Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Let the Right One In

Let the Right One In reminded me a lot of Carmilla.  It seemed to deal with the same issues and characters but with an updated feel.  Oskar, the main character of the novel, is very similar to Laura in that they are both young kids searching for companion.  Furthermore, like many of the Victorian vampires we have read about, Eli fills that void and befriends Oskar.  Although this is true, Let the Right One In seems to take on a different tone than these novels. Oskar is obsessed with forensic/murder cases.  This seems to be a weird obsession for a young child, and more of a modern idea.  Furthermore, Hakan, Eli's caretaker, is a convicted pedophile.  Here in lies another very modern idea in literature.
I also want to discuss a bit about the main relationships that are presented in the novel; Hakan and Eli and Oskar and Eli.  The relationship between Hakan and Eli is very interesting.  Hakan is basically a blood scout for Eli but desires to be much more.  He is paid for his services, but would gladly do it for free if Eli would allow him to be intimate with her.  This is gross.  Even though Eli is over 200 years old, she is still a young girl.  Their relationship can be characterized as very one-sided.  Eli does not necessarily need Hakan but he very much needs her.  This is evident at the end of the novel when Eli feeds on Hakan, who later jumps froma window to avoid becoming a vampire.
The relationship between Eli and Oskar is completely different.  Unlike her and Hakan, Eli and Oskar seem to need each other.  Oskar is searching for a companion/way out of a bad home and Eli looks to free herself from Hakan.  This is also evident at the end of the novel when Eli flees with Oskar presumably to like "happily ever after.

1 comment:

  1. I hadn't thought of the connection between Let the Right One In and Carmilla, but I really like what you said about how both characters are searching for close companions. I think one of the main themes in the vampire novels we've read this semester is the presence of a deep pervading loneliness amongst both the "human" and "vampire" characters. One of the questions we have to ask ourselves is what does this loneliness signify? We might begin by exploring Oskar's sense of alienation in the novel and from what "modern conditions" it stems from--the breakdown of the familial unit, the lack of a community in the high rises, the violence against him as perpetrated by his peers who are perhaps also suffering from a deep sense of alienation (but choose to express it through violence), and a beleaguered sense of economic stagnation. We should also question how and why the vampire--in this novels and other contemporary novels such as the True Blood series and the Twilight series--offers so much "promise" for our alienated, postmodern heroes and heroines?