Analysis Of The Final Scenes Of Alfred

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Analysis Of The Final Scenes Of Alfred Hitchcock’s Notorious Essay, Research Paper Analysis of the Final Scenes of Alfred Hitchcock’s Notorious After viewing Alfred Hitchcock’s Notorious for the first time, the film did not strike me as particularly complex. Nothing specific about the film lodged itself in my brain screaming for an answer?or, at least, an attempted answer. Yet, upon subsequent viewings, subtle things became more noticeable. (Perhaps Hitchcock’s subtlety is what makes him so enormously popular!) Hitchcock uses motifs and objects, shot styles and shifting points of view, and light and dark to help explain the relationships between Alicia, Devlin, Sebastian and Mrs. Sebastian, and an overall theme of being trapped. An analysis of the film from the first

poisoning scene to the final scene in the film shows how the above tools lead to a better understanding of the character’s motivations. The most obvious recurring object in the final scenes is the poisoned coffee cup. In the first scene of the portion being analyzed, Sebastian suggests to Alicia that she drink her coffee, and Hitchcock zooms onto the object as she slowly takes a sip. In a later scene, Mrs. Sebastian pours the coffee into the cup for Alicia, and sets it on a small table in front of her. Here, Hitchcock not only zooms in on the small teacup, but heightens the sound it makes connecting to the table, includes it in every shot possible, and shows us not only the full coffee cup, but the empty cup as well after Alicia has drank it. Again, the cup is zoomed in on

after Alicia realizes she’s being poisoned. Because the coffee is poisoned, the coffee itself becomes a metaphor for life and death, supported by the fact that the poisoner herself ours it, and the shots of the full and empty teacup. In this way, it also suggests Alicia’s inability to escape her situation?whenever she drinks the coffee, she becomes trapped due to the poison in her cup?and the poison in her sham of a marriage.. A repeated object not so noticeable is Mrs. Sebastian’s needlework. Mrs. Sebastian is constantly working on her needlepoint while Alicia is being poisoned. Hitchcock, in fact, goes out of his way to make sure that a shot of her `toiling at her work’ is included several times. One cannot help but be reminded of Dickens classic A Tale of Two

Cities?with Madame Defarge knitting everyone’s fate into her work. At the beginning of the film, Devlin hands Alicia a handkerchief, and a scarf, which she keeps, but returns to him in this segment. These pieces of cloth throughout the film help tie Alicia to the different characters, and in essence, help control her fate in different situations. Hitchcock’s use of shot type is another hint into his character’s personalities. Hitchcock is very fond of medium and close-up shots, and rarely uses a longer shot in the film. This may suggest to the audience to keep a closer eye on the character’s facial expressions, as Hitchcock lets the actors express their thoughts and feelings in this manner. An excellent example of this would be when Alicia realizes that she is being

poisoned Hitchcock zooms in on her wide-eyed expression as she first looks at the teacup, then at Mrs. Sebastian and her husband. Mrs. Sebastian’s cold hearted stare back at Alicia tells us exactly just how much hatred she has for her. Hitchcock also uses devices in his scenes such as fades from shot to shot. By doing this, Hitchcock illustrates his character’s different viewpoints. The fades themselves are used to connect Alicia’s two different worlds?her ?fake’ world (her marriage to Sebastian), and her `real’ world (her relationship with Devlin). For example, when Alicia is unable to make contact with Devlin due to her illness, there are several shots of her in her sick bed, then fading to Devlin waiting impatiently at a bench. The fading between shots usually comes