Silence Of The Lambs Character Analysis

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The film Silence of the Lambs directed by Jonathan Demme, features Hannibal Lecter, a psychiatrist, serial killer, and cannibal. Throughout the film, the viewer is able to identify that he experiences a Cluster B personality disorder, more specifically antisocial personality disorder. ASPD is a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation for the rights of others. This disorder is also been known as sociopathy, psychopathy, and dissocial personality disorder. The first symptom Lecter goes through is failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors, as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest (Biedel, Bulik, & Stanley, 2014, p.400). Early in the movie, the audience discovers he has already engaged …show more content…
This model stresses the importance of external events in terms of influencing behavior (p. 26). In Lecter’s case, before his birth, his father abandoned him and his mother left him in a single-parent household. His mother had trouble keeping up with the finances and would turn to alcohol as an escape. She became dependent on alcohol and abusive toward Lecter, when he was only three years old. Furthermore, the behavioral model stresses that behavior is learned and a product of an individual’s learning history. B.F Skinner’s operant conditioning explains that this behavior is controlled by consequences, which are positive and negative reinforcements or punishments (p. 27). So, in one particular moment, when Lecter was seven years old, a student asked him to borrow his pencil, but he refused and became violent. He beat up his peer and left him with a broken arm and bleeding nose. Lecter felt no guilt over his actions and even seemed happy with what happened to his peer. Lecter’s mother failed to create associations in which he would be able to distinguish proper versus improper behavior. He never was rewarded for his successes or punished for his misbehaviors, so he began to acknowledge that the behaviors that created pleasure for him were acceptable. These associations he created beginning in his infancy are what led to his cannibalism, arrogant attitude, and lack of remorse for his

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