Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Lecter series - unified analysis - part 51: Applying Jungian concepts to Will Graham


Up until now we have been discussing the topic of alchemy, and Jungian concepts such as the shadow and the anima, mainly within the context of The Silence of the Lambs. However, it can be observed that these topics apply to Manhunter also; in this post, we will see how these concepts are applicable to Will Graham.

Let us begin with the processes of alchemy. Will's nigredo occurs at the end of his meeting with Lecktor, at the institution in Baltimore, and for a short while thereafter: Recall that once the interview ends, Will runs down and out of the prison building frantically, as if he's in a state of extreme anxiety, and his vision is blurred for a short time once he's outside. The chaos of the event signifies the nigredo.

Above left and right: After his meeting with Hannibal Lecktor, Will Graham runs frantically out of the prison building, and is then shown in a state of anxiety once he reaches the outside. The overall experience of the meeting and its 'aftermath', comprise Will's nigredo.

Graham's shadow is represented by Hannibal Lecktor, since Will experiences his nigredo during the ending of his meeting with Lecktor (and for a short while after), as described above; recall that in alchemy, the nigredo is associated with the encounter with the shadow. Will's anima is represented by his wife, Molly.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hannibal - Analysis of the Movie - part 1: Introduction; reference to the Holy Trinity


[Image at left from the Wikipedia 'Hannibal (film)' page; "Hannibal movie poster",[a] licensed under fair use via Wikipedia.]

Welcome to the analysis of Hannibal. Buttons at the bottom of each post enable navigation through the parts of the analysis. Regarding the appearance of possible anti-Semitism on this blog, please see the 'Disclaimers' section near the bottom of this page.

Hannibal is a 2001 psychological horror film directed by Ridley Scott, adapted from the Thomas Harris novel of the same name. Its screenplay was written by Steven Zaillian and David Mamet. It starts Anthony Hopkins, Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman, and Ray Liotta. Hannibal was the highly anticipated sequel to 1991's Academy Award-winning The Silence of the Lambs, which introduced Hannibal Lecter to mainstream movie-going audiences (though the character was first portrayed by Brian Cox in the 1986 film, Manhunter, based on Harris' novel, Red Dragon). The premise of Hannibal is that Hannibal Lecter's only surviving victim, the extremely wealthy Mason Verger, is determined to capture, torture, and kill him.[b]

In part of Hannibal, Hannibal Lecter, and inspector Pazzi and his wife, see an outdoor opera in Florence, Italy called Vide Cor Meum. This opera is based on the sonnet "A ciascun'alma presa", in chapter 3 of Dante Alighieri's La Vita Nuova.

Hannibal Lecter (who has taken on the name "Dr. Fell") converses with the Pazzis after the opera performance.

If we turn to chapter 3 of La Vita Nuova, we see that in it, Dante makes several mentions of the numbers 3 and 9 (the latter being equal to 3 x 3, that is, the root of 9 is 3). In the below, the material inside quotation marks is from the Musa translation of La Vita Nuova (emphasis not in original):[c]

  • At the opening of chapter 3, it has been nine years since Dante has seen his beloved Beatrice.
  • Beatrice appears to Dante at the "ninth hour of [the] day (3 o'clock in the afternoon)."
  • A vision later appears to Dante "in the fourth hour of the night; that is, it was without a doubt the first of the last nine hours of the night."
  • The second part of the sonnet begins, "The first three hours..."

Dante's uses of the numbers 3 and 9 in his sonnet, point to the concept of the Christian Holy Trinity, which is composed of three persons. Therefore, in Hannibal, the showing of an opera based on this sonnet is itself a reference to the Trinity. We will begin to look at the Holy Trinity in the next post.

a. Poster for Hannibal: The poster art copyright is believed to belong to the distributor of the film, MGM / Universal, the publisher of the film or the graphic artist.
b. Wikipedia, 'Hannibal (film)'. Web, n.d. URL = https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hannibal_(film).
c. Dante Alighieri. La Vita Nuova. Trans. with introduction Mark Musa. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992. pp. 6-7, 86.

Lecter series - unified analysis - part 50: "Keep to the right"


Barney tells Starling to "keep to the right" when approaching Dr. Lecter's cell.

