One Grey Wall and One Grey Tower: The Bates World in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho

  • Subarna Mondal


Space may not alter, but, as Henri Lefebvre suggests, our perception of it does. Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) altered our way of viewing the space called the “bathroom”. Our entry into Marion’s private space through the peephole is one of many instances where space is blatantly invaded. Psycho is a dystopic world of confined spaces (motel rooms, office, car, the fruit cellar, and bathrooms). The chapter focuses on the significance of the architectural arrangement of the Bates House and the Bates Motel with reference to the inmates as both surveyors and surveyed. The vertical house and the horizontal motel are not merely juxtaposed visually on screen. The Bates house is a hermetically sealed world that forbids the intrusion of any outsider. On the other hand, a motel by definition is a shelter for outsiders. The chapter focuses on how the characters are created and destroyed by this choreography of watching and being watched within Hitchcock’s constructed dystopic spaces of the film.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Subarna Mondal
    • 1
  1. 1.P. R. Thakur Government CollegeWest BengalIndia

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