Mise En Scene
The mise en scene in this sequence is used to characterize Norman and Marion.
The birds surrounding Norman in the frame are predatory, making him seem more threatening.
This advances the theme of "predator and prey."
Marion is surrounded by ravens in the frame, commonly seen as symbols of loneliness and death, and as a sign that good things are not to come.
The raven framed in the shot with Marion foreshadows her death.
The conversation starts out light, but quickly becomes dark when Norman talks of his mother.
The camera cuts closer to the characters faces as the conversation becomes dark.
Norman seems off as he talks about his mother, we see his face framed much closer. This reflects how the audience sees deeper into his character.
At first, the characters are seen on the same level in pleasant conversation.
Marion looks down upon him as she realizes something is off.
The sequence takes place shortly after Marion arrives at the motel.
Dark shadows imply that both characters are hiding something about their character.
Norman emerges from the total darkness.
Marions face is engulfed in dark shadows.
While Norman seems strange, talk of his mother creates empathy with the audience. This leads the audience to believe that Norman would not be the attacker.
Marion becomes obviously frightened, the light and dark sides of Norman are conflicting in his characterization, aiding in the suspense. Comparisons between her and the birds foreshadow her attack.