You're only as crazy as you appear to be..

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Well, every since I was a little girl, I have ALWAYS loved the movie Psycho, and I'm happy to say that the book version was even better for me.  Even though I knew what was going to happen, I still was reading eagerly and as always, there was a lot that the movie version missed, so I was very, very pleased with the book overall.  Truly great writing Bloch.

Something that I found particularly interesting was that (to me) it seemed like Norman knew he was crazy, which is in fact more scarier than not knowing in my opinion.  He mentioned a few times that he thought himself to be schizophrenic, insinuating that there was another side to him, and also that he was well read in psychology--indicating a self diagnosis. This caught my eye because in Horror, I find it especially terrifying when you run into a killer that is completely aware of what he/she is doing and it doesn't phase them.  True, Norman was pretty messed up in the head, but I think subconsciously he knew what he was doing, but hid it very well with his drinking and years of convincing himself that his mother was alive (I'm sure the body helped too! CrEePy)!  Nonetheless, Norman Bates has left an impression on me once again as a 20 year old that is more terrifying than when I was younger watching him cross-dress and kill people in showers.

Another thing that touched home to me was the setting; the town seemed to be set up a lot like the one that I live in which is pretty cool/scary.  My town is extremely small and everyone knows everyone's business, and even our cops are way to laid back for their own good (if you as me).  Sure there are some sketchy people around, but they are all harmless right?  Clearly no one has watched Psycho back home, haha.

Since I am just casually talking about the story in this specific blog, I wanted to mention something that I found very useful as a writer in this story...the setup.  I know that for the longest time when I tried to write, that I would just sit down at my computer and try to churn out chapter after chapter, and just hope that stuff would pop into my head while writing.  While this sometimes happens, I have learned that an outline goes a long way as well.  I love how Bloch was very strategic in his technique...especially with Mary's earing. He mentioned it enough, but didn't overdue it to the point that the reading would be constantly looking for hints or obsessing over it.  It was just enough to read and forget, and then when you come across it in the end, it hits home that much more.  I know that when I try to plant information to foreshadow, etc., I always seem to overdue it to the point that it is WAY to obvious (at least to me after I read it).  After reading this, it put a lot of great perspective towards plot and foreshadowing for me, and I think I understand the make up of a novel a little bit better. 

Oh..and since we started on book covers in the beginning of this class, I must say that I do really like the cover of mine.  Basically, it is a really old version with Bate's holding the knife as he pulls back the shower curtain.  It really seems 3-d in a way as if he is going to stab whoever is holding the book, which is creepy enough!

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2 Comments

Mike Arnzen said:

Great point about the way Bloch meticulous works on the 'set up' to this story. He's manipulating point-of-view and time in a very unique way that tricks the reader (well, if they haven't seen the film anyway). I think the plotting is quite ingenious, and the psychology of the story is really fascinating. (Your point that he is aware about his illness is a good observation; yet his 'fantasy' competes against it...he's in a power struggle of sorts to keep his head in check.) You'll enjoy the article that I uploaded about the 'pathology' I think.

Jared Vickery said:

I'm not sure how much Bates knew about his own illness. Firstly, he was not schizophrenic, but rather Dissociative Identity Disorder (multiple personalities), but this was only the case if his Norman alter didn't know what the mother alter was doing. Bloch never answers that questions in my opinion, which is fine because that to me makes it creepier.
I work with the severly mentally ill, and the ones who aren't aware of how sick they are, are the most dangerous to themselves and others, because they don't realize that they are psychotic.

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