Interesting observations, Dave, and clearly Clarice is trying to put some distance between herself and her past. How much of that is driven but doing what she thinks she needs to do to succeed in FBI training and how much derives from consciously (or subconsciously) separating herself from the traumas of her past, hard to say, probably both.

Your comments made me think even more about the connection between Clarice and Buffalo Bill. While he is sewing a physical female body suit, Clarice is adopting an emotional ‘male’ suit in trying her best to tough it out in FBI training, so both have an experience of wearing a ‘mask’.

Finally, that Marcus Aurelius line Lecter quotes — “Of each particular thing, ask ‘What is it in itself? What is its particular nature?’, that echoes the central questions I believe lie at the heart of virtually every movie: ‘Who are you? What will you become?’ The issue of Identity of Self is key to Clarice’s character, Buffalo Bill’s character, even Lecter’s character. He’s a psychopath, yet he serves as Clarice’s mentor.

It’s actually a great set of questions to ask of the characters surrounding the Protagonist when considering their respective narrative functions. What is Lecter’s ‘particular nature’ in relation to Clarice? He is a Mentor. What is Crawford’s ‘particular nature’ in relation to Clarice? He is a Trickster. The question has a particular meaning when working with a screenplay and the set of characters involved in the Protagonist’s life, reflecting how at their core, they provide a narrative function, and once having determined that function, we can interpret and develop that character looking through that specific archetype lens so they support and service the Protagonist’s journey.

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