‘Psycho’by Robert Bloch and Alfred Hitchcock
“Psycho”explains of Norman Bates, who is schizophrenic. After his father’sdeath, Bates kills his mother, who is controlling and demanding. Hecontinues with his killings, not as himself, but as his mother.Robert Bloch, a highly respected writer writes this story in hisnovel, ‘Pyscho’, which catches the attention of a filmmakerAlfred Hitchcock. The novel and film both tell of the same story ofNorman Bates, but a difference occurs in describing the relationshipbetween Norman and his mother.
Oneinstance where the film version of ‘Psycho’ differs from Bloch’snovel is where the novel gives in depth description of therelationship between Norman and his mother. The novel portrays Normanas a deranged due to the way his tyrant mother treated him. Thisdisturbed picture help the readers have a clearer image of Norman’sbrain. The film, on the other hand, tries to set a similar mood tothat in the novel but fails to bring out the clear image of Norman’smind.
Anotherclear difference between the book and the film in describing therelationship between Norman and his mother is evident where they tryto bring out personalities of the character. Book starts looking atNorman as a boy. At this point, he is a needy and an obedient littleboy to his tough mother. This section shows a weaker personality ofthe character who follows his tyrant mother’s commands. In thefilm, Hitchcock overlooks this side of the character, making the bookmore connecting compared to the film. The novel further shows hismother who torments the character every time a chance avails itself,to a point that Norman cannot let her go. The book also shows Normanas an adult, who tries to live a normal life, with a clearunderstanding of how her mother has destroyed his mind. The film doesnot start with showing the relationship the character had with hismother. Instead, it starts by showing Norman kill Marion Crane. Thisway, the book shows a clear chaotic relationship between Norman Batesand his mother than the film does. The start of the novel and thefilm also show the difference. The novel starts showing the closerelationship Norman had with his tyrant mother. Bloch shows thereader how Norman developed a psycho behavior due to themistreatments his mother put him through. The film starts with thecharacter killing a girl. It does not show the reason the charactercommitted the crime. It is until the end of the film that one learnsthat the nature of the troubled young character.
Thenovel also shows that Norman had an unnaturally close relationshipwith his mother, which is evident in how the book describes thecharacter. Bloch shows Norman as a drunk, which symbolizes thesuffering Norman was going through due to her complicated connectionwith his mother. Hitchcock uses a troubled young man, who is not adrunk, but he no less a psychopath than Norman from the novel is.
Itis clear that the detailed scrutiny Norman in the novel makes thereader to see the strong relationship Norman had with his mother thatdrove him to kill. However, the film has no such intimacy due to itsoverlooking on Norman’s fatal mother fixation.
Bloch,Robert. PsychoIi.New York: Ibooks, 2003. Print.