Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Are There Vampires in All of Us?

     In "Why Vampires Never Die", Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan discuss the impact Vampires have had on our culture and analyze why exactly we have such a fascination with these mythical creatures.The authors first point out that the modern day vampire idea came about in a competition to see who could tell a scarier story (a competition that also spawned Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein"). However, they also point out that this was not an entirely original idea, but instead one that had been around for centuries with different cultural variation. They theorize that the idea may be a distant memory of when humans had to become cannibalistic for survival (an idea that may be too much of a stretch). Furthermore, they state that our fascination comes from the fact that the vampire, unlike other monsters, embodies the most of what we value as humans. The vampire represents lust, eternal youth, sexuality, and the need to change others into how we want them to be. The authors conclude with saying how vampires in pop-culture is as popular today as ever, having cemented it's place in modern fiction.

     In the article, it is stated that the vampire represents both a human need for lust and the need for eternal life. It is interesting to note that this is not only the case with vampires. For example, over the last hundred years, zombie movies have become a very popular sub-genre of horror. Similar to the vampire myth, zombies are a cultural manifestation of our nightmares. As mindless bodies who have lost all sense of their humanity, they have become empty shelves who either seek to change people into other zombies, or kill them so that ultimately, the zombie race will be the only race left. It is important to see that zombies and vampires are just dramatized versions of the monster's in all of us. Although we may behave in ways that are socially acceptable, as the text points out, there are angels and monsters in all of us. However, the difference in real life is that we get to decide which side we let control us.


3 comments:

  1. " The need to change others into how we want them to be." So people want others to conform according to their ideas? I haven't considered that point from this reading. Interesting.

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    1. Good questions, lackcholine! But after class, tell me who you are so I can give you credit for the comment ;-)

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  2. Good stuff here, Aaron. But I'm not sure I see how zombies embody lust like vampire do. Can you explain that further?

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