The Silence Of The Lambs


The Silence Of The Lambs Essay, Research Paper

The Silence of The Lambs

Clarice Starling, a student preparing for a life in the FBI, hunts a

serial killer by use of vague information given to her by an incarcerated

psychologist. Hannibal ?The Cannibal? Lecter relays information to Clarice in

exchange for information about herself. The killer, known only as “Buffalo Bill”,

kidnaps large women, keeps them alive for a few days, and finally skins them.

Clarice works against time as Buffalo Bill takes his newest victim, a U.S.

Senator’s daughter, and the countdown to death begins.

“The Silence of the Lambs” was chosen for the title because it is

Clarice Starling’s ultimate goal for the bloodcurdling screams of the lambs in

her nightmares to cease. When she was younger, she witnessed the slaughtering

of a herd of lambs and to this day she awakens horrified some nights to escape

the nightmares that she so longs to end. She believes deep down that if she

catches Buffalo Bill herself she will sleep soundly in the silence of the lambs.

My first interpretation of Clarice was that she was very bright and

observant. She reads people very well and is quick to make an accurate

judgement, as in with Frederick Chilton, the prison warden. I believed that she

was a very strong woman and was very careful to appear that way to others.

Clarice Starling did have a large change in herself. She began the

story with a careful mentality; a risk would have been unheard of. She was

always making sure she was doing something to the best expectations of someone

else. As the story moves on, she becomes more daring and risk-taking than ever

before. From disobeying direct orders to pursuing a serial killer in his own

dungeon of a basement, Clarice is finally satisfied with herself and could care

what someone else thought.

?A census taker tried to categorize me once. I ate his liver with some

fava beans and a big amorone? – A quote from the prestigious Dr. Lecter that

must occasionally be recalled to mind to serve as a reminder that no matter how

helpful Lecter is to Clarice, he is also a monster.

As a result of this book I realized some odd, yet successful methods

used by the FBI to catch killers. I also discovered how corrupt some branches of

the government can actually be.

I don’t believe I received any enlightenment from this book. I did,

however, feel pretty good that I actually finished it.

This book did affirm a few of my views on life. such as ?Never judge a

book by it’s cover.? No matter how much someone appears to be your friend, you

can never be absolutely sure.

I didn’t receive anything from this book except the sheer enjoyment of

reading it. And also a new found respect for our justice system.

I must disagree with the main character’s choice of pursuing Buffalo

Bill through his own basement. I, myself, would have called for backup. She

could have easily been killed by him and Catherine’s chances of living would

have died with her. This is a classic example of rushing in without thinking,

like playing a video game to fast and being vaporized before you have the chance

to act.

A subplot of this book would be the relationship between Jack Crawford,

the director of the FBI, and his wife, Bella. Bella is very sick and on the

verge of an inevitable death at his home. She has been comatose and has nurses

that tend to her when Jack is away. This gives Jack Crawford a sullen

disposition and it is easily deduced that Bella is always in the corner of his

mind. She eventually dies and this increases his sullen manner, which is


In twenty years I see Clarice Starling still working hard for the FBI.

Having many solved cases under her belt, she still makes it a point to appear a

powerful, strong woman. She occasionally looks back and ponders what Hannibal

Lecter might be doing, as well as the long since retired Jack Crawford. She

still, after short periods of relief, frequently has to reachive the silence of

the lambs.

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