The movie was based on the book by Thomas Harris. Silence of the Lambs won him a Bram Stoker Award in 1989.

This is a book that even people who don't like the horror genre will have a hard time putting down. Harris does a remarkable job in portraying Hannibal Lechter. How is it possible that we actually start to like this sick madman?

Subjectivity Alert -- Read at your own risk!

This node reminds me of a story concerning William Styron, author of Sophie's Choice. A student wrote a doctoral thesis regarding Sophie's Choice and Sent a copy to Styron. The footnotes stated that where the movie was unclear the book was consulted for clarification. Styron was not amused.

So, has the written word fallen so far that great books become afterthoughts to the movies made based on them? I went to softlink the Bram Stoker Award to this node only to find no mention that Silence of the Lambs was an award winning book BEFORE it ever hit celluloid. Aaaargghhh!

First published by St Martin's Press in 1988.
After discussing the title of the 1991 thriller movie, The Silence of the Lambs, we came down to some solutions to the meaning of the title.

Do not read below if you haven't seen the movie

(there may be a few spoilers)

In the film, there is a serial killer named "Buffalo Bill." The killer would kill his victims, which were all women, and then skin them (hence the nickname). The killer was denied the request to receieve a sex change operation, which lead him to kill the innocent. Killing and then skinning his victims served the purpose of creating a new skin, which the killer could create a female looking body for him to wear.

Now on to the meanings...

The lamb represented the victims, because lamb are metaphors used to represent the innocent, such as Jesus and his lamb (the lamb being his innocent sinless children - the followers). In the film, the innocent were being killed and skinned such as the lamb is usually skinned for it valuable wool.

In the end the Lambs (innocent) were being silenced (killed) and skinned for their wool (skin), which in turn covered up the skinner and altered his appearance (poor man's sex change).

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