Monday, November 16, 2009

Interview with the Vampire: Slavery

The theme of slavery is an interesting theme in this novel. It exists in the human nature and translates to the vampires' lives as well. Who is master and who is the slave is interchangeable among the characters, whether they are vampire or mortal.

In the beginning of the novel, the slaves on the Pointe Du Lac property are referenced. The Vampires are the masters to the slaves and have them maintain the property. The slaves do rise against their masters, because they suspected danger, " 'The slaves, they must go to the cabins and keep watch' "(53). This is soon after Louis killed the slave boy that came to check upon the house whom caught a glimpse of Lestat's vampiric teeth. Louis knew by the expressive reaction on the boy's face that he knew what they were. Louis played a master role by dominating the slave.

However, Louis is rarely master-like or dominant in this novel. I find that he mostly plays a slave to Lestat, his master that made him a vampire. Louis continually discusses his feelings that he desires to get away from Lestat, however, he never takes the initiation to do such a thing. He stays with Lestat, despite mostly disagreeing with Lestat's raw, gruesome nature. "I hadn't thought of it, dreamed of it in so long; I'd grown accustomed to him, as if he were a condition of life itself...I thought of what I always felt when I heard him coming, a vague anxiety, a vague need" (117). Claudia is a psuedo-master to Louis when she convinces him that they can run away from Lestat, that they can take back their freedom from him. But Louis does mention the "need" he felt for Lestat.

I think this idea of slavery also relates to what I wrote in my previous blog about family. Even though Lestat is a dominant, parent-like figure for Claudia and Louis, there is the idea of who is the master and who is the slave? Can ideas of family and slavery relate? Maybe they correlate together and tease out the idea of how dominance and hierarchy is contextualized in relatonships?

I definitely think the idea of "control" in relationships is addressed through the ideas of slavery and family in this novel. I think it is intriguing, because it makes you think why do you stay in a relationship even if you don't like it? Why do you defend those that may not treat you with kindness? How far does loyalty really travel in a relationship and how come? What justifies ceasing relations?

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