Categories > Books > Hannibal0 Reviews
Dr.Lecter reflects on the causes of his behavior.
That was another reason why they hated him: envy. They envied him because he did what they all secretly wanted to be doing, but were scared of even admitting it to themselves, let alone of trying it. Their natural craving for power was suppressed by the sheep mentality that had been cultivated for millennia in the so-called civilized countries, and this resulted in all sorts of neuroses and mental illnesses that Dr.Lecter had had to deal with as a psychiatrist. They were trying so desperately to figure out what was wrong with him, unable (or afraid) to realize that nothing was. The truth was that Hannibal Lecter was, perhaps, the only sane person in the United States, and the people who were calling him crazy were themselves in dire need of psychological treatment.
They were constantly speculating about why he liked to eat people, constructing wild theories that made Dr.Lecter roar with inner laughter. Complicating things was truly a stigma of this diseased world. Children were the only class of people untouched by it, and for this Dr.Lecter loved them a great deal. If the Chesapeake State Hospital for the Criminally Insane was run by a child instead of that pathetic excuse for a psychiatrist, Dr.Lecter's mystery would have been unveiled long ago.
Why did he eat people? Because it was pleasant. Why was it pleasant? Because it gave him a sense of power. That was all there was to it, and they were all raping their brains trying to come up with a more complex piece of rubbish than the next fool. A journalist once asked Dr.Lecter during his trial why he had committed his crimes, and Dr.Lecter suggested that the journalist try it himself and see how it feels. They had dismissed it as some kind of sick joke, not realizing that he was offering them the key to his mind. The key to their own minds. Alas, few would have been prepared to accept it. He might as well have gone out and handed them the truth on a silver platter, and they still would not have believed him. They would have stubbornly continued searching for childhood trauma and stupid stuff like that, as if what Dr.Lecter did needed some justification. They couldn't seem to realize that his actions were /natural/.
Dr.Lecter remembered his first murder very well. He committed it when he was a student in medical school. There was a guy in his year named Granger, a large, loudmouthed fellow who was constantly making stupid jokes and hitting on the girls. Granger's rude manners and lack of taste annoyed young Hannibal to no end, and one night he waylaid the obnoxious young man as the latter was returning from a date and slit his throat with a scalpel. As Granger jerked on the ground at his feet, spouting blood, Hannibal was overwhelmed by a sense of empowerment mixed with elated disbelief. "Is that it?" his mind seemed to ask. "Is that all it takes?" It appeared that it was. The guy who had annoyed Hannibal for more than a year was now but a sack of meat, and all it took was one quick slash with a scalpel.
As he stood there, basking in the unfamiliar new feelings, Hannibal suddenly remembered a Celtic custom he had recently read about: the custom of drinking their enemies' blood to gain their strength. Always eager for new impressions, Hannibal crouched beside Granger's body, bent his head down and lapped the blood that was pouring from the young man's slit throat. The sense of empowerment intensified: he had not simply ended Granger's life, he was now absorbing it. Driven by a sudden urge, Hannibal threw up his head and gave a guttural bestial roar of triumph, and as the sound of it resonated throughout his body, he realized that he was, in fact, a beast, its desire to kill and dominate taken to the next level by its intelligence and imagination. With that realization came complete freedom.
The next day Hannibal had sex for the first time. He had always been a bit awkward about the fairer sex, and his seriousness and unusual pursuits had spooked the girls, but now that was over. Now he had the power and could have any girl he wanted. However, he found sex an experience inferior to murder; it gave him a sense of empowerment when he penetrated a writhing, moaning girl, but the feeling was far less intense than the one he'd had while lapping Granger's blood. Sex was penetration and control; what he had done to Granger was consumption, and thus a more complete form of domination. On the other hand, sex was not illegal, so Hannibal would resort to it more often than to cannibalism (still, he killed considerably more people than nine, which was the "official" number). His victims were always people who annoyed him, and each killing was a small celebration, an affirmation of his power. The idea to cook his victims occurred to Hannibal when he came upon the phrase /Be not animal; refine thy rapture/! in an occult book. He found that cooking the parts of his victims' bodies did add a special flavor to the pleasure: not only did he consume the life-force of his offenders, but he did it with an artistic approach, fashioning the pieces of his prey into whatever he wanted. The process could be roughly compared to foreplay during sex. And foreplay, some argue, is sometimes the best part.
After becoming a psychiatrist, Dr.Lecter was always very frustrated that he could not share this simple cure for psychological problems with his patients (well, most of them, anyway), being forced instead to guide them through conventional therapy that was often tedious and ineffective. His famous dinner for the orchestra officials had been a kind of experiment: he was curious to see if eating human flesh would produce in them a shadow of what he felt when he feasted on it. The results were promising, and he had been thinking of using human flesh for therapeutic ends when Graham caught him.
Graham...The boy certainly had potential. He had killed a man and enjoyed it, Dr.Lecter was sure of that, but he was unwilling to admit his true desires, he was fighting his nature just like the rest of those human sheep. Dr.Lecter had tried to point him in the right direction during their last conversation, but Graham had not been ready. At least he'd have something to think about. And this Tooth Fairy case was an interesting turn of events. Dr.Lecter would do everything in his power to make sure Graham met the killer. Perhaps this time he would make the right choice and unleash the beast within. Dr.Lecter hoped he would. It would be nice to have a kindred spirit in this world bent on self-deception.
He glanced at Lounds' article again, then took a piece of paper and wrote,
I am a man in his natural state. It is you who are an insane fiend, because you are trying to deny it.
Hannibal Lecter, M.D.