Blogfest, that is!
All week the Killer Characters blogfest is going on, and there's still time to sign up if you'd like to participate. Just hop over to Deana Barnhart's to learn more and see who all is joining the fun. The pic above links you right to her blog.
Today's assignment: Favorite Literary Supporting Character (any character used to give dimension to the main character)
Alright, so keeping in the Halloween spirit I'm going with a dark theme. But either way, one of my all time faves for sheer creepiness alone, is Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs. His whole persona just makes my skin crawl. I love it! lol
I love the Thomas Harris Hannibal Lecter series. All the stories are riveting, as well as the movies, though I think Silence of the Lambs is probably my fave of them all. And I really think it has something to do with Buffalo Bill being so provocative.
You probably remember him most as played by Ted Levine in the film. Did he do an outstanding job, or what? Buffalo Bill is an excellent example of a perfectly fleshed out character. Here's why:
* His mother was an alcoholic prostitute who abandoned him.
* He was abused by his foster parents, then abused further by his grandparents who adopted him.
(This is why we can somewhat sympathize with him. This is why he's so bad.)
* He murdered his grandparents at age 15
* He was sent to a psych ward where he learned to be a tailor. (how odd and totally cool at the same time)
* He found work after rehab and became involved in a relationship with a man there.
* Once the man left him and found a new lover, Bill killed and flayed the lover.
* Buffalo Bill becomes fascinated with the metamorphosis of the moth, and envisions himself going through such a metamorphosis to become a woman.
* Only he needs to tailor a woman suit, so he pretends to be an injured man loading heavy boxes into his van and accepting help from women, whom he then kidnaps and throws in a pit in his basement.
* Once he has a woman in his house, he starves her until her skin is loose enough to easily remove.
* He refers to his victims as "things." For example, my fave line from the whole story: "It puts the lotion in the basket or it gets the hose."
* He adores his poodle named Precious and talks to it in baby talk while torturing his victims.
* He collects exotic moths and and places a moth in the throat of one of his victims, the victim that turns up in the river.
* Ironically, it is the moth that brings about Buffalo Bill's eventual capture and death. It's the moth found inside the victim that alerts the FBI of the killer's possible association with exotic moths. It is the moth inside Buffalo Bill's home that signals to agent Starling who he actually is when she shows up at his house coincidentally.
* He adds dimension to Starling's character, allowing her to see for herself what she is capable of.
The whole story is genius, in my opinion. Hannibal Lecter is one of my favorite characters as well, and it's debatable on which is the actual antagonist. They both add dimension to Starling's character, but both are antagonistic as well. Hannibal and Buffalo Bill are not meant to be "liked." But it is the very emotion and repulsion they evoke that makes them unforgettable, powerful characters. Something tells me Thomas Harris didn't just dream them up during a first draft. Buffalo Bill is extremely well thought out and detailed down to the very origin of his existence. There is a reason for everything, and as the reader, we need to know what those reasons are, so we can relate to and sympathize with the character.
Here's to you , Bill!
What do you think of Buffalo Bill? Do you think of him more as a supporting character or antagonist? Who is your fave supporting character?