Study Guide

Psycho Family

Family

In Psycho, family means mother. And it also means Freud. Sigmund Freud believed that little boys have a sexual attraction to their mothers, and therefore resent their fathers—the famous Oedipus Complex.

Eventually, the son is supposed to outgrow the love for the mother and transfer his affections to other women. But Norman is a big ol' Freudian mess; he loved his clinging mom too much, killed her in a jealous rage at her new boyfriend, and now whenever he tries to switch his affections, he ends up killing the woman in question. Mommy issues: they'll mess you up every time.

Questions About Family

  1. Is Norman's family at fault for his criminal actions? Is Marion's responsible for hers? Explain your answer.
  2. Does Norman do evil when he disobeys his mother? Or when he obeys her? Explain your answer.
  3. Do family members trust each other in Psycho? Explain your answer (think about Lila and Marion as well as Norman and his mother)?

Chew on This

Norman didn't care for his mother enough.

Norman loved his mother too much.

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