Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Interview with the Vampire part 2

Out of all the characters in Interview with the Vampire, I can relate most to the reporter boy, or Daniel as it is later discovered his name is. What I think is interesting about his character is that in Interview, we don’t know his name and that makes him easy to relate to perhaps because we can put ourselves in his place. We see Louis’ story through the recordings, and the reporter boy is only there as a person for Louis to tell his story to. Daniel could really be anyone at all, which is why it is easy to place ourselves in the story as him.

The reporter boy is almost childlike in a way. He is very curious and innocent and naïve. Several times during the interview he interrupts Louis and asks questions we as the audience no doubt have as well.

“Lestat said something blasphemous and gave him the rosary…”

“But…” The boy started.

“Yes?” Said the vampire. “I’m afraid I don’t allow you to ask enough questions.”

“I was going to ask, rosaries have crosses on them, don’t they?”

“Oh the rumor about crosses!” the vampire laughed. “You refer to our being afraid of crosses?”

“Unable to look on them, I thought,” said the boy.

“Nonsense my friend, sheer nonsense. I can look on anything I like. And I rather like looking on crucifixes in particular.” (p.23)

“As you can see, my face is rather white and has a smooth, highly reflective surface, rather like that of polished marble.”

“Yes.” The boy nodded and appeared flustered. “It’s very….beautiful actually,” said the boy. (p.46)

I think that because of this, it is easy to see the boy (or the reader) becoming infatuated with the prospect of an immortal life. People are enamored with the romantic aspect of vampirism, and because they only think of the romantic aspect they fail to see all the miseries that are connected with it. Louis tries to stress the point that an immortal life is not necessarily a wonderful life. He has to feed, and animals are not substantial enough; that means taking a life is necessary. Murder is necessary. And not all vampires lose their sense of consciousness. Louis is tortured because he is plagued by the idea of taking another human life, because he still feels connected to them. Unlike Lestat and Claudia, or the vampires of the Theatre des Vampires, Louis is unable to kill without remorse.

He tries to explain this to the reporter boy but of course, Daniel is blinded by his infatuation and he does not fully understand the consequences of the total devastation and loneliness that come with becoming immortal. He is a foolish character, but I cannot say that I would do any differently. He has the chance of a lifetime in front of him, even if it may very well result in his death.

“Don’t you see how you made it sound? It was an adventure like I’ll never know in my whole life! You talk about passion, you talk about longing! You talk about things that millions of us won’t ever taste or come to understand. […] If you were to give me that power! The power to see and feel and live forever!” (p.337)

I can see myself feeling the exact same way if I were faced with the option of immortal life. It isn’t quite smart to jump into a decision like that and he didn’t go about it the right way but I can understand why he did; I would have done the same.


  1. I always wonder why vampires are made out to be so glamorous and alluring and why their lives seem so much more romantic and dynamic than the human version. Aside from some of the recent Sookie Stackhouse novels and the True Blood series, it's rare to see a vampire going through the mundane realities of life. Objectively speaking, though, their existence is fairly bleak and gruesome. Consider what Louis has to say on page 237 to Armand:

    "We stand here, the two of us, immortal, ageless, rising nightly to feed that immortality on human blood; and there on your desk against the knowledge of the ages sits a flawless child as demonic as ourselves; and you ask me how I could believe I would find a meaning in the supernatural! I tell you , after seeing what I have become, I could damn well believe anything! I can now accept the most fantastical truth of all: that there is no meaning to any of this!"

    I admit, the "vampire life" has its temptation, and I think we are *meant* to sympathize with Daniel's longing. But what does that longing represent? Is that we wish to live a glamorous life not caring of the consequences? Or is it something deeper--that vampires accept with no illusions the existential futility of existence? With no promise of an afterlife or redemption, are they the manifestation of modern man's ultimate fears?

  2. I completely agree with you in the fact that people are infatuated with immortal life. I think perhaps that is why vampire stories and novels have been around for so long, and have been so popular. I wonder, if placed in Daniels position, if we would have the same reaction as he does. Honestly, it kind of annoys me that he completely disregarded Louis' whole story. It seems completely disrespectful to Louis' whole life, and all of his struggles. Daniel also seems like he does not think about anything but the present. He doesn't really think about how he would feel having to kill another human, and this is pretty awful of him, especially after listening to Louis' story. So one might ask, was he really listening to Louis? Or was he just obsessed with the idea of being in a vampire's presence?