Early in The Silence of the Lambs, in the first scene in the Baltimore prison, Barney tells Clarice Starling to "keep to the right" when walking along the corridor toward Hannibal Lecter's cell. There are two underlying meanings to this statement, the first of which can be gleaned from a footnote in The Psychology of Kundalini Yoga, which quotes from a lecture given by Dr. Jakob Wilhelm Hauer:

"In following the course of this life, you come across the sea monster, the makara; somewhere you will come face to face with a tremendous danger, and you cannot go past it. This monster is depicted in the [Swadhisthana chakra] as covering the whole width of the crescent (the crescent in Swadhisthana stands for Siva), and the jaws of the monster are open. Now, if you come from the right, you may attack the monster from behind. You don't fall into its jaws and may be able to grapple with it, whereas if you come from the left, you will fall into its jaws. It is a question of the right way."[a]

Lecter represents the monster (the makara), and Starling must approach him from the right in order not to 'fall into his jaws', i.e., she needs to avoid the imminent danger that he represents.

To discuss the other meaning of Barney's statement, it is necessary to know what a stupa is, and what it means to circumambulate something. Briefly, a stupa is a mound-like structure containing Buddhist relics, typically the remains of a Buddha or saint, used by Buddhists as a place of worship.[b]

Circumambulation is the act of moving around a sacred object. Circumambulation of temples or deity images is an integral part of Hindu ritual. It is also practiced in Buddhism. In many Hindu temples, the temple structure reflects the symbolism of the Hindu association of the spiritual transition from daily life to spiritual perfection as a journey through stages. Ambulatory passageways for circumambulation are present through which worshipers move in a clockwise direction, starting at the sanctuary doorway and moving inward toward the inner sanctum where the deity is enshrined. This is a translation of the spiritual concept of transition through levels in life into bodily movements by the worshipers as they move inwardly through ambulatory halls to the most sacred centre of spiritual energy of the deity. Circumambulation is done in a clockwise direction and in an odd rather than even number of times. Circumbulatory walking around the shrine, by keeping time, is a common form of Hindu prayer.[c]

In Psychology and Alchemy, Jung tells us that stupas must be circumambulated to the right, since a leftward movement is evil. Jung says that a movement to the left is one toward the "sinister" side, the unconscious side; whereas a movement to the right "is 'correct' and aims at consciousness."[d]

A clockwise movement is a movement to the right. If Lecter represents a 'deity' (Hermes) in a stupa (represented by the prison, or at least by the area of the corridor that Lecter's cell is on), then if we go by Jung, Barney is effectively warning Starling not to approach Lecter from her 'unconscious side'. Also note that Starling makes an odd number of visits (three) to Lecter's Baltimore cell.

a. Wilhelm Hauer, "Yoga, Especially the Meaning of the Cakras." In Mary Foote, ed., The Kundalini Yoga: Notes on the Lecture Given by Prof. Dr. J.W. Hauer with Psychological Commentary by Dr. C.G. Jung. Zurich, 1932. In Sonu Shamdasani ed., The Psychology of Kundalini Yoga, Notes of the Seminar Given in 1932 by C.G. Jung. Princeton University Press, 1996. Google Books, p. 166. URL = https://books.google.com.
b. Wikipedia, 'Stupa'. Web, n.d. URL = https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stupa.
c. Wikipedia, 'Circumambulation'. Web, n.d. URL = https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumambulation.
d. Jung, C.G. The Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Vol. 12. Princeton University Press, 1968. p. 127.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Lecter series - unified analysis - part 49: Swadhisthana chakra


Swadhisthana contains unconscious desires, especially sexual desire. Lecter's initial desire for Clarice Starling is largely sexual in nature. As described in the previous post, when he says to her, "Sometimes you wear L'Air du Temps", it sounds like he's saying, "Sometimes you wear a leather t(h)ong."


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lecter series - unified analysis - part 48: Lecter's baptism


The Holy Spirit depicted as a dove descending on the Holy Family, with God the Father and angels shown atop, by Murillo, c. 1677. [Image from the Wikipedia 'Holy Spirit in Christianity' page, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.]

There is a kind of baptism called Baptism with the Holy Spirit, and Lecter undergoes this kind of baptism, upon Clarice Starling's arrival outside his cell for her first interview of him (we know from the analysis of The Silence of the Lambs that Clarice represents the 'presence' of the Holy Spirit). Baptism with the Holy Spirit is believed by some to be what is described in the Acts of the Apostles (verses 8:16 and 10:44), by the falling of the Holy Spirit on individuals.

