Despite being solely responsible for the destructive monster ravishing throughout his community, the creature receives all of the blame and demise while Henry Frankenstein walks away seemingly untouched. This could be due to audiences in the early 30’s not wanting to see a courtroom drama in their monster movies, but it could also be argued that it was simply because the 1930s were a time where the ‘sin’ was punished rather than the sinner. Regardless, Henry Frankenstein was a man of science and the entire moral of Frankenstein is that playing God or playing with science would do nothing more than cause turmoil in ones life. The only way to avoid such consequences would be to act as all faithful citizens had been taught and to avoid any and all forms of questioning.
It is important to note the setting of both The Silence of the Lambs as well as Frankenstein. Henry Frankenstein is ridiculed for science in a somewhat foreign environment of castles and personal laboratories, whereas the setting for The Silence of the Lambs was far more modern and realistic for audiences. Kendall Phillips says in his book Projected Fears, “With Silence, the horrors that had moved from Transylvania to the Gothic suburbs of Halloween emerged into the complicated and politically tense world of reality,” (Pag 153). There it is. The location and time period heavily influence Dr. Hannibal Lecter’s treatment. It’s much easier to see coming from the viewpoint of the new millennium’s audience, but the 1990s was the start of the “politically correct” movement. No longer were we allowed to speculate and judge individuals on their differences but rather were forced to develop a sense of understanding and tolerance for those different. In addition, religion was no longer the center of all existence. In the sixty years between Frankenstein and The Silence of the Lambs, tolerance of all religions (not just the Catholic/Christian religions that were the major focus in the 1930s) was in effect meaning science had a chance to flourish as its own entity against (what many believed to be) the word of God. Strangely enough, the binds that have been loosened upon Dr. Lecter by society seem to also be what drives his more dangerous personality traits. “He is an entity of pure consuming desire, a ravenous id, unleashed from the bonds of morality or obligation,” (Phillips 158). With Dr. Hannibal Lecter free of all moral constraints set upon him religion, he was free to evolve as intelligently as humanly possible, but also as immoral. It still influences the idea that those with more science than religion in their are going to grow up to be menaces to society, but the growing requirement of tolerance causes us to be intrigued by these individuals instead of terrified. That’s one of the most universally perplexing things about Hannibal Lecter.