You think if you saved poor Catherine you could make them stop, do you not? You think if Catherine lives you will not wake up in the dark ever again to that awful screaming of the lambs – Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins)
Is your private voice yours? Are you sure about that? To help determine this, and whether your private voice is working for or against you, here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- What is the general tone of your inner voice? Harsh, bitter and critical? Or supportive, kind and encouraging?
- Estimate how much of the time your inner voice is a constructive force in your life, and how much a destructive one. To what extent does it instill you with confidence and hope? To what extent does it terrorize you with stories of inadequacy, incompetence and regret?
- Ever feel that your inner voice is not really you speaking? If it does not feel like you, whose voice might it be? Consider both content and tone.
- To help you achieve real happiness and to leave the legacy you desire for those you care about most, what changes would you make in the content and tone of your private voice?
- To what extent is your private voice aligned with your ultimate mission in life? What seems to be the driving force behind your private voice? Where is it taking you?
“Silence of the Lambs” is the story of Clarice Starling, the FBI trainee played by Jodie Foster, and the story follows her without substantial interruption. Dr. Hannibal Lecter lurks at the heart of the story, a malevolent but somehow likable presence–likable because he likes Clarice, and helps her. But Lecter, as played by Anthony Hopkins, is the sideshow, and Clarice is in the center
The popularity of Jonathan Demme’s movie is likely to last as long as there is a market for being scared. Like “Nosferatu,” “Psycho” and “Halloween,” it illustrates that the best thrillers don’t age. Fear is a universal emotion and a timeless one. But “Silence of the Lambs” is not merely a thrill show. It is also about two of the most memorable characters in movie history, Clarice Starling and Hannibal Lecter, and their strange, strained relationship (“people will say we’re in love,” Lecter cackles).
They share so much. Both are ostracized by the worlds they want to inhabit–Lecter, by the human race because he is a serial killer and a cannibal, and Clarice, by the law enforcement profession because she is a woman. Both feel powerless–Lecter because he is locked in a maximum security prison (and bound and gagged like King Kong when he is moved), and Clarice because she is surrounded by men who tower over her and fondle her with their eyes. Both use their powers of persuasion to escape from their traps–Lecter is able to rid himself of the pest in the next cell by talking him into choking on his own tongue, and Clarice is able to persuade Lecter to aid her in the search for the serial killer named Buffalo Bill. And both share similar childhood wounds. Lecter is touched when he learns that Clarice lost both her parents at an early age, was shipped off to relatives, was essentially an unloved orphan. And Lecter himself was a victim of child abuse.
The stories we tell and hear embed themselves more deeply in our subconsciousness the more they are repeated.
In the end though, it is only the one voice that truly matters. Because your inner voice is telling you your story all the time, you are rarely even conscious that you have been telling a story. Indeed it is hard to imagine what it would feel like if suddenly you stopped telling yourself your story, or even just changed this one.