Saturday, September 19, 2009

Manhunter analysis - part 11: More on the tissue note; manipulation of Graham

CATEGORY: MOVIES     [Hidden plot related]

Recall that Hannibal Lecktor used the epithet "Tooth Fairy" in his part of the tissue note; he must have known about the name from reading the case file Graham passed to him during their meeting, since that name had never been used by the press. Will must have written it in the case file himself. It is not surprising that Will wrote the name somewhere in the file - he uses the name in conversation with Crawford right after the meeting with the Atlanta police, before his meeting with Lecktor. Lecktor knows the name has not been used in the press because, as he mentions to Will, he has read about the killings in the papers. So Lecktor knows that Will knows of the name, and he knows that Will could not have gotten it from the papers either. But this raises a question: why didn't Will recognize the fact that Dollarhyde could not have known of the name, and therefore could not have written the entire note himself?

The answer to this has to do with Lecktor's manipulation of Will. Upon seeing the name "Tooth Fairy" in the file, Lecktor realizes that he can use this name to 'communicate' with Will so as to set up a 'special' relationship between himself and Will (remember, on Will's end all this takes place at an unconscious level). Lecktor's use of the name in the note helps 'bond' Will to him - it is a kind of shared special knowledge. In the interests of maintaining this bond, Will's unconscious does not 'want' to know whether Dollarhyde composed all of the note himself; thus, the possibility is not considered by Will's conscious mind.

When Dr. Chilton is finished reading the tissue note to Graham and Crawford over the phone, Graham tells Chilton to place it back in Lecktor's cell such that Lecktor won't know they've found it, ostensibly so that Lecktor will not try to warn the Tooth Fairy; but what is really going on here is that Graham wants the note replaced carefully in order to preserve his special relationship with Lecktor, and to preserve his own 'therapeutic' state of mind.


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