Literary Precedents for The Silence of the Lambs

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In The Silence of the Lambs, Harris creates a perfect combination of the detective and horror novels: We want Clarice Starling to solve the crime, and at the same time, we do not want her to come in contact with Buffalo Bill.

The tension created by these diametrically opposed forces makes for a delicious unease.

Hannibal Lecter, as portrayed in this novel, is built even further into a sort of ultimate and insoluble evil like that of Fu Manchu in the novels of Sax Rohmer or Dr. Moriarty in the Sherlock Holmes tales of Arthur Conan Doyle.

More than a fit nemesis for Starling, who knows she survives on the strength of Lecter's courtesy, Dr. Lecter is the embodiment of rational evil, an even more frightening prospect than the psychotic evil represented by Buffalo Bill.

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This section contains 135 words
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Buy The Silence of the Lambs Study Guide
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