Norman Bates

Norman Bates

Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew Up… at the hands of his emotionally torturous mother, Norma. She taught him that sex was sinful and that all women are born and bathed in sin. Norman soaked up his mother’s abuse, and was scarred psychologically for the rest of his life.

Living… at the Bates Motel, where he oversees the operations and entertains the guests, while his mother berates him mysteriously from her room. When Marion Crane comes to the Bates Motel under secret circumstances, Norman is a wonderful host. He even offers to have a fine dinner with her, and despite conversation turning a bit grim when they speak of Norman’s controlling mother and the prospect of putting her in a mad house, Norman keeps things relatively pleasant and cheerful.

Profession… proprietor of the Bates Motel. He takes pride in his job here, and lives a calm and collected life – except for the constant prodding and bickering that his mother unleashes on him whenever another woman enters the motel.

Interests… his mother, his motel, fine dining, and entertaining guests.

Relationship Status… single. Although sometimes it feels as if his relationship with his mother is more draining and more of a time commitment than any romantic relationship could ever be.

Challenge… controlling his mother. Or, at least, not being completely controlled by her. Unfortunately she often gets the better of Norman, and he is unable to stop her from doing and saying whatever she wants, which can have horrible consequences. Norman tries to keep his mother stable, but as he says, “We all go a little mad sometimes.”

Personality… caring and seemingly calm, but fragile. Norman has a mysterious streak of intensity that comes out from time to time, like when Marion suggests he commit his mother to an insane asylum and he can’t help himself from being harsh and defensive. And sometimes he can react a little stronger than simply being harsh and defensive… 


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