The Hero’s journey – Silence of the Lambs

Silence of the Lambs

Ordinary World – Clarice is a small woman in a man’s world, an FBI agent in training.

Call to Adventure – A serial killer has the FBI stumped and her boss, Crawford wants her to take part in the case involving Buffalo Bill, a psychopath who skins his victims.

Refusal of the call – Refusal of the call is flipped onto Lector. When she turns up wanting assistance with finding the serial killer he wants nothing to do with her. He only changes his mind after she was polite to him and one of the other inmates violates her. However it should also be noted that sometimes the refusal of the call is a refusal to heed a warning accompanying the call. In this instance, Crawford warns her not to reveal anything personal to Hannibal Lector because “you don’t want him inside your head.” However, when she meets him, this is exactly what she does.

Supernatural Aid – Hannibal Lector possesses the knowledge she needs, but he’s not going to give it to her easily. Who knows psychopaths better than psychiatrist? Another psychopath, and Hannibal is both.

Belly of the whale – Descending into the dungeon prison where Hannibal and the other criminals lie. Her innocence is destroyed when she has semen thrown on her.

Crossing the first Threshold  – Making the most of a cryptic clue Hannibal gave her, she finds a murder victim which Hannibal reveals as Buffalo Bill’s first victim. The investigation has truly begun.

Road of the trials – back and forth between police investigation and interpreting clues from Hannibal.

Meeting with the Goddess – The Senator’s daughter is abducted by Buffalo Bill, she is the Goddess. Her capture spurs Clarice on and adds a level of urgency. Although Starling doesn’t actually meet her, she serves her purpose.

Woman as Temptress – Clarice is the temptress, she tempts Hannibal with offer of helping her with the case and in return he gets a cell with a view. The dilemma for him is if he helps her directly she will catch him and he will stop seeing her but if he doesn’t help her he will lose his cell with a view.

Atonement with the Father – Dr Lector makes her reveal the story of the silence of the Lambs. She completely exposes herself and gains both Hannibal’s respect and gratitude. Shortly after this, there is a Death of the Mentor moment, Hannibal escapes and she can no longer rely on him for help, she is on her own now.

Apotheosis  – She can see what no one else can see and deduces Buffalo Bill is killing his victims to make a skin suit of a woman.

Ultimate Boon – Crawford believes he has solved the case and is on his way to capture Buffalo Bill. Crawford thanks her and tells her they never would have found him if not for her.

Refusal of the return – Clarice wants to join him, to be one of the FBI officers who captures Buffalo Bill but Crawford sends her on another more junior mission.

The Magic flight – The Magic Flight means escape or fight, The Senator’s daughter devises a plan to escape by capturing Buffalo Bill’s dog. She holds the dog for ransom and demands a phone, Bill gets his gun.

Rescue from without  – Clarice follows the trail but it seems to go cold, until Stacey gives her the address of Buffalo Bill’s house.

The crossing of the return threshold – Enters Buffalo Bills house and works out he is the killer by seeing the moth.

Master of Two worlds – She was once a little girl running with a lamb, trying to save it from slaughter, she failed. Now she’s a FBI agent trying to save a girl in the den of a serial killer. She conquers her fear and kills Buffalo Bill.

Freedom to live – “I have no plans to call on you. The world’s more interesting with you in it.”

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