Philosophy feels the needto control people. He
Philosophy 101December 18, 1996In the novel, Silence of the Lambs, we see two different extremes ofevil.
Dr. Chilton is evil in one respect, while Dr. Hannibal Lecter is evil inhis own unique way.
Dr. Chilton is the man with bad morals and feels the needto control people. He manipulates people into thinking and acting the way hewants them to. Basically he is the type of guy who takes advantage of his jobposition, who thinks of himself before others and only acts in ways that willbenefit himself. Dr.
Hannibal Lector, unlike Dr. Chilton, is unable to controlhis evil even if he wanted to. Dr. Lector is insane and feels the need to killpeople just because he thinks they are boring and from his point of view, theydo not seem suitable to be human beings.
He understands the things he does areevil, but they do not phase him since he is insane. There is no question, Dr.Lecter is a truly evil man, but Dr. Chilton is the worse of the two.
Dr. Chilton must morally change and take responsibility for himself. Dr.Lector is not able to take control of his evil because of the way his distortedmind thinks. Although his mind is distorted, it is still a very powerful mindwhich he uses to see into the minds of others.
He gets into their heads andplays with their minds, internally torturing them. He is a sick man and needstherapy and constant care in a hospital because he is too sick to help himself.On the other hand, Dr. Chilton is capable of changing, if only he could realizehis evil ways. He is blinded by his own power and greed which he obtainedthrough his job.Unlike Dr. Lector, Dr.
Chilton has total control of his actions.Another difference between the two, Chilton does not set out with doing evil inhis mind. He has become so evil that he is not even aware of his evilness. Italmost seems like a natural and everyday thing to him. This is why Chilton isthe more evil between the two. We, the ordinary people, almost have tosympathize with Lecter because the man is so sick in the head.
It seems like hewants to make jokes about his killings and no sane man could do that. This iswhy we see Dr. Chilton as the evil man, because Dr. Lecter does not know anybetter while Dr. Chilton should.Dr.
Chilton is the prime example in Xunzi’s argument that the “natureof man is evil.” He is an evil person who does nothing to change this abouthimself. Chilton is envious of others and possesses physical desires, exactlyhow Xunzi explains evil people. According to Xunzi, the evil of man must dependon teachers and laws to become correct and achieve righteousness and becomedisciplined. Dr. Chilton is the law who refuses to learn from anybody.In Xunzi’s essay, “Human Nature is Evil,” Xunzi goes on to say that mandesires.
This is obvious in Chilton’s case as he tries to control people andhave all the power that he possibly can get. If one follows his naturalfeelings, like Chilton, he will have no deference or compliance. Chilton doeshave one exception to Xunzi’s beliefs, and that would be how Xunzi says that allmen desire to be good. Unless Chilton’s definition of good is to haveeverything that he needs for himself no matter how he obtains it, he does notseek for himself to be a good person. According to Xunzi, mad desires to begood because he can see that nature is evil and one must strive for the opposite.
Xunzi would say that Chilton is a blind man who cannot see his own evil.He needs to wake up to the world around him and not to his administrativeposition. Xunzi also says that man must rely on the government to result ingood order and to be in accord with goodness. Chilton is actually part of thegovernment and this is a possibly reason why he cannot see how the governmentshould be helping him.
The same rules that the government expects people tolive by do not pertain to Chilton, in his eyes, because he on the inside. Thegovernment spoils those on the inside and only truly enforces the laws to theoutsiders because they can not see the internal flaws of the government.In this story we are confronted with two unique evils, Dr. Chilton’sand Dr.
Hannibal Lecter’s. Dr. Lecter’s is the more common evil. When we thinkof pure evil, Dr. Lecter’s style of evil comes to mind.
But if we were tosearch further into the meaning of evil, we would see that Dr. Chilton’s moresubdued evil ways or even more mischievous. After examining Xunzi’s essay,”Human Nature is Evil,” we get a better understanding why Dr. Chilton is trulyan evil and devious man.
So when we think of evil, the most obvious form is notalways the most wicked.Category: Philosophy