Red Dragon

In: English and Literature

Submitted By havto
Words 3340
Pages 14
Red Dragon by Thomas Harris: A Look Inside The Serial Killer’s Mind Red Dragon by Thomas Harris is a dark piece of psychological fiction that was published in 1981. The novel is the first in a trilogy featuring the infamous character Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant psychiatrist and psychopathic serial killer. However, Lecter is not a main character in this novel. Rather, the antagonist and killer is Francis Dolarhyde, whom the police jokingly refer to as the Tooth Fairy because of the bite marks he leaves on female victims. Harris does a masterful job of creating background on the killer that delves into the makings of a serial killer. Thomas Harris gives the reader an understanding of Dolarhyde’s mindset when committing his horrific crimes by detailing the abuses the killer suffered as a child (Sexton). Harris takes the reader from the infant born with a cleft palate so disfiguring he was left to die through the cruelty of a childhood that included abandonment, a mean and mentally unstable grandmother, and taunts from his stepsiblings. In doing so, the author provides significance to some of the killer’s actions (Cowley). This research paper will examine the underlying psychopathology of serial killers that often stems from abuse in childhood, turning the human into the monster. Red Dragon begins with the FBI and the police on a desperate hunt for a serial killer whom police have nicknamed the Tooth Fairy because of bite marks left on victims. The public is duly alarmed as the target of the killer is entire families. Members of the FBI know that they must quickly apprehend the criminal not only due to the public outcry and fear but also because time is against them. The killer strikes on lunar moons and the authorities have only about three weeks before his next crime. Jack Crawford, the special agent assigned to the case, seeks the help of Will Graham, a gifted…...

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