As the “castle” in this Gothic tale, The Bramford is the first and last image of the film, one which provides the setting for the film and exemplifies its interconnected themes of concealment, evil, and domesticity. The Bramford’s dramatic architecture is both enticing and foreboding, embodying the atmosphere of psychological horror Polanski aims to conjure.
The secretary is a large piece of furniture first seen blocking the hall closet. Its presence is a mystery to Rosemary, Guy, and Mr. Nicklas, who cannot fathom how Mrs. Gardenia (the apartment’s previous tenant) managed to move it. The secretary, the function of which is to enclose items in drawers and cabinets, is an image that represents mystery and concealment.
Flowers and floral imagery are used to connote Rosemary’s womanhood and motherhood in an ideal state. Guy gives her roses when he apologizes and suggests that they conceive a baby, and Rosemary is attempting to arrange roses when her close female friends notice how weak and frail she looks. The flowers in Rosemary’s yellow wallpaper link the theme of womanhood to Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s gothic short story “The Yellow Wallpaper”—another narrative about a woman succumbing to madness in a domestic space.
Minnie first invites Rosemary and Guy over for a steak dinner. The image of the thick, juicy steak suggests the blood-and-flesh sacrifice rituals practiced by the Castevets and embedded in the history of the Marcato coven.
First seen around the neck of Terry Gionoffrio, the Tannis charm is an image that suggests deception (its charm is not what it seems) and evil (it emits a foul odor). That Rosemary wears the charm around her neck symbolizes the fact that the coven is hiding in plain sight in close proximity to her, rather than hiding in the shadows.
Rosemary’s Baby Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Rosemary’s Baby is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.