Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Giving Up The Ghost

The first time I read "Giving Up the Ghost" I found it extremely boring and could barely keep my eyes open. However, upon reading it for a second time, I found it much more interesting. I never thought about how the vampire evolved over time and looking back that seems a huge point to miss. It is interesting how when the vampire character was first introduced it was something friendly. The vampire is obviously still mysterious, but it wasn't so menacing as one might think nowadays.
I really liked the quote on page 13: "He was a being of no common order, and one who, whatever pains might take to avoid remark, would still be remarkable." This quote validates everything I know about vampires and humans. In books, movies, TV shows, or any other medium, humans are always intensely interested in their vampires. The example that comes to mind first would be that in the Twilight Series. Bella is obviously in love with Edward, but I think it is also very clear that she is in love with the "idea" of vampires. She has a respect and sort of a fascination with all of the vampires she encounters, even the ones that threaten her life. Bella is not the only human that is intrigued by the Cullens, either. Everyone at her high school is awe-struck by them. Not only for their beauty but because it's obvious that they are something else. This statement could also be proven through "Interview With a Vampire." The vampire is telling the interviewer this crazy story of his long life and how he killed all these people, fed on rats, and encountered these terrifying beings. And still, the interviewer stays and listens. I personally would not stick around to hear how someone killed countless other humans knowing full and well that I could be next.
Again, it's this crazy, irrational fascination humans seem to have with vampires.
"Giving Up the Ghost" also made me see that the fascination might just go both ways. "This oath-to preserve Ruthven's honor by concealing his predatory life and apparent death-has absolute binding power..." "...the oath signifies instead a bond between companions that is shared and chosen, one far from the Dracula-like mesmeric coercion we associate with vampires today." This oath says that not only do humans need vampires, but it is vice-versa as well. We have seen time and time again vampires entrusting the secret of their identity to one human against their better judgement. I think that this only strengthens the argument that vampires have more human tendencies then we think. The oath shows that vampires have that human need to feel close to another being. This feeling is often achieved by sharing something personal. All in all...vampires need love too!

1 comment:

  1. Cedes,
    This is a great post, and I think you're really on the verge of trying to understand the public fascination with vampires. You say in your blog that Bella "is in love with the 'idea' of vampires." I think we need to consider what is it about vampires that humans find so fascinating? In other words, what do vampires represent? Wealth? Beauty? Charisma? Blind consumerism? Sexuality? In Polidori's story, what does Lord Ruthven stand for? What is it about him that draws high society to him? Is it his apathy? His rebelliousness? I would encourage you to not just see vampires as literal beings who need love, companionship, etc, but as extensions and reflections of our own deep desires.

    I also like how you say that the oath is symbolic of "that human need to feel close to another human being." In what ways can we see the vampire as symbolic of modern alienation?