Crimes And Cultural Norms

The Hannibal Lecter series are good examples of deviance as shown by Hannibal himself. For this assignment, Silence of the Lamb will be the subject under observation. Deviant behavior brings out a strong negative reaction from others. Moreover, deviance is linked to power. In the movie, Dr. Hannibal Lecter felt powerful by being able to analyze/read and kill a person. He has a distinctive taste for the human flesh, which made the community afraid of him. In the movie, Hannibal has committed intentional murders. The investigators linked fourteen homicides to him, but they suspected that there were more cases.

What Hannibal does to his victims surely stirred a strong negative reaction from the society. They condemned cannibalism as purely demonic only a psychotic can do. Even the way he kills his victims can be seen as deviant. He does not just stab or shoot someone. Here Hannibal appears “creative” in ending the lives of the poor victims. Moreover, deviance is seen in the movie through the portrayal of another serial killer, Buffalo Bill. As Hannibal says, although Buffalo Bill is not gay, he only thinks he is and is trying to be one. He wants to be a woman, and this precipitated to his killing of women.

This part of the movie even drew out negative reactions from the gay community and the press. Hannibal and Buffalo Bill’s being deviant violated cultural norms. Both of them have committed murder, which deserves the most severe punishments. It is said that “acts that fall between these polar anchorpoints are generally reflective of society’s changing values; differences in religious, ethical and moral beliefs in a pluralistic society…” (American Sociological Association). What they did was labeled as taboo by their community, since we were given the commandment of ‘thou shalt not kill.

’ Culture defines a society. Every place has a culture, and it entails values, norms, beliefs and traditions that are to be followed. The society sees murder as immoral because we are supposed to respect the lives of others. That is one value we have learned from our ancestors. However, certain factors affected these criminals sometime in their lives. In the case of Hannibal, he had experienced unspeakable horrors when he was young. Buffalo Bill, on the other hand, may have been pressured by thinking he is a homosexual.

Hannibal says that Bill was made a criminal through years of systematic abuse because he wanted sex reassignment but may have been rejected in three hospitals. This made him hate his identity. Before, the society condemns homosexuals and trans-sexual. There are still societies which do not accept these kinds of people. What more, applying for sex reassignment is immoral. Buffalo Bill’s rejection may be made him commit murders to be able to complete his transformation. In our community, it is society itself which labels an act as deviant.

As time passed by, people have set the standards for what is right and wrong, family and normal, pervert and criminal and deviance and disease. Sanctions have been made for any violence of what is morally, ethically right. The media also became a way for the strengthening of these standards, and people are affected by what they see or hear from the media channels. REFERENCES From the American Sociological Association. http://www. asanet. org/galleries/default-file/Unit7. pdf Dirks, Tim. (1991). The Silence of the Lambs Review. Retrieved on September 7, 2007. Available at: http://www. filmsite. org/sile2. html.