Cultural Awareness Essay
The popular book Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice is a novel that is responsible for the revitalization of the vampire genre in popular fiction. The book itself tells an interesting story about three vampires: Lestat, Louis, and Claudia. The tale is told from the perspective of Louis, a Creole American plantation owner in pre-Civil War America who catches the eye of Lestat, a vampire who is roaming the world alone, in need of a companion. Louis is depressed because of losing his family and therefore is suceptible to Lestat’s eagerness to make him into a vampire, which he does.
The plot of the book revolves around these two characters as they live together. Louis hates what he has become and loathes taking life but makes Claudia, a little five year old girl, into a vampire as well. The relationship between Lestat and Louis, and their shared love of Claudia, is depicted throughout the novel as Louis struggles with his immortality, Lestat faces the betrayal of Louis and Claudia, and Claudia matures mentally without every growing physically. Their struggles with each other and against each other becomes the driving force behind the novel.
The setting of Interview with the Vampire is primarily Paris and New Orleans before and after the Civil War. The vampires live together in a flat, where much of the action takes place between all of the characters. The reader is led through the torment of the plague in Paris, the customs of the slaves in New Orleans, and the underbelly of these two cities where Lestat, Louis, and Claudia find the people that they feed off of each night for their sustenance and strength. The characters found within this book are Lestat, Louis, Claudia, and Armand.
These main characters show themselves throughout the novel to be interesting and complex. The character of Claudia emerges as a young girl whose mother has died of the plague and who Louis feels extremely sickened about when he feeds off of her. Lestat then helps him create a vampire out of her. Armand is the leader of the coven in Paris and becomes a close companion of Louis after Lestat and he go their separate ways. Each character brings a new dimension to the story.