The evidence that Lecter has been so baptized is that soon after meeting Starling, there occurs an instance of him doing something called speaking in tongues. Pentecostals teach that the initial physical evidence of Spirit baptism is speaking in tongues; this is when a believer speaks in tongues for the first time. These Pentecostal denominations consider this to be the sign of that believer being filled with the Holy Spirit. Also, some biblical scholars have noted the close association of biblical references to baptism in the Holy Spirit with descriptions of speaking in tongues. In the Acts of the Apostles, there are three specific references to individuals speaking in tongues (in verses 2:4, 10:46, and 19:6). Each of these instances of tongues-speaking is immediately subsequent to or contemporary with an experience of being baptized in the Holy Spirit.[a]

Glossolalia or speaking in tongues is the fluid vocalizing (or, less commonly, the writing) of speech-like syllables, often as part of religious practice. Though some consider these utterances to be meaningless, those that use them consider them to be part of a holy language. William J. Samarin, a linguist from the University of Toronto, has found that glossolalic speech does resemble human language in some respects. The speaker uses accent, rhythm, intonation and pauses to break up the speech into distinct units. Each unit is itself made up of syllables, the syllables being formed from consonants and vowels taken from a language known to the speaker.[b] Lecter is speaking in tongues when he makes the following statement to Starling: "You use Evyan skin cream, and sometimes you wear L'Air du Temps, but not today." The way Lecter says, "wear L'Air du Temps", sounds highly similar to "wear a leather t(h)ong." And, 'Evyan' can be interpreted as 'naive' spelled backwards.

a. Wikipedia, 'Baptism with the Holy Spirit'. Web, n.d. URL = https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baptism_with_the_Holy_Spirit.
b. Wikipedia, 'Glossolalia'. Web, n.d. URL = https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossolalia.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Lecter series - unified analysis - part 47: Manipura chakra


Meditating on Manipura is said to bestow to onself, the occult power to create and destroy the world. As a personification of Satan, Lecter effectively has this power.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Lecter series - unified analysis - part 46: Hannibal Lecter's Self, anima, and shadow


Ranunculus flammula Illustration in: Jakob Sturm: "Deutschlands Flora in Abbildungen", Stuttgart (1796) [Image from the Wikipedia 'Ranunculus flammula' page, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.]

In this post, we will determine which movie characters (from The Silence of the Lambs) represent Hannibal Lecter's Self, anima, and shadow.

In the previous post in this analysis, we observed that Jack Crawford's surname can be traced to crowfoot, another name for the Ranunculus genus of plants. One species of Ranunculus is Ranunculus flammula. The Latin word flammula means "little flame." Also, in part 44 we noted that Lecter's kundalini is depicted as eventually having risen to the level of his anahata (heart) chakra. Jung tells us that "In the center of anahata there is again Siva in the form of the linga, and the small flame means the first germlike appearance of the Self."[a] Individuation begins in anahata[b]. Based on the symbolism for the name Crawford, Jack Crawford represents the small flame in Lecter's anahata chakra, and therefore, he represents at least an early stage of Lecter's Self.

Moving on to the anima, Jung tells us that there are four phases in its development in the male. The first is Eve, named after the Genesis account of Adam and Eve. It deals with the emergence of a male's object of desire. In the analysis of The Silence of the Lambs, it was observed that Lecter begins to sexually covet Starling at their first meeting. We are not told of Hannibal having any prior history with women. Thus, Clarice represents the first phase of Lecter's anima. The second phase of a man's anima is called Helen, an allusion to Helen of Troy in Greek mythology. In this phase, women are viewed as capable of worldly success and of being self-reliant, intelligent and insightful, even if not altogether virtuous. Clarice represents this phase's figure for Lecter also, since he recognizes that she has achieved a measure of worldly success, in that he realizes she is on her way to becoming an FBI agent.

