Monday, November 9, 2009

Interview with a Vampire: Family

The ideology of the nuclear family is an interesting theme when compared to Rice's backdrop in Interview with a Vampire. Family values vary across the characters. However, I find that Rice really sends a message about family through the Freniere family. The compassion that Louis bestows on this family does coincide with how Lestat is "raising" him.

Louis demonstrates sympathy and character when he takes notice of the boy of the Freniere household and Louis describes it as, "Their position was agonizing. And I felt for the boy...He knew full well if he fell under the rapier at 4 a.m. the next morning, his family would fall with him" (43). I think Louis is expressing genuine concern for family. Rice vicariously uses the leading Vampire characters to address family. Louis and Lestat have conflicting ideals, however, they both demonstrate compassion for family.

Lestat shows his compassion in more of an unforgiving "tough love" manner, because he cares for his old, dying father and takes good care of him. But Lestat is boastful, bold, mean and unforgiving towards his father. I still think unconditional love is expressed here for family, because even though Lestat resents his father, he provides for him. Also, Lestat makes sure he is not the one to kill his father when the time comes.

Louis goes on to attempt providing further protection for the Freniere family. He tells the sister Babette to take over the household and to not sell-out, "You must take this place. If you do not, the land is lost and the family is lost" (47). She does what Louis tells her and is rewarded with success and maintains her family. I think this demonstrates Louis care for the traditional nuclear family, he wishes for them to survive.

I do not find instances of Rice displaying poor imagery about families throughout this novel. Family seems to be portrayed as an innocent, sacred entity that is to be valued and not betrayed. Family is represented as unconditional and the exception when crossing the lines of relationships between vampires and humans.

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