Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Concept of the Monster

When comparing the vampires in Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire with those we have encountered before, the concept of the monster becomes somewhat clouded.  Most the vampires we have encountered, Dracula, those in I Am Legend, and Ruthven, we see a group with a savage nature.  They are content with the cycle of vampirism (find a human, befriend them, and feed on them).  Furthermore, their feeding is seen as a necessity of vampirism.  Lestat of Interview with the Vampire seems to follow this archetype.  He is completely alright with feeding on the slaves of Louis' plantation.  "They were the suspicious ones; and, as I've indicated, Lestat killed anyone and everyone he chose" (49).  Although this is true, Louis is much less comfortable to feed on the species he once was; human.
Here is where the concept of the monster becomes a bit clouded.  Louis, unlike any other vampire we have encountered, seems to have a conscious in terms of his feeding habits.  He is unable to bring himself to feed on humans at first.  As a result, Louis instead chooses to sustain his vampirism with animal blood.  "Lestat for slaves and chicken thieves and me for animals" (42).  Even when Louis is pressed to kill Lestat's father, something that he must do for his new friend, Louis laments the task. "No I said.  You forgive him or you kill your own father" (56).  Louis seems to hold on to the characteristics that are completely human much more than any other vampire we have encountered.  He has compassion, a conscious, and the ability to separate right from wrong.  As a result, he is a new breed of vampire, unlike the others we have read about.  I am curious to see if Louis' character becomes like the others or retains this element of humanity.      

1 comment:

  1. I have really been enjoying the way that "Interview with the Vampire" plays around with certain themes that are involved with vampire stories. Louis is a very interesting character. He forces us to reevaluate what we think about vampires. Now that we can see that not all vampires are okay with the way that their "condition" effects those around us, it makes us sympathize with them more and see them as being more "human" than monster. I think that the end of I Am Legend had a similar effect, but it is more more personal and psychological in this story.

    I also really enjoy Louis' relationship with Lestat, as well as Lestat himself. They are such polar opposites that it makes their relationship very explosive at times.