Themes and Message of Hitchcock for the film ‘Rear Window’

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This resource is for students studying the film ‘Rear Window’ in the Victorian Mainstream English VCE Year 12 Curriculum.

It is important to include Message of Hitchcock as Director in your Analytical Text Response Essays.

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Below are Themes with Message of Director for Revision.

Themes: Voyeurism, Ethics, Morality, Looking, Seeing & The Male Gaze

Message of Director = Hitchcock does argue that voyeurism is in poor taste, but that it is also a natural aspect of the human condition to look and spy on other people.  Hitchcock sends Jeff and the audience a message to choose carefully at what you look at because you might get involved in something more serious than you bargained for. 

Themes: Community, Social Isolation, Loneliness, Alienation, Sights & Sounds

Message of Director = Hitchcock critiques the lack of neighbourly love for each other in the apartment block and the lack of trust which ultimately displays the apathy of the 1950’s society.  Hitchcock demonstrates flaws in communal living between having a sense of community and looking out for one’s neighbours, but straying into voyeuristic territory.

Theme: Gender

Message of Director = Jeff’s perspective and male gaze allows males a measure of control and denies a female perspective in the film.  Hitchcock portrays Lisa as embodying changes in the position of women in 1950’s, wanting the audience to consider women should not be underestimated.

Themes: Love & Marriage

Message of Director = Hitchcock suggests the need for love and for connectedness of others is essential in our existence.  Hitchcock portrays relationships characterised by dissatisfaction and at times violent impulses.  Cynically, Hitchcock suggests marital discontent is inevitable.

Themes: Confinement versus Expansion

Message of Director = Hitchcock demonstrates a society in which people are isolated in their own worlds without taking risks and living a narrow existence.  He is somewhat pessimistic, though not completely hopeless, he challenges audiences to examine habits of their own especially in a world where sensitive information is at our fingertips. 

Themes: Post-war Paranoia & Red Scare & Title Significance

Message of Director = Hitchcock critiques the notion of post-war paranoia by showing how the communist red scare pervaded 50’s society where neighbours spied on neighbours, the atmosphere of betrayal, lack of trust filtered down from HUAC to every part of American society.  Hitchcock’s title ‘Rear Window’ also functions as a metaphor exposing Jeff’s repressed desires and fears but also the idea of a covert agenda, which is Jeff’s ethically murky voyeurism that uncovers a murder.

All Resources created by Online Tutoring using Zoom for Mainstream English Students in the Victorian Curriculum

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