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 understandable.

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.


--------------------------------------------------------------