Despite his fame, many of Alfred Hitchcock's films are given insufficient attention as texts, particularly in the field of theoretical criticism. Young & Innocent (1937) is one such neglected work. The retroactive study of Alfred Hitchcock in both structuralist and post-structuralist discourse is an emerging field, following the criticism of Raymond Bellour. Here, I analyse the protagonists of Hitchcock's film within the semiotic framework developed by Barbara Johnson. I discuss the framing of characters beneath semiotic 'masks', making close reference to the models of Ferdinand de Saussure, C.S Peirce, and Jacques Lacan. I establish a dichotomy between structuralist and post-structuralist readings of the work, analysing how they are embodied by each protagonist. This reading adds nuance to our understanding of how Hitchcock's characters are constructed psychoanalytically, and how we take meaning from his films generally. It is part of a growing body of research in contemporary theoretical perspectives on his films, which deserves continued attention.
"Misreading Hitchcock: Masked Signs in Young and Innocent,"
Cinesthesia: Vol. 9
, Article 4.
Available at: https://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/cine/vol9/iss2/4