ESSAY INTRODUCTIONS REAR WINDOW.docx - Essay Introductions...

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Essay Introductions for Rear Window Prompt #1: “How does Hitchcock combine elements from the genres of thriller and romance in Rear Window?” Introduction / Main Contention / Message of Director Director Alfred Hitchcock’s film Rear Window is both a compelling crime thriller and an engaging romance, adroitly [cleverly] combining the two film genres through a narrative that draws elements from both. The plot is structured around a murder investigation, albeit [though] an unconventional one, as it is a pair of civilian lovers, rather than the Police, who solve the crime. Working together as a team to establish Thorwald’s guilt acts as the catalyst that diffuses the conflict between Jeff and Lisa subsequently revitalising their relationship. These intersecting plotlines are supported by the exploration of the theme of voyeurism that is a conduit [intermediary] between the supposed crime and Jeff’s romance with Lisa. As a result of solving the murder mystery the personal differences between Jeff and Lisa are resolved at the end of the film. Included in the narrative, Hitchcock incorporates several red herrings [deceptions] designed to obfuscate [confuse] the truth and mislead the audience as they watch the elements of a thriller building towards a suspenseful climax. Hitchcock includes many conventional elements of both thriller and romance genres in order to engender feelings of excitement and apprehension in the audience as it builds towards the exciting highpoint. Prompt #2: “By the conclusion of Alfred Hitchcock’s film, LB Jefferies is entirely redeemed”. Do you agree? Introduction / Main Contention / Message of Director A pivotal debate running through the film Rear Window directed by Alfred Hitchcock is whether voyeurism and the ethics of spying on other people is inappropriate and illegal and the concept of Jeff’s redemption is two- fold. Firstly, the viewer is asked to consider whether Jeff’s actions of spying crosses a moral line. Secondly, by bringing a murderer to justice, effectively justifies his snooping in the first place and earns him some level of redemption. Consequently, the viewer forms an opinion that Jeff would have to prove himself worthy of redemption from his transgressions. Paradoxically, Hitchcock does question the morals of 1950’s American society that was obsessed with spying and intrusion into people’s private lives as a consequence of the ‘Red Scare’, but he also legitimises Jeff’s voyeurism as a way to catch a murderer in the pursuit of justices. However, in the closing moments of Rear Window the viewer is brought full circle, as the camera again hovers over the sleeping Jeff, only this time, instead of a single leg cast encasing ‘the broken bones of LB Jefferies’, both of the photojournalist’s legs are sheathed in a ‘plaster cocoon’. The film reveals that Jeff’s humiliation of hanging out of his rear window in his pyjamas and his subsequent broken legs are seen as Hitchcock’s reprimand for Jeff’s immoral voyeurism and are some way to his redemption.

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