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Francis Dolarhyde: What Role Does His Mother Play In His Life?

1308 words - 6 pages

“The way mothers interact with their babies in the first year of life is strongly related to how children behave later; interventions focusing on parenting during the first year of life would be beneficial in preventing future child conduct problems”1. This study, released by the Science Daily website, shows a positive relationship between a toddler’s actions and the way his mother interacts with him as a baby. These facts can be easily implied on the main antagonist in the novel, Red Dragon, known as Francis Dolarhyde. Dolarhyde is portrayed in the novel as a film technician; he is also a serial killer. The question of how Dolarhyde came to be a serial killer can be answered through looking back at his past. The fact that he was abandoned by his mother the moment he was born is the main reason that led to him become a serial killer. Sadly, the reason his mother abandoned him is because he was born with abnormality in his face; this also played a role in him becoming a serial killer.
“Then she closed her eyes and did not open them while they brought the baby in. Finally she looked. They shut the door when she screamed. Then they gave her a shot. On the fifth day she left the hospital alone” (Ch. 25). The reaction of Dolarhyde’s mother was very striking, a mother is supposed to accept her child no matter what shape he is born in; if she did not do that, then how does she expect others to do that. Dolarhyde’s grandmother was the only one available to take care of him after his own mother abandoned him. However, even his grandmother did not acknowledge herself as his legal guardian until he spent five years at an orphanage. “Near the end of his fifth year, Francis Dolarhyde had his first and only visitor at the orphanage. He was sitting in the thick reek of the cafeteria when an older boy came for him and took him to Brother Buddy's office. The lady waiting with Brother Buddy was tall and middle-aged, dredged in powder, her hair in a tight bun. Her face was stark white. There were touches of yellow in the gray hair and in the eyes and teeth. What struck Francis, what he would always remember: she smiled with pleasure when she saw his face. That had never happened before. No one would ever do it again. "This is your grandmother," Brother Buddy said” (Ch. 25). The fact that those who looked at Dolarhyde’s face were not able to smile did harm him emotionally and mentally. “The big boys had helped him with this. He wanted to please. He collected himself. "Cunt Face," he said” (Ch. 25); that was his response when his grandmother asked him about his name. Dolarhyde had trouble with his speech; because of that, and because of the way he looked, he was easily bullied at the orphanage. Every one of us expects to be accepted from the society, and having people smile at you is one way of being accepted. For Dolarhyde, it seems like he lived most of his childhood being rejected, and that is why he was struck when his grandmother smiled at...

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