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Understanding LovePhilosophy, Film, and Fiction$
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Susan Wolf and Christopher Grau

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780195384512

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195384512.001.0001

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Hitchcock’s Family Romance

Hitchcock’s Family Romance

Allegory in Shadow of a Doubt

(p.251) 12 Hitchcock’s Family Romance
Understanding Love

Gilberto Perez

Oxford University Press

Gilberto Perez, “Hitchcock’s Family Romance: Allegory in Shadow of a Doubt” This paper proposes a reading of Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt not merely as a murder mystery but as an allegory in two interconnected ways: an incestuous family romance and a parable of the Garden of Eden. The central characters are an uncle and a niece who are doubles of each other. He gives her a ring that suggests an engagement ring and has an inscription on it that incriminates him as a murderer: the murder story may be taken as a metaphor for the incest story, the tainted romance between uncle and niece. And at another level, as the shadow of a doubt grows darker and the niece comes to know that her beloved uncle is a murderer, the film can be taken as a story of innocence lost and knowledge gained, the knowledge of good and evil associated with the devil.

Keywords:   doubles, allegory, incest, mystery, knowledge, Hitchcock

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