Shadow of a Doubt

In Shadow of Doubt, there is evidence of the Electra Complex, which is basically the female version of Freud’s Oedipus Complex, between Charlie and Uncle Charlie.  At the very beginning of the film, Charlie and Uncle Charlie are introduced together lying in there beds in Santa Rosa and Philadelphia respectively, which can be read that they are lying in bed together.   It is also implied that they are thinking of each other (Charlie is thinking of her Uncle and decides to send him a telegram and the uncle decides to go visit the family in Santa Rosa), suggesting an incestuous relationship.

Charlie always talks about how similar they are and says that her and her uncle are like twins, indicating that their closeness is odd which adds to the audience’s discomfort viewing this relationship.  In addition to this, Uncle Charlie gives Charlie a ring and places it on her hand in a way that the audience can’t help but think of as a wedding or engagement ring.  As said in A Hitchcock Reader, in James McLaughlin’s “All in the Family,” Charlie emphasizes that her Uncle “heard” her and that there was a type of mental telepathy between the two (147).  Lastly, throughout the film the two characters always seem to be touching, again adding to the sense of an incestuous relationship.

McLaughlin, James. “All in the Family: Alfred Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt.” A Hitchcock Reader, 145-155. 2nd ed. Blackwell Publishing, 2009.

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