Study Guide

The Silence of the Lambs Catherine and Ruth Martin (Brooke Smith and Diane Baker)

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Catherine and Ruth Martin (Brooke Smith and Diane Baker)

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Catherine Martin is the "it" in the famous quote, "It puts the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again." Maybe Buffalo Bill was an English major, because he 100% realizes the dehumanization of his word choice.

Bill targets Martin simply because of her size. He needs bigger girls so he has more skin to work with. Meghan Trainor fails to mention that in "All About that Bass," doesn't she? Once she's kidnapped, Catherine wants to get out of the hole. She's not entirely helpless, tricking Bill's dog, Precious, into the hole and threatening to kill it if he doesn't give her a phone. We don't get to see if her threat works, because Starling saves her soon after.

Talking in Memphis

Catherine Martin's mother is Ruth Martin, a senator in Tennessee. She puts out a plea on TV to save Catherine. She realizes the power of pronouns too. Clarice remarks after hearing the speech that she uses Catherine's name more than once. "If he sees Catherine as a person and not just an object, it's harder to tear her up."

Unfortunately, Bill isn't watching TV, and he doesn't see Catherine as a person at all. However, he made a mistake in kidnapping a senator's daughter. Her resources are enough to get the information out of Lecter that they need to capture Buffalo Bill, and she gets her daughter back.

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