Paper 3

Submitted By jiaona
Words: 1720
Pages: 7

Jiaona Ma
Professor Dabek
ENG 106
21 March 2014
Conversation Essay Interview with the Vampire is a film that was released in 1994. The screenplay is based on a gothic horror and vampire novel written by an American author named Anne Rice published in 1978. There are three main characters in the novel. There is Lestat, the narrator and antihero in the film. He is an aristocratic vampire who is the oldest and the most powerful vampire in the world. Next, there is Louis, who is created by Lestat and indirectly creates Claudia, and finally, there is Claudia, a six-year old child vampire who was also created by Lestat directly. In the movie, Lestat, Louis and Claudia make up a vampire family. There is not an actual woman in this vampire family; there are two men and a young girl. In this sense, Lestat is considered as the father, Louis can be considered as the mother, and of course, Claudia is the daughter vampire. From the outside, this family looks like a regular family where something has happened to the mother figure. This kind of family unit however, has same-sex parents and a daughter and obviously challenges the idea of the traditional family unit. What’s more, the relationship between Louis and Claudia is not only a father-daughter relationship, but it is also a relationship between an older man and a much younger woman. As Debbie Joyce Chung explains in the article “Such Blood, Such Power”: The Lot Complex in Anne Rice’s “Interview with the Vampire”: this portrays an incestuous relationship, but it is an extreme one, and it is because physically, Claudia is only a six year old girl. This age factor really does complicate the definition of the traditional family structure. On the other hand, in Candace R. Benefiel’s article: Blood Relations: The Gothic Perversion of the Nuclear Family in Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire, the author argues several aspects about Interview with the Vampire such as the nuclear family, and Louis has more of a passive and maternal presence among the three of them, like a mother. After viewing the film through the lens of Benefiel and Chung’s articles, this vampire family unit could best be analyzed by using a queer lens. This is because the film portrays many elements of homosexuality. Such Blood, Such Power is an article mainly working on the Lot complex in Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire, and is written by Chung. The author states that both the gothic tradition and the Lot complex emphasize desire and transgression, subversion and unconscious, doubling and the projection. Moreover, Chung thinks that vampires are created through incest and transcend normal gender roles. In the other words, the incest episode of Lot and his daughter do help illuminate the Gothic literary genre. Chung found that there is one obvious different point between the film and the gothic novel, which is the ending about Lot. In the novel, Lot dies, but Lestat is back in the film, and the reason is the original vampire has to punish the offspring’s betrayal. On the other hand, Chung holds the statements that vampires are outsiders, and he thinks that the relationship between Louis and Claudia is complex. They have both a father-daughter relationship and an older man-younger woman lover relationship. In this sense, Claudia is Louis’s daughter and lover. Still on the relationship level, the author portrays human relationships instead of abnormal vampire characteristics. Another analysis of the Interview with the Vampire is represented in Benefiel’s Blood Relations. Benefiel offers a critical analysis of the evolving idea of the vampire, and brings to light the reasons why Rice’s novel is such a significant contribution to vampire literature. In the article, Benefiel says that Rice’s novel focuses on the vampires themselves as a different breed entirely, not just vampire hunters. Benefiel portrays this vampire family in several aspects. First of all, she said that the vampire