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
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