Voyeurism in Rear Window Essay

1923 Words May 28th, 2002 8 Pages
VOYEURISM IN "REAR WINDOW"

In this essay, I shall try to illustrate whether analysing the movie Rear Window as a classical example of the Freudian concept of voyeurism, is appropriate. Voyeurism is defined in The Penguin dictionary of psychology as:
"Voyeurism: characterized by a pattern of sexual behaviour in which one's preferred means of sexual arousal is the clandestine observing of others when they are disrobing, nude or actually engaged in sexual activity. Arousal is dependent upon the observed person(s) not being aware of their being observed. (Arthur S. Reber, 1985, p.825)".
Freud used the term "scopophilia" to describe the initial stages of the tendency to look. According to Freud, scopophilia can be active and passive.
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57-90) says that in this way, Hitchcock makes it clear that he uses the camera to record and project Jeff's fears and desires.

As mentioned earlier, Jeff's injury brings him frustrating feelings of castration and leaves him sexually incompetent. He can only be an active voyeur, rather than an active lover. We can see how his low interest in sex is manifested by the lack of interest for Lisa. She is standing next to him and he chooses to concentrate on the actions of his neighbours. He knows he cannot live up to her expectations and so he chooses to become an active and, sometimes, aggressive observer. He uses his binoculars first but, as this is not intrusive enough, he soon exchanges it for his lens, which resembles a gun. He has the power to shoot whenever he wants and destroy lives. I cannot miss noticing that his lens also resembles the phallus.
Freudian theories on scopophilia evolve around the childhood and the curiosity for the things surrounding us. This could not be truer for Jeff as he is the one acting in a childish matter by refusing to take responsibility over his relationship with Lisa. When she asks him if he would be willing to change his job in order for them to have a future, he dismisses her by making fun of the line of her work and, in a way, of her whole world. He says:" Can you see me driving down to the fashion salon in a jeep, wearing combat boots and a three-day beard?" She thinks that he would look handsome in a "dark blue

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