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Something i've been contemplating since looking closer at Silence of the Lambs......

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Posted 8th May 2010 at 09:03 PM by cathward

So, I have seen The Silence of the Lambs a number of times and everytime, love it!!! I have been teaching Film the past two years and while I was watching it with my class I realised the connection between animals and gender in the film. Femininity is connected with cats and masculinity with dogs. Now I know this is nothing new but the way it is done in Silence of the Lambs is really interesting, especially when you consider a character like that of Jame "Bufallo Bill" Gumb.

Cats

The first cat you see in the film belongs to Catherine Martin (the only victim you see from beginning to end). At returning home she greets her waiting cat at the window. This signifies she is alone and only has her cat to greet on her return = vulnerable. The other cat in the film enters when Clarice goes explores the first victims home, she picks up a cat figurine and if I recall correctly then follows a cat into the sewing room.

Dog

The dog in the film is Precious the poodle who belongs to Bufallo Bill. As Bufallo Bill is biologically a guy he has a dog. However he believes himself to be transgendered and is creating a woman suit to transform and emerge from his cocoon a woman (like the caterpillar emerging as a beautiful moth). As his gender is not fixed his dog is a poodle, not the most masculine of breeds. To top it off his name is Precious, again not very masculine. When Precious gets enticed by Catherine and trapped down the tunnel, Bufallo Bill loses it. His dog (masculinity) has been taken from him and he is resorted to whining and begging much like his female victim.

I know what your thinking, looking a bit too closely!!!! Just something i've been contemplating.
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    Stephen@Cult Labs's Avatar
    Interesting observation.I'd never even thought about it like that before.
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    Posted 9th May 2010 at 11:51 AM by Stephen@Cult Labs Stephen@Cult Labs is offline
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