Wandering and Assimilation in <i>North by Northwest</i>

Barbara Straumann

in Figurations of Exile in Hitchcock and Nabokov

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780748636464
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651894 | DOI:
Wandering and Assimilation in North by Northwest

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This chapter contains a reading of the film North by Northwest. The discussion centres on the Oedipal voyage towards sexual difference, Thornhill’s challenge of the symbolic law and the national allegory outlined by the film. It argues that the film downplays the degree to which Hitchcock works in highly symbolic codes, and shows how Thornhill gains symbolic agency and Hitchcock’s use of irony in Suspicion and North by Northwest.

Keywords: North by Northwest; sexual difference; symbolic law; national allegory; symbolic codes; symbolic agency; irony

Chapter.  16399 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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