Analyzing The Novel 'Silence Of The Lambs' By Thomas Harris

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Caitlin Singleton Professor Brown July 19, 2015 CCJ 4933 Profile Paper In Thomas Harris’s 1988 novel Silence of the Lambs, Harris describes a serial killer whose method of operation is the killing of overweight women so that he may be able to reproduce the perfect bodysuit to transform him into a woman. In the film and novel, the well-known and feared serial killer, Hannibal Lecter is shown to be helping with the case to capture the man they have dubbed “Buffalo Bill” because Lecter knew of the man through a previous patient of his. Buffalo Bill, whose real name is Jame Gumb, is the main focus of Harris’s novel because he is the character out terrorizing and killing women for his own personal gain. In conducting research, I found that Harris actually used a few real life serial…show more content…
In doing this he also uses the motives assigned to serial killers to place them in categories for their crimes. The first serial killer Harris uses for inspiration is Ed Gein who stole bodies from graveyards and skinned them for decoration to use around his house and also to make a body suit so that he could transform into his mother, who he missed terribly. Unlike Buffalo Bill, however, Gein never killed anyone in his family or at least was never actually convicted of doing it. It is said that he may have been involved in the death of his brother, but they ruled it out as natural causes. Another killer Harris used was Edmund Kemper because in the novel, Harris writes that Gumb kills his grandparents because he wanted to know what it would feel like to actually murder someone just for the thrill of it. Gumb and Kempner share this trait because after they kill their first victim, they go on to keep killing. Harris also uses Jerry Brudos as an example because he enjoyed keeping his victims clothing and other accessories because he enjoyed dressing up in them. Gumb also dressed in womens’ clothing in

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