North by Northwest Irony

North by Northwest Irony

The Professor

The Professor and his organization represent a national security committee similar to the FBI and the CIA: organizations committed to protecting American citizens. When confronted with Roger’s dilemma however, the Professor states that they are powerless to protect him, undermining the purpose of the entire organization.

The Mount Rushmore Chase

Hitchcock loved turning the most banal objects and places into dangerous and terrifying elements. There is nothing tamer than a deserted cornfield, unless the protagonist is being chased by a crop-duster. In the same way, Mount Rushmore, one of America’s most beloved landmarks, becomes a summit of terror when Roger and Eve are forced to climb down it.

"Why are you so good to me?"

A humorous bit of irony comes when the police are searching for Roger, who is concealed in Eve’s overhead compartment. When Even finally lets him out, we find he has been extremely cramped, to the extent that his glasses are broken. Glancing down at them, he asks sarcastically, “Tell me: why are you so good to me?”

Vandamm's Betrayal

When Leonard reveals Eve’s true identity, Vandamm is so upset that he strikes Leonard in the face. However, less than a minute later, he is already plotting Eve’s murder.

Roger's Mother

Roger’s mother can be seen as an ironic character. As his mother, one would expect that she would support and believe in her son. However, she seems even less likely to believe him than total strangers. In court when Roger’s lawyer is assuring the judge of Roger’s character, his mother scoffs. When she joins Roger in searching Kaplan’s room, Vandamm’s henchmen call and threaten his life. When Roger tells his mother, she replies, “Back to that story again are we?”

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