The story is about Clarice Starling, a student preparing for a life in the FBI, hunts a serial killer by use of vague information given to her by an incarcerated psychologist. Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter relays information to Clarice in exchange for information about herself. The killer, known only as "Buffalo Bill", kidnaps large women, keeps them alive for a few days, and finally skins them. Clarice works against time as Buffalo Bill takes his newest victim.
The significance of the movie title Silence of the Lambs ties back to Clarices childhood trauma. As a child Clarice witnessed a heard of lambs being slaughtered. The event haunts her still as an adult and has reoccurring dreams of the screaming lambs. The fact that she couldn't do anything to save the lambs haunts her more than the simple fact that they were being killed. Doctor Hannibal Lector learns and reveals that Clarice has taken on the case to find the serial killer known as "Buffalo Bill" as a means to "Silence the lambs". Meaning Clarice feels that by saving Buffalo Bills victim and apprehending the killer she will no longer be haunted or have the reoccurring dreams of screaming lambs. Clarice seeks "the silence of the lambs". This is the motivation that Clarice has to take the case.
Buffalo Bill has a much more twisted sadistic motivation. Bill thinks he's a transsexual but has been rejected for sex reassignment surgery due to his felonious past. To satisfy his sexuality he sews a suit from women's skin so that he can wear it to act like a woman. It is also here that we see why he is fascinated by that particular moth because of its metamorphosis process that he compares to himself changing into a women. He is not the typical serial killer because his motive to kill is to make his woman suit to satisfy his sexuality needs. He does not enjoy the killing the women, in fact he has to find ways to cope with killing them. One of the most famous quotes from the movie "it rubs the lotion on...
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