#PLL THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. THIS IS THE REASON WHY PLL IS VERY SUCCESSFUL. If you’re a BTV fan and a PLL fan, you really have to read this:
We have been stressing that even small details matter on PLL. This proves it.
This is our PLL Theory in a nutshell. Thank you to Tota PLL for sending us the link. This article supports our theory: The Biggest PLL Theory Ever. We highly encourage everyone to read the theory after you’ve read this. You won’t regret it.
Go to the site and read the whole thing: http://voices.yahoo.com/an-analysis-psycho-as-freudian-psychological-3232885.html?cat=72.
READING THE ARTICLE IS LIKE READING OUR THEORIES—DIFFERENT SCENARIOS, SAME LOGIC AND CONCEPT.
For now, we’ll paste some of the things that supports our theories the most.
FREUD is the Bobblehead where —A hid the bug in Dr. Sullivan’s office. We’ve also mentioned Sigmund Freud many times in our theories as PLL has been adapting most of his biggest studies like psychoanalysis, anxiety, repression, etc.
We have also mentioned Norman Bates several times in our theories.
An Analysis of Psycho as a Freudian Psychological Thriller
Psycho and PLL have the same style, attack, or approach:
Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho was one of the first psychological thrillers-shocking its audiences with a visual bombardment of terror. Psycho tapped into people’s worst fears and visually laid them out for all to see. This ability to espouse the inner recesses of one’s mind, like the ability of a Shakespearean play or a Greek tragedy to illustrate the universal themes of the human condition, will be the focus of this paper. The film closely parallels psychoanalytic goals. Where psychoanalysis concerns itself with exploring REPRESSED or UNCONSCIOUS impulses, ANXIETIES, and internal conflicts, Psycho similarly focuses on the darker, unknown aspects of humanity. It is my contention that the film, Psycho, implements psychoanalytical theory both thematically and visually. This filmic parallel to psychoanalysis is established in a variety of techniques. First, the film, like psychoanalysis, attempts to PIECE TOGETHER FRAGMENTARY PARTS into a coherent whole; in order to achieve this WHOLE IDENTITY, the film-like psychoanalysis-both look to the unconscious as an answer to the problems encountered consciously. Second, the film’s mis-en-scène, like Freudian slips of the tongue, provides clues to unconscious drives. Third, in psychoanalytic style, the film analyzes both the PSYCHOTIC BEHAVIOR OF ITS MAIN CHARACTER, and the neurosis of the viewing audience. Finally, the film parallels psychoanalytic theory in its difficulty with presenting the female character as anything but tangential to the male character.
In an attempt to create a coherent story the film offers specific details in its opening scene. First the PLACE is given: phoenix, arizona. Then the DATE is given: friday, december the eleventh. Finally the TIME is given: two-forty-three p.m. This detailed opening prepares the audience for a detective story, and it is the goal of a detective story (and a psychoanalyst) to solve a mystery by piecing together the CLUES. The appearance of these initial clues prepares the audience for a crime story and ALSO PUTS THEM IN THE MINDSET OF GATHERING MORE CLUES. However, no amount of fact gathering could have prepared the audience for the ENIGMA TO COME (Norman, dressed in his dead mother’s clothes, is the murderer). If the AUDIENCE FAILS at piecing together the puzzle, SO DO THE MAIN CHARACTERS.
A VERY IMPORTANT PART
Like psychoanalysis, the film links a character’s identity with his/her PAST-PRIMARILY INFLUENCED BY HIS/HER PARENTS. It is this LINK TO THE PAST that fragments the characters: Sam and Marion are unable to marry because of financial debts from the past, Norman cannot function in the present without disturbance from his dead mother. As Donald Spoto concludes, “we are encouraged to resent THE POWER OF THE DEAD TO INFLUENCE THE LIVING, and THE POWER OF THE PAST TO AFFECT THE PRESENT” (361). It is the PAST that has the ability to fragment IDENTITY BEYOND REPAIR.
The unconscious, in a psychological sense, is “the idea that an individual has within him ACTIVITIES OF WHICH HE IS NOT AWARE” (Meltzer 147).
Marion’s (and the AUDIENCES) journey culminates in an exploration of the UNCONSCIOUS, but the desires and fears of the unconscious are relayed to us through MORE THAN THE STORY LINE-THE BACKGROUND IMAGERY ALSO HELPS US IN OUR INVESTIGATION of the id. “Freud will also describe the unconscious as making itself manifest through ‘GAPS’-UNINTENDED LAPSES IN MEMORY, slips of the tongue, puns, and DREAMS” (Meltzer 149).
The mis-en-scène of Psycho lends itself to the PUNS and slips of the tongue whereby the unconscious manifests itself into the conscious. WORD PLAY and visual imagery give SUBTLE CLUES to the workings of the unconscious.
