Similarities Between Edgar Allan Poe and Alfred Hitchcock Fear, terror and suspense are the most vivid emotions created by
Poe's stories and by Hitchcock's films. Several themes are common to
the madness that exists in the world, the paranoia caused by isolation
which guides people's actions, the conflict between appearance and
along with the double aspect of the human nature, and the power of the
over the living. Not only the themes are similar in both men's work
also the details through which a story is written or shown. The
themes and narrative techniques can be seen clearly in "The Fall of
House of Usher" and in Psycho.
For both Poe and Hitchcock, madness exists in the world. "The Fall
of the House of Usher" and Psycho are two very similar studies in
Roderick Usher and Norman Bates are both insane. They have many common
traits although they are also quite different. They are victims of
fears and their obsessions. Norman who seems agreeable and shy is, in
reality, a homicidal maniac who has committed matricide. He suffers
schizophrenia - he acts as both himself and his dead mother. Roderick
Usher appears strange from the beginning, almost ghost-like, with his
"cadaverousness of complexion" - however, he is not a murderer. He
from a mental disorder which makes him obsessed with fear: fear of the
past, of the house, of the dead. He finally dies, "victim to the
he had anticipated."
The way in which madness is projected in both stories is quite
similar as well. The short story and the movie both take place in a
and gloomy house, a "ghostly house" - "a mansion of doom," writes Poe.
both houses there is the presence of a mysterious woman. For Poe, the
woman is Roderick Usher's sister Madeline who suffers from an
illness, seems to die twice, and appears as Roderick's double. For
Hitchcock, it is the mother who is at first seen as a murderer and
but who turns out to have been dead for years, and who lives only
her son's insanity. The death of both women is a source of mystery and
horror. In both stories the woman is kept in the lower section of the
house - Madeline in a coffin and Mrs. Bates as an embalmed corpse.
narrative techniques tie the two tales: the dark and stormy night in
death takes place, the dead birds which Norman Bates stuffed - Poe's
famous poem is "The Raven" - the pond in which the House of Usher
rs and the pond in which Norman Bates entombs the cars and...