Murder With Southern Hospitality:
An Exhibition of Mississippi Mysteries

Exhibit Home » Thomas Harris » The Great Red Dragon

Thomas Harris

The Great Red Dragon

One of William Blake’s illustrations of the Book of Revelation features the appearance described in Chapter 12 of a woman clothed in the light of the sun with the moon at her feet and stars over her head. She represents redemption and is the mother of the redeemer. While in childbirth a terrible red dragon (Satan) with seven heads appears and waits to kill the child while trampling the woman.

The character of Francis Dolarhyde embodies the essence of William Blake’s posthumously printed poem, “A Divine Image” reprinted in the front matter of Red Dragon. Dolarhyde certainly gives “cruelty a human heart” and provides “jealousy a human face,” but Harris’ Red Dragon exposes more than Dolarhyde’s bestial nature, it reveals the cruelty and jealousy constantly pulsing throughout society. The beast is best expressed in the jacket design of the British edition of the work. Animal or devil-like features fill the dark background with the head placed half in shadow and half in light.

Accessibility     xhtml   |   css   |   508   |   aaa