Sunday, September 1, 2013

Vampiric Relationships - Week 2

I think the relationships portrayed in both Anne Rice's Interview with a Vampire and Matt Reeve's "Let me In", both bring an interesting dynamic to the genre.  The concept of having any type of "moral" vampire is an ironic and fun twist to our normal view of a vampire.  Louis is the kind of vampire protagonist that we can identify with and almost feel sorry for.  He begins as a character that is initially seeking some kind of escape from the reality of his brother's death, and the concept of vampirism is a welcome escape, and yet over the course of the novel we see how the "gift" of vampirism soon becomes a curse.  Even more threatening is Lestat, the older and more experienced vampire, who can't seem to help but bully Louis into becoming "what he should be" and by doing so in the most gruesome and heart-wrenching ways for poor Louis.  By the end of the novel, I felt I was really able to identify with Louis, because I think we all have a friend who might try to convince us that we should do things just because that is the way things are, but Louis really struggles to try and control himself.  Even more disturbing is the relationship that forms when Lestat makes Claudia into a vampire so that Louis will not attempt to leave him.  Claudia was a really interesting character because she was so different from Louis in that she did not have the same moral reservations as him, and because her worldview was so different having been changed as a child and forced to stay in that physical body while still growing both mentally and emotionally.  I feel like Claudia and Abby's character from "Let me In" might have had at least a few things in common, at least in their knowledge and quickness of wit and ability to appear to their victims as cute innocent children before they devour them.  I think Claudia and Abby are also alike in how quick both characters were to anger - Claudia when she takes the life of the mother and daughter servant in response to Lestat and Abby as she attempts to defend Owen from his bullies.  Claudia's relationship to her vampiric "parents" is particularly interesting I think because she does question (often violently) her origins and her relationship to Lestat and Louis.  She is a very dynamic character because she goes from a helpless 5-year old into a very independent and dangerous young vampire.  It's interesting to think that while Louis resents his vampirism and does try to control it, Claudia feels more trapped and angered by it, unleashing this anger in a manner of different ways.  Overall, the characters are interesting I think mostly in how each responds to their vampirism.  As humans trapped in an undying body, the idea of having a conscious and morally reprehensible vampire is an interesting one, because we can really watch how they respond to situations that we too can identify with - Louis as he tries to choose whether to eat humans or abstain, Claudia as she struggles to determine her origins and find where she belongs, and even Lestat's somewhat jaded view of vampirism - each has it's own interesting potential for character development.

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