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Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Shadow of a Doubt’

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Christa B.
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  1. Introduction
  2. The opening sequence
  3. Character of Uncle Charlie
  4. The role of family and the home
  5. Conclusion
  6. Works cited

Alfred Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt is an indictment of the American middle class lifestyle. This is evident in two scenes which together act as a sort of point/counterpoint of lifestyles. One is the opening sequence of the movie, in which we as viewers are slowly introduced to Uncle Charlie, and the other is the sequence in which we are introduced to Little Charlie.

[...] The Philadelphia neighborhood, although home to children and thus, presumably, entire families, is probably a lower-class neighborhood (we see a junk yard and a rudimentary game of baseball). In contrast, the Santa Rosa home is in a town that by all outward appearances is law-abiding (emphasized by the crossing-guard) and punctilious (its citizens walk with a sense of purpose), as well as middle-class. ?Have you ever stopped to think that a family should be the most wonderful thing in the world, and that this family's just gone to pieces,? asks Little Charlie. [...]

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