Hitchcock uses symbolism throughout his films and Rear WIndow is no exception.
As James Stewart watches the daily routines of the tenants in his neighbouring tenement, Hitchcock uses symbolism in a number of ways.
Firstly Stewart’s broken leg encased in plaster is symbolic of his immobility and need to rely on others such as his Grace Kelly his girlfriend.
One of his neighbours is a lonely spinster who acts out a tragic scene of having dinner with an imaginary partner, symbolising her isolation.
The parcels and knives in Raymond Burr’s flat symbolise Stewart’s worst fears, and that of his cleaner Thelma Ritter, who speculate that he has killed his wife.
This is also symbolised in the change in height of the flowers outside the building.
The oppressive nature of the heat in a steamy New York summer adds to the tension.