The third phase of anima development is Mary, named after the Christian theological understanding of the Virgin Mary (Jesus' mother). At this level, females can now seem to possess virtue by the perceiving male (even if in an esoteric and dogmatic way), insomuch as certain activities deemed consciously unvirtuous cannot be applied to her. Since Starling represents the Virgin Mary (as indicated by Lecter's drawing at left - Mary holding her child, the Lamb, i.e., Jesus), she represents the third phase of Lecter's anima. The fourth and final phase of anima development is Sophia, named after the Greek word for wisdom. Complete integration has now occurred, which allows females to be seen and related to as particular individuals who possess both positive and negative qualities. The most important aspect of this final level is that, as the personification "Wisdom" suggests, the anima is now developed enough that no single object can fully and permanently contain the images to which it is related.[c] The fourth phase of Lecter's anima is represented, in The Silence of the Lambs, by Senator Martin, Catherine Martin's mother. Senator Martin is well into middle age, and she is a public official; taken together, these imply that she has attained a certain degree of wisdom, and Hannibal recognizes this.

a. C.G. Jung. The Psychology of Kundalini Yoga. Princeton University Press, 1996. Google Books, p. 95. URL = https://books.google.com.
b. The Psychology of Kundalini Yoga. Google Books, p. 95. URL = https://books.google.com.
c. Wikipedia, 'Anima and animus'. Web, n.d. URL = https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anima_and_animus.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Lecter series - unified analysis - part 45: Jack Crawford is betraying Starling


Above: Jack Crawford, left, and Hannibal Lecter, right, the two men who are 'helping' Starling with the Buffalo Bill case, are actually working together to send her to her death at Bill's hands.

Previously in the Silence of the Lambs hidden plot thread, we analyzed the surname of one of the insect biologists consulted by Starling (Pilcher), and, based in part on this analysis, we determined that some of the people who are ostensibly on the side of good, are actually working for evil forces: Both of the biologists, and Ardelia Mapp as well, are actually deceiving Starling and are working on the side of Jame Gumb, Lecter's/Satan's 'pupil' (with Gumb representing the Freemasons and Lecter representing evil hermaphroditic Jews). Let us now analyze the name of Starling's supervisor, Jack Crawford, and see where that leads.

In English, the name Crawford is a variant spelling of the name Crowfoot.[a] Crowfoot with lower case 'c' is another name for buttercup (genus Ranunculus), any of about 250 species of herbaceous flowering plants in the family Ranunculaceae.[b] All Ranunculus species are poisonous when eaten fresh by cattle, horses, and other livestock.[c] Sheep are a kind of livestock, so if we go by the lamb metaphor for Jesus, with Starling representing his mother, the Virgin Mary, we see that Crawford is 'poisonous to' Starling (i.e., to her metaphorical child), so he must be working against her.

Jack Crawford phones Starling to tell her that Miggs is dead.

Evidence that Lecter and Crawford are co-conspirators, includes the fact that Crawford calls Starling soon after her first visit to Lecter, during which the Miggs incident (the throwing of semen onto Starling's face) occurred, and tells her that "Miggs is dead." It is important for Clarice to know this fact at this point in time, because it is part of her becoming a grown woman: the end of those days of 'sticky fumblings in the back seats of cars' - the point is that Crawford is helping Lecter with the process of 'conditioning' Starling's psyche, so that eventually, she will see confronting and killing Jame Gumb as necessary for her to become a complete woman.

As was discussed earlier in the hidden plot thread, Lecter was expecting Gumb to be using butterflies, not moths. That Lecter expected Gumb to be using butterflies is due to the fact that Crawford told Lecter about the shipment of live caterpillars to Gumb from Suriname, that was stopped at LAX (i.e., Lecter was expecting Gumb to be using butterflies from Suriname, a country known for these insects). It was only much later that Crawford told Clarice about this shipment, in order to help 'guide' her to Gumb's house. The fact is that Crawford and Lecter are working together, both against Starling.

Later in the movie, while Crawford is on his way to what he (supposedly) thinks is Jame Gumb's residence, Starling phones Crawford and tells him that she has figured out what Gumb is up to (her seeing the dress in Frederica Bimmel's closet led to her revelation about the formation of the suit of skin). It is at this point that Crawford tells her that he is on his way to Gumb's house in Calumet City, Illinois, and that she should continue on with her investigation, to get information about Gumb that will help convict him. However, the reality is that Jack knows Gumb is not in Illinois, and he is knowingly guiding Clarice to Gumb's actual location in Mrs. Lippmann's house in Belvedere, Ohio. When the SWAT team breaks into the Calumet City home and finds it vacant, Crawford only feigns surprise when he exclaims, "Clarice!"; note that he knows exactly where to go next (the house in Belvedere). When Crawford exclaims Clarice's name in the Calumet City house, he does so loudly enough, and sufficiently firmly, so that nearby members of the SWAT team, and anyone else present at the scene who might hear him (e.g., fellow agents), will be fooled into assuming that he knows where Clarice is, and knows she could be in danger, due to her having told him that she had already found out about the Belvedere address, and that she was headed there; in Calumet City, Crawford acts as if he only just now realizes that Starling's destination 'may be' Gumb's actual location.

