The Wolves of Midwinter

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Philosophy of the Vampire Chronicles: Part 2:
Preservation of Childlike Innocence: Analysis of Claudia Part 2:


      An innumerable amount of vampire myths explore the dangers involved with transfiguration of children into vampires. By principle, the mutability of their bodies is stalled. In a sense, they become immutable in terms of bodily changes. There is no deterioration process in which their bodies slowly go through some process of entropy that is similar to the  method in which our universe will inevitably go. The implications of this is that there happens to be physical manifestations of this through the sudden precedence and through development of sexual arousal within vampire. 

      Claudia is a conundrum because  though physically she never goes through any growth processes that are the signature signs of maturation. Intellectually, she seems to mature at an exponential rate. Without knowing she was a vampire, some people might believe she is just a precocious girl: she is someone who has the intellectual capacity to absorb knowledge. Or, there is some intrinsic desire within her to use books, artwork, and music to form some tentative idea of the purpose of our existence and very being.

   When Louis selects Claudia, he is enamored with this subtle adult-like intelligence.  I highly doubt that Claudia's vampire nature suddenly instills her with the tools to expand her knowledge. Within herself, there always lies some wonderment and inquisitiveness about the world. Louis uses her to relive that lost possession of his : the lost artifact of childlike innocence. During his mortal life, he was only accustomed to the oppressive darkness and arid territory of the world. In many ways, his extended life may have caused him to defy certain ingrained moral codes in order to survive. Even so, he could still have some remaining time to extract conclusions about the mysteries of the world that seem to infinitely puzzle him.

   Claudia's entry into his life presents that granule of hope that there must still be some hope for restoration and salvation within his life. By vicariously living through her, he can re-explore all those  perplexing mysteries about the world. In many other ways, he can stall the brunt of pain and guilt associated with feeding from humans. Similarly to the way in which widows suddenly purchase pets for emotional comfort. Louis uses the responsibility of being Claudia's caretaker to provide him with some tangible purpose within his life which will help him stave off the angst that is produced by the rumination over the unsolvable mysteries forced by the intangible elements.

 Within the next post, I will explore in-depth the paradox of Claudia's very existence: How can someone dually be both an adult yet a child? In many ways, Claudia could be depicted as spiritually being an adult yet physically being a child. Perhaps, its this very element that represents some greater concern about human development that Anne Rice further explores within the Mayfair Witch novels. 

   

7 comments:

FiKaLo said...

I am enjoying reading your recent blog posts. :)

Melthedvs1@gmail.com said...

Loved that book.. And all others by mrs. rice. I can relate to alot of the charactor claudia's feelings, being a 24 year old that looks 12 (haha). Also being married to a 35 year old man, I sometimes feel like a woman trapped in a childs body, and vice versa (sp?) Anyway, I liked your blog..

Daniel A. said...

Anne Rice linked to this blog on her Facebook page.
(((SPOILER)))
I've always been fascinated by Claudia as a character. Her fate elicited emotions in me that seemed out of proportion. I've seen hundreds of vampires of varying shapes, sizes and levels of character development die, but Claudia's death touched me viscerally.

I think it may have something to do with her nature as innocent. She is innocent at her mothers death bed, she is innocent when Louis transforms her. This innocence is captured in her childlike visage...and frozen there.
Those things that we associate with loss of innocence, like sexuality, responsibility, and age itself, are lost to her forever. She will always maintain her seeming innocence. Not only that, but any evil that she does can be dismissed/forgiven as an inevitable result of her tragic life for which she has no blame.

I have a lot more thoughts on Claudia. Good topic!

Anonymous said...

Hello, I want to read the first part of this article, I'm reading Interview with the vampire and I'm interesting in all about this book.

Justin B. said...

To everyone here, I'm not used to having one comment or more here. So, I thank you for contributing here.

@ Daniel: I just noticed that Anne Rice shared this with the "People of the Page." I'm grateful that she did that.

Anyways, Claudia has always mystified me even within the film adaptation. I actually watched the film before reading the book. During that time, I knew there had to much more development within the corresponding novel than the film.

I think the reason that she elicits so much sorrow or sympathy within the reader lies with that inner fear of never living beyond our childlike memories. Meaning, we fear that in our imminent future, we will never have that tangible sensation that our reality before us is real and definitive. Nothing ever seems to compare with the energy of our youthful memories.

There is so much more I would love to elaborate on. I'm thinking of pulling some of the questions and comments from here and Anne Rice's page to help develop the second piece to the Claudia analysis. Claudia has so much depth that it could even take three pasts to accurately surmise her impact and importance within the first novel: "Interview with the Vampire."

Thanks for commenting everyone!! Also, the link to the first part of this discussion is here:
http://fantastyfreak.blogspot.com/2011/02/philosophy-of-anne-rices-vampire.html

Denise K. Rago said...

Claudia is such a wise person, yet she is vulnerable as she is a child and yet.....She is compelling.

Maggie said...

Enjoyed reading your post, and always a highlight of my week to read your blog!
Keep Blogging!