The CHARACTERS’ NAMES represent sources of UNCONSCIOUS INDICATORS OF CONSCIOUS THEMES. Marion’s last name of Crane situates her character as “BIRD” in a story where Norman’s hobby of taxidermy lends itself to the stuffing of birds. Donald Spoto points out that girls are REFERRED to as “birds” in the BRITISH VERNACULAR (369). Norman has already shown his linking of women with birds-he has stuffed his mother in a similar fashion to the birds in his parlor. Even Marion’s first name has SUBTLE INDICATORS. It sounds like “marriage,” especially in the context of the film’s literary source, Robert Bloch’s novel, Psycho, where her name is Mary. Marriage involves the union of man and woman, and Norman represents the psychotic extreme of this union-he has become his mother.
The NAME, NORMAN BATES, IS ALSO REVEALING. Bates sounds like “baits,” and the motel, also named Bates, beckons people to fall prey to Norman’s psychosis. Crane takes the bait and becomes victim. Raymond Bellour points out an interesting aspect to the name Norman: “he who is neither woman NOR MAN” (125). Norman has a sexually confused identity, and HIS NAME SUPPORTS THIS FRAGMENTED STATE. Norman also sounds like “normal,” and though his name supports normality, his ACTIONS SPEAK DIFFERENTLY. This supports the Hitchcockian theme of finding ABNORMALITY UNDERNEATH NORMALITY. The two names of the main characters, Marion and Norman, are almost ANAGRAMS of each other. This ENCOURAGES THE AUDIENCE to see the characters as MIRROR IMAGES of each other, and how NORMALITY (MARION) HAS WITHIN IT ABNORMALITY (NORMAN).
VISUAL IMAGERY found in the BACKGROUND breaks through into conscious SYMBOLISM. Marion’s last name has already provided a “bird” theme, but the mis-en-scène also supports this theme. Norman’s parlor is filled with stuffed birds, and Marion’s motel room is adorned with pictures of birds. Naremore comments on the SYMBOLISM OF BIRDS in Psycho: “They are…HIGHLY AMBIGUOUS…They can be passive or active, murderous beasts or OBSERVERS OF OTHER PEOPLE’S GUILT; they are SOMETIMES VICTIMS AND SOMETIMES VICTIMIZERS” (51). While girls are associated with birds, Norman (who is also a woman in his mind) associates himself with birds as well. This helps explain the ambiguous symbolism presented-as Wood explains, “Norman Bates, sitting in his room beneath stuffed birds of prey, becomes, simultaneously, the bird (from his resemblance to it) and its victim (from his position under it) (41). Norman truly holds a psychotic position-BOTH AGGRESSOR AND VICTIM. The city Marion starts from also symbolizes a bird. The Phoenix, in Egyptian mythology, is a bird which is consumed by its own flames, only to rise again from its own ashes. Leo Braudy points out that the mother is the phoenix of Psycho-SHE AROSE FROM HER DEATH RENEWED IN THE FORM OF Norman (124).
The DESCENT INTO EVIL, or the journey to the id, is similarly conveyed visually. Our first view of Marion is when she is half undressed in a motel room with Sam. She is wearing a WHITE bra and slip. The next scene with Marion undressed occurs when she is packing for her escape to California, but now she is wearing a BLACK bra and slip. The theft of the 40,000 dollars and the succumbing to selfish desires is portrayed visually in Marion’s undergarments-FROM WHITE PURITY TO BLACK CORRUPTION.
Norman’s descent is also portrayed, but more graphically. Surrounding his PEEP HOLE into Marion’s room next to his parlor, are PICTURES.
Norman’s TURBULENT CHILDHOOD and DUALISTIC ADULTHOOD can be understood in terms of the Freudian “primal scene.”
THE MOVIE HAS ALL ALONG BEEN ABOUT THE AUDIENCE. The camera pulls identification from one character to the next swiftly. As Marion flees her “private trap” in phoenix, WE FLEE WITH HER. When the officer questions Marion, WE FEAR HIS COLD STARE WITH HER. Once she dies, WE HAVE NORMAN TO FILL THE VOID. As he cleans up the crime scene we feel for him, after all, he is doing it out of love for his mother. Marion is gone, and while we may feel slight pangs of guilt over the loss, WE COMFORT OURSELVES WITH THE FACT THAT SHE DID STEAL money and though she paid too high a price, PERHAPS SHE DID DESERVE IT. When Norman disposes of the body, the CAR MOMENTARILY STICKS in the mud-and WE WANT THAT CAR TO SINK (Hanna-Police Car). Norman’s desires have become our desires. Spoto eloquently sums up, “All the characters of this film are indeed one character, and through the use of alternating SUBJECTIVE CAMERA TECHNIQUE, that character is the individual viewer” (374). While seemingly about the psychosis of a madman, the film ALSO COMMENTS ON THE FRAGILE STATE OF OUR OWN MINDS. This is the reason why we could all relate to PLL.
Bit by bit we were encouraged to PIECE TOGETHER the story of the human psyche, and as we pieced together the whole, we find a fragmented identity—both in Norman or the Pretty Little Liars and ourselves.
If you’re a loyal BTV reader and a PLL fan, you know why we highlighted the things that we highlighted.
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