Hitchcock's Psycho. This essay explores Marion Cranes' motivations to steal $40,000, her struggle with her sense of guilt, and the circumstances that lead her to Bates' Motel.

Essay by HammettMCollege, UndergraduateA+, March 2003

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Marion Crane, a working woman from Phoenix, Arizona, is fed up with having to sneak around and "steal lunch hours" to meet her lover, Sam Loomis, who refuses to get married because he doesn't have any money. Sam claims he wants to wait until he pays off some of his debts because he doesn't want Marion and him to live "in a storeroom behind a hardware store in Fairvale." Marion is motivated by her desire to settle down and have a family with Sam and to have financial freedom. Surprisingly, by chance, her opportunity for freedom arrives in the form of $40,000 due to a situation that allows her to easily take the money. The first half of the film, Psycho, explores Marion's divided personality as she struggles with her decisions which lead her to a further series of chance occurrences. Ironically, these chance occurrences lead to her final entrapment at the Bates Motel.

Marion is motivated to steal money from Cassidy by her desire to be with Sam, to gain freedom from her dead end job and by her desire to obtain financial freedom. Marion and Sam carry on their "affair" in an anonymous hotel room on her lunch break. Before returning to work, Marion reveals that she is ready to get married and have a respectable relationship with Sam and gives him an ultimatum. After refusing to meet Sam in another hotel room, Marion explains, "Oh, we can see each other. We can even have dinner, but respectably. In my house, with my mother's picture on the mantel, and my sister helping me broil a big steak for three." Sam doesn't want Marion to leave him and wants to continue seeing her "under any circumstances, even respectability." However, Sam's indebtedness to his deceased father's debt and...