Essay on Change: an Analysis of the Silence of the Lambs

1569 Words Jun 1st, 2012 7 Pages
Change: An Analysis of The Silence of the Lambs
Stacy Cooper
May 28, 2012
Victor Armenta
University of Phoenix

Change: An Analysis of The Silence of the Lambs
The Silence of the Lambs (1991) is a film based on the novel by Thomas Harris, directed by Jonathan Demme. This film is a psychological crime-drama-thriller. Each of the main characters in this film share, in their own ways, a desire for change. The purpose of this paper is to analyze three main character’s roles in the film, and their wish for transformation. Clarice Starling is an FBI academy cadet; Dr. Hannibal Lecter, is a psychiatrist-cannibal serial killer; and Jame Gumb (a.k.a. “Buffalo Bill”) is a tailor-serial killer of women. One other symbol of change in
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You look like a rube. A well-scrubbed, hustling rube with a little taste... Good nutrition has given you some length of bone, but you're not more than one generation from poor white trash, are you - Agent Starling...? And oh, how quickly the boys found you! All those tedious, sticky fumblings, in the back seats of cars, while you could only dream of getting out. Getting anywhere... Getting all the way - to the F...B...I.” ("Story Analyses", 1994-2009). According to "Rube-Definition And More From The Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary" (2012), a rube (as Lecter refers to Starling) is “an awkward unsophisticated person; a naive or inexperienced person.” In the final scene Lecter asks Starling if the lambs have stopped screaming. She has no reply to this question, so as far as this aspect of change goes, Clarice Starling does not seem to have successfully put her past behind her—failed attempt at change.
The previous quote leads me to another reason Starling would want to create change in her life. In the film, Clarice is constantly ostracized because of that fact that she is a woman in FBI training. She seeks to be accepted by her peers, as if she has something to prove. She strives to make them take her seriously. Many of the camera angles used by the director in the movie make the men appear to tower over her. There is a scene when Clarice is ordered to report to Jack Crawford, her superior and former instructor.

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