Communication between Lecter and Crawford is what enables Lecter to speak on the phone with Starling near the end of the movie, at the reception after the FBI graduation ceremony. Top left and right: After watching Starling receive her badge, Crawford looks at his wristwatch, then ducks out into a brick-walled hallway and receives Lecter's call at the prearranged time; he had earlier given Lecter the number at the ceremony location. Above left and right: Immediately after Ardelia tells Clarice there is a phone call for her (above left; Crawford must have told Ardelia to tell Clarice about the call), Crawford (standing in center, facing Clarice) calls Clarice aside to speak with her briefly;[d] he then leaves before Clarice picks up the phone (above right). If Crawford had stayed around instead of leaving the reception, Clarice might be able to get his attention while speaking to Lecter on the phone, and then Jack would be in a awkward situation. As an aside, we will see later in the hidden plot thread that Ardelia is working for both Crawford and Gumb; she is committed to neither man, but is instead an opportunist. It must have been she who told Crawford, that Gumb was living in Belvedere.

The plan arranged between Lecter and Crawford began to be put into place when Crawford first sent Starling to interview Lecter - the reason he sends her, a trainee, rather than a 'full' FBI agent, is because he has recognized Starling as the angel of death (recall that he taught one of her classes at the FBI academy), and he knows she has to be killed. In a sense, Crawford is functioning as a 'double' for Lecter with regard to his serving as a father figure for Starling - since Lecter is imprisoned, he (Lecter) needs someone 'on the outside' who can help carry forward Starling's process of maturation. It becomes evident that the 'phony offer' that supposedly came from Senator Martin, was instead actually part of a plan set up by Lecter and Crawford, designed to prompt Martin into doing something: The plan was to have a real transfer initiated, then for Lecter to use the transfer as an opportunity to escape; and this plan succeeds. (Crawford only pretended to be surprised when he found out that Lecter was to be transferred).

a. Ancestry, Crawford Family History: Crawford Name Meaning. Web, n.d. URL = http://www.ancestry.com/name-origin?surname=crawford.
b. 'buttercup'. Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2016. Web. 02 May. 2016. URL = http://www.britannica.com/plant/buttercup.
c. Wikipedia, 'Ranunculus'. Web, n.d. URL = https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranunculus.
d. Only a moment after Crawford calls Clarice aside, Ardelia looks in Jack's direction with a facial expression indicating that she is somewhat offended; she is surprised that Jack would want to speak with Starling while not in her presence. The fact that Jack wants to do so, is an indication that he knows Ardelia is working with Gumb (in addition to working for himself) - he doesn't want Ardelia to hear what he has to say to Clarice.

[If you are only viewing the explanation of the Silence of the Lambs hidden plot, which began in part 1 of the individual analysis of The Silence of the Lambs, continue on to part 53 of the unified analysis. Otherwise, use the buttons below to navigate the analysis.]


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Lecter series - unified analysis - part 44: Anahata chakra


On a psychic level, Anahata, the heart chakra, inspires a person to love.

From The Silence of the Lambs: When Lecter first encounters Starling, his kundalini begins to rise.

Lecter's kundalini is awakened when he first meets Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs, and eventually, it has risen to his heart chakra, as signified by the fact that he has developed a kind of love for Clarice.


Lecter series - unified analysis - part 43: Sahasrara chakra


Meditating on Sahasrara chakra, which is located at the top of the head, is said to bring about the occult power of transforming into the divine.

Lecter plans on transforming into the 'divine' by becoming Abraxas, at which point his kundalini will have risen to Sahasrara chakra.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Lecter series - unified analysis - part 42: Muladhara chakra


Muladhara chakra, located at the base of the spine, is associated with the sense of smell. Recall Hannibal Lecter's use of his sense of smell, upon first encountering Starling in The Silence of the Lambs: Lecter says to her, "You use Evyan skin cream, and sometimes you wear L'Air du Temps, but not today."

Above left and right: Lecter can detect Clarice's scent through the ventilation holes at the top of his cell front plexiglass barrier.


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