Okay, my own take on the characters:

Protagonist: Clarice

Nemesis: Buffalo Bill

Attractor: Catherine Martin

Mentor: Hannibal Lecter

Trickster: Jack Crawford, Dr. Alex Chilton

I’ve already gone into Catherine and Crawford in my previous comment. Chilton as enemy and ally, albeit not much of an ally, but he does provide access to Lecter. And him taping Clarice and Lecter, very tricksteresque. Showing up in Nashville to stop Clarice’s last conversation with Lecter, also feels like a Trickster in action. And the latter in its own way creates a big test for Clarice: Now she no longer has access to Lecter. She will have to solve the BB case on her own.

Lecter as Mentor: His character is ranked as one of the top movie villains of all time on many lists including AFI, but that’s what makes him such a brilliant Mentor figure. He knows things, about Buffalo Bill, so right there as a conduit for vital information, he provides a Mentor function. But it is primarily in relation to Clarice’s psychological journey that he most functions as a Mentor, steering her into her Self, forcing her to confront her shadow. In their last meeting, he says two critical pieces of wisdom: (1) The solution to the case is in the case files. That proves hugely important when Clarice and Ardelia recall the line, spurring them to dig into the case files one last time, which leads them to the vital realization: BB knew his first victim (“he covets what he sees”). That sends Clarice to Ohio and her eventual intersection with BB. (2) That Clarice believes if she can save Catherine, she can silence the lambs. This is, however, only partially true. There is another dynamic, I believe, Lecter does not tell her, but knows she has to accomplish to achieve Unity: She needs to kill BB and shed his blood. More in another comment to come.

As I mentioned above, one value of working with archetypes is you can do an exercise where you switch Protagonists. So how about if we look at SOTL’s story universe through Lecter’s eyes as the Protagonist?

P: Lecter

N: Chilton

A: Clarice

M: Buffalo Bill

T: Crawford

Chilton torments Lecter and it is Lecter’s goal to escape that torment. Eventually he has his own Final Struggle with Chilton (we can assume) when he “has an old friend for dinner.”

Clarice as Attractor? He has numerous sides with a sexually provocative tinge to them. He ponders what it would be like to know her outside of prison. In his last phone call, he says he won’t come after her, “the world being more interesting with you.” To seal the deal, we need look no further than the next book “Hannibal” where Lecter and Clarice become lovers.

Buffalo Bill as Mentor? It is the clues BB leaves behind and the facts Lecter discerns about the case that provides Lecter the ‘wisdom’ he needs in order to facilitate his eventual escape.

Trickster: Crawford. For reasons mentioned previously, pretty apparent. But wait? What if we looked at the story through Buffalo Bill’s perspective as the Protagonist? Running out of room in this comment. Pick up on that next.

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