The Silence of the Lambs: Book Appreciation

The Silence of the Lambs is a great book that is based on the theme of power. The reasons why I appreciate this book is the following: the witty ways the author starts his chapters, the mind games, and at last the original topics.

Something you do not see a lot in novels is a point of view based on the first name that pops up at the beginning of a chapter. Thomas Harris would start every chapter with “Clarice” or “Hannibal” indicating to his audience through who’s eyes we would be reading the following chapter. It gives various opinions to the audience that they would not have got through the eyes of only one character.

In addition, a lot of mind games are being done in the book. By mind games I mean how every character has a plan and a goal in their head that they are trying to execute. Hannibal manipulates everyone because he wants to be free. Clarice will investigate by herself to try and get the recognition she thinks she deserves. Jack Crawford wants to catch Buffalo Bill in any means necessary, which is why he got Clarice to talk to Hannibal. They all use and manipulate each other to get what they want, which I find very interesting because it cannot be easy for an author to find ways to use all the characters in that way.

At last, cannibalism is an original topic which is common in gothic literature, but Thomas Harris uses it throughout the whole book and makes it the central topic. His originality is amazing and one of which you would not see in every typical thriller novels.

What was your book appreciation of The Silence of the Lambs? Write what you thought in the comment section below.

Tristan

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Actors Playing the Main Characters in The Silence of the Lambs

Hi guys,

Here is just a small presentation about some actors playing the main characters in the movie The Silence of the Lambs.

These actors are:

Jodie Foster – plays the FBI trainee Clarice Starling

Anthony Hopkins – plays Hannibal Lecter

Ted Levine – plays Jame Gumb/Buffalo Bill

Scott Glenn – plays Jack Crawford

Enjoy and don’t forget to follow our blog and write comments!

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Gabrielle

Characters of The Silence of the Lambs

MoutonIn today’s blog, I am going to present the multiple characters of the famous book of Thomas Harris, in a short and precise way, so that you can situate yourself while you read it.

Here you go:

  • (Dr.) Hannibal Lecter – Main Character:

Very important character of the book, he is at the same time a helper and a killer. He is an ex-psychiatrist, a cannibal and most importantly a serial killer with nothing to lose. He likes to play with people’s mind and he is a true gentleman. He possesses very important information concerning the Buffalo Bill case.

  • Clarice Starling – Main Character:

The main character of the book, she is a wonderful mix of strength and determination. She is an FBI trainee on the come up trying to solve a case about a weird killer (Buffalo Bill).

  • Buffalo Bill or Jame Gump– Main Character:

The main antagonist of the book, he is a weird and mad character who desperately wants to be a woman, to become a woman. Although, being unable to apply for a genital reconstruction surgery he decided to start killing women to skin them and to design his own women suit. Pretty deranged, although organized and structured.

  • Jack Crawford – Main Character:

A key character in the book, he is the FBI agent who is in charge of Clarice Starling and he leads the operations on the case of Buffalo Bill. He acts as a mentor for Clarice and he has a sick wife, which he takes care of, at home with the help of nurses.

  • (Dr.) Frederick Chilton – Main Character:

He is a somewhat important character for the book as he is the administrator of the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane and he is the one who allows Clarice to meet and talk with Hannibal in order to get precious information which only Hannibal detain.

  • Paul Krendler – Secondary Character:

He is the Deputy Assistant Attorney General from the United States Justice Department. He is introduced to Clarice by the senator Ruth Martin at some point in the book.

  • Barney Matthews – Secondary Character:

He is the Head orderly or healthcare assistant of the maximum-security wing at the Hospital for the Criminally Insane held by Dr. Frederick Chilton.

  • Senator Ruth Martin – Secondary Character:

She is a senator in Tennessee and the mother of the last victim of Buffalo Bill, meaning Catherine Martin. She does all that she can to find her girl.

  • Catherine Martin – Secondary Character:

Last victim of Jame Gump or Buffalo Bill and daugther of Senator Ruth Martin.

  • J. Miggs – Secondary Character:

He is an inmate at the Hospital of the Criminally Insane, held by Dr. Chilton. He is the next neighbor to Hannibal’s cell. He is highly disturbing, and he doesn’t please Hannibal as he is no gentleman. He is nicknamed Multiple Miggs.

  • Ardelia Mapp – Secondary Character:

She is the best friend and at the same time, a partner of the FBI trainee Clarice Starling.

  • Noble Pilcher and Albert Roden – Secondary Characters:

They are the insects experts which Clarice contact at some point to advance in the case.

Donovan

Comparison of The Silence of the Lambs – Movie and Novel

The silence of the Lambs is the second of four books which were all turned into movies and a TV series. This blog will focus on the similarities and the differences between the movie and the novel The Silence of the Lambs.

The movie of The Silence of the Lambs is very similar to the novel by Thomas Harris contrary to many other movies based on a book. While watching the Silence of the Lambs, I noticed that it shows on multiple occasions Clarice’s high sense of sight and observation. In fact, when she enters a new room, the camera turns on itself to shows everything that is in this room and everything that Clarice sees. This is what helped her solve the Buffalo Bill case and stay alive.

Silence of the lambEven though the movie is a very good representation of the book, it still has some differences. For example, there is no mention of Jack Crawford’s wife in the movie. In the book, the reader sees the struggle of Jack Crawford with his sick wife and when she dies, a contrast can be noticed between the death of natural causes and death by the hand of a serial killer.

