Women Changing for Men

Throughout many Hitchcock movies it is evident that the relationships between men and women are imperfect. In Vertigo and Rear Window it is evident that the relationships are carried on under the man’s conditions and what he wants.

In Rear Window, Jeffries (James Stewart) is obsessed with secretly looking into his neighbors rooms and being a voyeur. He seems uninterested in his relationship with Lisa (Grace Kelly). Lisa is a beautiful woman who is willing to do anything for him, but he is more interested in what is going on in the rooms he peeps into.

Lisa in Thorwald's room helping to solve the case. From http://movieimage4.tripod.com/rearwindow/

Lisa in Thorwald’s room helping to solve the case.
From http://movieimage4.tripod.com/rearwindow/

When Lisa complies with Jeffries wishes and goes across into a neighbors room to help solve the case, he then appreciates her and loves her as she has become part of his voyeuristic obsession. This shows the woman in the relationships altering herself to fit the conditions of the man.

A similar phenomenon is experienced in Vertigo. Scottie (James Stewart) fell in love with Madeleine (Kim Novak) and became depressed after her “suicide” which was actually her participating in a plot for a man to kill his wife. She then became Judy. Scottie then met Judy (also Kim Novak), who oddly resembled Madeleine.

Scottie holding Judy. Represents his aggressive need to change her to be like Madeleine.  From http://www.imdb.com/media/rm4084307968/ch0028517

Scottie holding Judy. Represents his aggressive need to change her to be like Madeleine.
From http://www.imdb.com/media/rm4084307968/ch0028517

He decided to change everything about Judy, like her clothes and her hair, to further resemble Madeleine, his lost love. Judy complied since she is Madeleine and is in love with Scottie. Here is another example of the woman changing who she is for the love of a man.

 

1 thought on “Women Changing for Men

  1. Mrs. Atwater

    I like the comparison between Rear Window and Vertigo in regards to women changing for men. It’s also important to point out the differences between the two films. In Rear Window, Lisa changes for Jefferies because she loves him and wants him to love her back, similarly, in Vertigo, Scottie wants Judy to change so she complies because she loves him. Lisa, unlike Judy, changes to accommodate her lover’s wants, but as we can see from the final scene, she still keeps her independence and won’t completely give up herself for Jefferies. Opposing this is Judy and Scottie’s relationship in which neither one of them are completely sane and Scottie’s control of Judy eventually leads to unfortunate death.

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