The New Vampire: Bram Stoker's Dracula and Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire

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The vampire has been a mysterious and enticing figure since its entrance into popular culture, usually regarded as the tale Dracula written in 1897 by Bram Stoker. Stoker, and later Anne Rice, as well as many other writers and directors have capitalized on the fascination the public has with these dark creatures of the night. Whether they are in books or on the big screen vampires capture our imagination, tantalizing us with a taste of the darker side of life. But if vampires are so dark and so different than we are, is that what makes them so fascinating? Is it because they symbolize the forbidden? Is it because they resemble humans, but act nothing like them? Or is it because we all have a fascination with things that we don't…show more content…
(Reep, Ceccio, Francis 125) Along with this change in the vampire itself comes a change in the narrative. Instead of the vampire being merely a creature within the story, the no-question-about-it outside antagonist who must be defeated, the vampire is now the center of the story. Anne Rice's vampires become our narrators; but more than that, they become the protagonists. They are no longer set completely apart from humankind. They talk like humans, dress like humans, look like humans (at least in the dark of night anyway) and act like humans. In fact, Louis and Lestat in particular go to great lengths to achieve the appearance of normal human beings while they are living at Louis' house. “And great pretense was necessary....Lestat and I sat down to dinner each night with the old man and made nice noises with our knives and forks, while he told us to eat everything on our plates and not to drink our wine too fast.” (Rice 43) They had to appear as everyone else, for Lestat's father and for the slaves, so they would not become suspicious. The fact that Rice's vampires are so much like us makes it easier for us to sympathize with their plights, Louis in particular. Unlike Lestat, who enjoys the taking of human life, Louis does not relish the kill. Yes, the blood is necessary, and he does try to avoid it by killing rats and other

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