the three structures of personality. For example, thetop floor can be reflected as the superego as the mother lives on the topfloor, and it acts as the moral aspect over Norman’s conscious. Then the ‘ego’acts as the ground floor of the Bates Motel which acts as a reality principle inwhich Norman allows himself to control his impulses. And the Id is seen as thebasement of the Bates Motel where darkness is illustrated and his pleasure principlecomes out no matter what he has to do or how he has to act to fulfil his needsat that moment. How certain scenesand certain characters in the artefact link to psychoanalysis and Freudiantheories The scene where Marion is brutally stabbed to death in theshower is one of the most famous scenes in the film.
The fact Norman Batesmurdered Marion while she was taking a shower with a knife is not seen to be coincidental.As it can be argued that it may have a deeper meaning in relation to Freudiantheories and psychoanalysis. At the beginning of the movie it may appear toviewers that Marion was going to be the protagonist of the entire due to thefact the movie began with her stealing money and her asking a shower mayrepresent the water acting as a way to wash away her guilt for being a thief toher business and boss and suddenly this was disturbed by a shocking flash ofviolence and a scene of death. This may be in reflection to what might be occurringin Norman Bates psyche as he may have thought his life was going well or when achild he was destined to have a good development in life however this wasdisturbed by the death of his father and his disturbed development of thephallic stage. Relating to the phallic stage again, the knife in represent in aFreudian perspective can also be justified to mirror a phallic symbol. In apsychotic manner, Norman Bates fulfilled both his needs of feeling jealous overhis mother and fulfilling his own pleasure by penetrating into Marion’s body. Thesecond murder scene, involved the detective Arbogast. This scene wasn’t asshocking as the first murder scene of Marion’s death.
When Arbogast entered theBates Motel it was predictable that something horrifying was going to occur. Thereis a main difference that is clearly different between both murder scenes that occurredin the movie and is hard to avoid the idea of the split personality NormanBates has, thus why it is exaggerated how relatable Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’ is toFreudian theory and culture throughout the years.