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Abstract

“Silence of the Sexes: Gender Inversion in Jonathan Demme’s The Silence of the Lambs" focuses on the role gender plays in and between the characters of Clarice Starling, Buffalo Bill, and Dr. Hannibal Lecter in Jonathan Demme’s film The Silence of the Lambs (1991). Specifically, the paper focuses on the struggle for Clarice to masculinize herself to be accepted in her career, and the struggle for Buffalo Bill to feminize himself in order to accept himself. The paper then discusses the inability for the one person to succeed while the other is still an obstacle in his or her path, which then brings in the role of the phallus for Clarice, who otherwise lacks the symbolic authority encoded in the phallus.

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