Comparing Psycho 'And The Talented Mr. Ripley'

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The 1960 Alfred Hitchcock classic thriller, Psycho and the psychological thriller novel, The Talented Mr.Ripley by Patricia Highsmith both challenge the audience’s perception of the noir protagonist in explorating controversial themes via the protagonist. Through the use of a range of stylistic features, the authors aim to blur the line between innocence and guilt by subverting commonly held stereotypes of normality in the protagonists to explore evil. Characterisation of both of these protagonists, used in a way that forces the audience to connect with them and subconsciously adopt a controversial point of view, transforms the audience’s perception of how the antagonist of a psychological thriller should behave. Hitchcock uses point of view…show more content…
By introducing both protagonists positively, the authors are able to create a strong emotional connection between the audience and the protagonists. As the narrative approaches complication like the assassinations of Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) and Dickie Greenleaf, the emotional investment that was originally established is challenged. Therefore, forcing the audience to question their own morality and values. Narrative voice is used in both texts to position the reader in the protagonists mindset, Hitchcock does this by using a range of point of view shots from Norman’s perspective while Highsmith uses an unreliable narrator in The Talented Mr Ripley. Highsmith tells the narrative through the eyes of Ripley in third person, Tom Ripley refers to himself as “Tom” instead of “I” and describes, “He hated becoming Thomas Ripley again” which suggests that he has completely detached the identity of Tom Ripley from himself and become Dickie Greenleaf. This suggests that the narrator is Ripley, but speaking in third person shows his deteriorated mental state, Hitchcock achieves revealing Norman’s voyeuristic tendencies through a point of view shot of Crane undressing. In this way both authors portray the protagonists with faint flaws that only shock the audience moderately, allowing a slightly fractured emotional connection between the audience and the protagonists. By evolving these flaws into crucial character amorality, the authors are able to efficiently shock the audience in a prolonged manner rather than instantaneously. This increases the effect of the inner revelation within the audience of their questioned moral compass. Finally, during the resolution of both texts the true personality of both protagonists is uncovered, Norman’s critical psychological condition is revealed in the

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