Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 film The Birds is more than suspenseful horror. It is an exposition of the complexity and conflicting nature of human relationships as they are impacted by outside threats. Hitchcock’s films are laden with binaries, such as good and evil, the ordinary and the extraordinary, lustfulness and chastity, childhood and adulthood, and order and chaos. The Birds is Hitchcock’s ultimate statement of order and chaos.
As analyzed by authors Camille Paglia, Robin Wood, and Richard Allen, The Birds is a fascinating film because it can be interpreted in many ways. Beneath the film’s surface about birds terrorizing a seaside town is a critique of the American nuclear family. Humans categorize and impose order on chaotic nature, which cannot be tamed nor controlled. In the film, the nuclear family represents that imposed order. Its instability reveals humankind’s vulnerability in a chaotic world.
The Brenner family, representing the American nuclear family, is…
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