In addition, there is less focus in the movie about Clarice’s problem with the school’s exam. Since she is helping Jack Crawford with the Buffalo Bill case, she misses a lot of school time and in the book, she gets almost kicked out of school. This threat makes Clarice hesitate on whether she should continue helping with the case or go back to school. If she had decided to go back to school, Buffalo Bill might have killed Catherine Martin, which would have completely changed the end of the book and the movie.

Moreover, in the book, Clarice is a fearless FBI trainee, but in the movie, she shows feelings of stress and fear. We can even see her cry at the beginning, which I believe makes her a more believable and human character.

Overall, I believe that the movie is really representative of the book, and I enjoyed reading the book as well as watching the movie which lasts approximately two hours. I would recommend the book and the movie for anyone who likes thriller and police investigation.

Did you notice other similarities or differences between the movie and the book? Write down in the comments what you observed.

 

Catherine

Transgression in The Silence of the Lambs

There are many different themes in The Silence of the Lambs, like power, intelligence, and anger. This blog will focus on the theme of transgression, that we can see on many occasions throughout the novel. First of all, what is the theme of transgression? It is the act of not following the law and breaking the rules. We can notice this theme for many character in the book, but this blog will only talk about Dr. Chilton, Hannibal Lecter, I.J. Miggs, and Jame Gump, also known as Buffalo Bill. They are all disrespecting the code of conduct and the rules at one point in the novel, for many different reasons.

Dr. Chilton is a man with a lot of pride. This is what makes him transgress the rules around Hannibal Lecter. Everyone knows the rules they have to respect to be safe from Hannibal Lecter. However, because Clarice refused Dr. Chilton’s advances, his pride makes him very angry. He decides to interfere in the Buffalo Bill case by lying to Hannibal Lecter, which makes him stop talking to the FBI. Dr. Chilton knew the regulations for Hannibal Lecter, but he still forgot to respect one of them, which gave Hannibal the opportunity to escape. IMG_0180

Hannibal Lecter transgression is pretty obvious. He broke the law before he was arrested, by killing and eating many people. Then, he breaks the law again, by killing other people when he escapes. His reason for murdering and eating so many people is because he enjoys it and he like the taste and the smell of human bodies.

 

During the first time Clarice Starling went to the Baltimore State Mental Hospital for the Criminally Insane, we can see the theme of transgression in what Miggs said to Clarice. It broke a code of conduct, since it was something very impolite and rude to say. While she was walking down the hall, he said: “I can smell your cunt.” (Thomas Harris 14) The only reason he said that, as Clarice said, is because “he’s hostile to people, people are hostile to him.” (Thomas Harris 18) As I said earlier, Clarice is used to receiving comments like that, so she ignored the comment and continued walking toward Hannibal Lecter’s cell.

Jame Gump is another character who breaks the rules by killing innocent people. however, his reasons are not the same as Hannibal Lecter. For his whole life, he wanted to be a woman, but everyone was rejecting him. Even when he tried to have an operation to change, he was refused. This made him very angry, so he started killing women to create his own female “suit”.

Every character listed above had very different reasons to transgress the rules, but they all had consequences. This shows that rules exist for a reason and it is best to respect them as much as possible.

What do you think of these examples of transgression? Write down in the comments if you found another example.

Catherine

Favorite Passage by Tristan

Hello everyone, this is my favorite passage from The Silence of the Lambs. In this passage I go deep into why I think Hannibal Lecter is interesting and his first powerful encounter with Clarice Starling. Hope you enjoy, leave a comment below telling me what you think of this passage.

Tristan

 

Butterflies in The Silence of the Lambs

On today’s blog post, I want to talk specifically about the insect found in The Silence of the Lambs, more precisely about some very special butterflies. Those butterflies are called the Death’s-Head Hawkmoth and are looking just like this:

Moth #2

They are called Death’s-Head Hawkmoth, mainly because of their appearance as they ornate a scary human skull shape on their thorax. There are three species of those butterfly’s type and they all can emit a loud chirp if they are annoyed or in danger. They simply produce this sound by expelling and inhaling air. The special ability of those butterflies could be linked to when Buffalo Bill is detaining his victims and they scream and beg for their lives as they are about to die. We could even relate the fact that he puts those insects in the throat of his victims to perpetuate the screams of his victims after their deaths.

Now comes the question that follows: What is the main symbolic of this butterfly? Well, in brief, this insect represents the life-cycle of the main characters illustrated in the book, meaning Clarice Starling, Hannibal Lecter, and Buffalo Bill. Indeed, the butterfly life can be illustrated with three simple phases. The first phase being the larva, the second being the chrysalis and the last being the moth’s final form. These phases are a representation of the development of Clarice as she started as a FBI trainee and she then developed into a complete FBI agent, after closing the case of Buffalo Bill. If we look at Hannibal we can see that he sorts of develops through the whole book as a man of respect and “principles”. In brief, because of his encounter with Clarice, he developed some principles and some respect, and he is not, at the end of the book, a mere murderer without any rules of act, he still acts out of pleasure, although he puts more thought into it. The phases could also apply to Buffalo Bill or Jame Gump who is consistently searching to become or to be known as a woman. All the way through the end of the book he is working on his transformation into a woman-like figure and he does so by adding pieces of skin to his suit. Victims after victims, he comes closer to his final form, like the moth at the last phase.

Here is a little video taken from YouTube, which shows many insect scenes from the movie The Silence of the Lambs, for those of you who are interested:

Donovan

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death’s-head_hawkmothhttp://silenceofthemoths.weebly.com/symbolism.html