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The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris Essay

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The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

The novel The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris is said to fall under the genre of psychological horror. The stories that fall under the genre of horror include a few essential elements: a villain or one seen as evil to create an initial story line. The foil is the next element; a foil is a person who tries to stop the villain from going through with the evil plan or plot. These two elements naturally lead to conflict between the two persons or groups and then from this conflict -- suspense, the last element is added. Suspense is important to keep the reader interested and to keep the story line going. When psychology is added to a story, the definition of horror is changed completely.
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Jame Gumb is a very disturbed individual and his 'violence and crimes are often attempts to escape from insanity.'; (Menninger, 181) Jame Gumb is in a word where he believes that he can become a woman and live somehow be with his mother again or even attempt to become her. 'Men who are violently afraid of their repressed but nearly emergent homosexual desired often try to overcome these fears with violent demonstrations.'; (Menninger, 183) Jame Gumb did not know what he was in terms of sexuality and decided that he would rather be a woman than a man. This desire drove him to commit such horrible crimes and try to become a woman using their skins. The foils to Jame Gumb are a much stronger force that he is or could ever be, they are the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the FBI. They want to stop the murders as soon as possible so that no other lives are lost and the country can get back to normal without living with the fear of a serial killer on the loose. Along with the FBI, an X-psychiatrist named Dr. Hannibal Lecter and, Clarice Starling they try to stop the murders and regain order to society, this is not an easy task and there are many obstacles along the way. The first obstacle is that the whereabouts of Gumb are unknown and his identity has alluded the FBI since the murders first begun. The only link that they have to the murder is Jame Gumb's X- psychiatrist named Dr Hannibal Lecter. Lecter gives
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