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Silence Of The Lambs The Battle Between

Silence Of The Lambs: The Battle Between Two Evils Essay, Research Paper Silence of the Lambs: The Battle Between Two Evils Philosophy 101 December 18, 1996

Silence Of The Lambs: The Battle Between Two Evils Essay, Research Paper

Silence of the Lambs: The Battle Between Two Evils

Philosophy 101

December 18, 1996

In the novel, Silence of the Lambs, we see two different extremes of

evil. Dr. Chilton is evil in one respect, while Dr. Hannibal Lecter is evil in

his own unique way. Dr. Chilton is the man with bad morals and feels the need

to control people. He manipulates people into thinking and acting the way he

wants them to. Basically he is the type of guy who takes advantage of his job

position, who thinks of himself before others and only acts in ways that will

benefit himself. Dr. Hannibal Lector, unlike Dr. Chilton, is unable to control

his evil even if he wanted to. Dr. Lector is insane and feels the need to kill

people just because he thinks they are boring and from his point of view, they

do not seem suitable to be human beings. He understands the things he does are

evil, but they do not phase him since he is insane. There is no question, Dr.

Lecter is a truly evil man, but Dr. Chilton is the worse of the two.

Dr. Chilton must morally change and take responsibility for himself. Dr.

Lector is not able to take control of his evil because of the way his distorted

mind thinks. Although his mind is distorted, it is still a very powerful mind

which he uses to see into the minds of others. He gets into their heads and

plays with their minds, internally torturing them. He is a sick man and needs

therapy and constant care in a hospital because he is too sick to help himself.

On the other hand, Dr. Chilton is capable of changing, if only he could realize

his evil ways. He is blinded by his own power and greed which he obtained

through his job.

Unlike Dr. Lector, Dr. Chilton has total control of his actions.

Another difference between the two, Chilton does not set out with doing evil in

his mind. He has become so evil that he is not even aware of his evilness. It

almost seems like a natural and everyday thing to him. This is why Chilton is

the more evil between the two. We, the ordinary people, almost have to

sympathize with Lecter because the man is so sick in the head. It seems like he

wants to make jokes about his killings and no sane man could do that. This is

why we see Dr. Chilton as the evil man, because Dr. Lecter does not know any

better while Dr. Chilton should.

Dr. Chilton is the prime example in Xunzi’s argument that the “nature

of man is evil.” He is an evil person who does nothing to change this about

himself. Chilton is envious of others and possesses physical desires, exactly

how Xunzi explains evil people. According to Xunzi, the evil of man must depend

on teachers and laws to become correct and achieve righteousness and become

disciplined. Dr. Chilton is the law who refuses to learn from anybody.

In Xunzi’s essay, “Human Nature is Evil,” Xunzi goes on to say that man

desires. This is obvious in Chilton’s case as he tries to control people and

have all the power that he possibly can get. If one follows his natural

feelings, like Chilton, he will have no deference or compliance. Chilton does

have one exception to Xunzi’s beliefs, and that would be how Xunzi says that all

men desire to be good. Unless Chilton’s definition of good is to have

everything that he needs for himself no matter how he obtains it, he does not

seek for himself to be a good person. According to Xunzi, mad desires to be

good because he can see that nature is evil and one must strive for the opposite.

Xunzi would say that Chilton is a blind man who cannot see his own evil.

He needs to wake up to the world around him and not to his administrative

position. Xunzi also says that man must rely on the government to result in

good order and to be in accord with goodness. Chilton is actually part of the

government and this is a possibly reason why he cannot see how the government

should be helping him. The same rules that the government expects people to

live by do not pertain to Chilton, in his eyes, because he on the inside. The

government spoils those on the inside and only truly enforces the laws to the

outsiders because they can not see the internal flaws of the government.

In this story we are confronted with two unique evils, Dr. Chilton’s

and Dr. Hannibal Lecter’s. Dr. Lecter’s is the more common evil. When we think

of pure evil, Dr. Lecter’s style of evil comes to mind. But if we were to

search further into the meaning of evil, we would see that Dr. Chilton’s more

subdued evil ways or even more mischievous. After examining Xunzi’s essay,

“Human Nature is Evil,” we get a better understanding why Dr. Chilton is truly

an evil and devious man. So when we think of evil, the most obvious form is not

always the most wicked.

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