Sunday, December 7, 2014

Day 14 on IWTV: Claudia

Saint Paul confessed, "I do not understand my own actions. I am baffled, bewildered. I do not practice or accomplish what I wish, but I do the very thing that I loathe, which my moral instinct condemns."

I was reminded of that passage from the Epistle to the Romans when Louis walked the dark streets of New Orleans, shaken by Babette's accusation that he was the devil. Louis feelings were often conflicted. What are we, really? Are we what we feel we are? Are we what other people say we are?

It was at this point in Louis's vampire life that he found Claudia.
Kirsten Dunst as Claudia in the
film adaptation

Louis felt conflicted about this young five-year-old girl. Am I damned? If so, why do I feel such pity for her? And then he asks, If I am damned I must want to kill her. Which is something Lestat could have done. In this way has not Louis condemned Lestat as a ruthless killer?

*Spoiler Alert* Louis fed on the young girl. Was this an aesthetic choice? When he accepted his damnation, bound no longer by thoughts of what is moral and not, was that when he allowed himself to feed on a human? Was this his aesthetic choice? Could he blame Babette's hatred of him? Lestat's relentless goading?

I needed to check. Was Claudia Louis's first human victim in four years, the first being the black slave which Lestat caught for him as part of his lessons? It seemed that after that slave Louis fed on nothing but animals. Was it Louis's ego that makes him think he is less evil by feeding on animals? (I once met a couple from church who were devout vegetarians, and they talked as if they were above reproach because they ate nothing but vegetables, as if they were closer to God because of their diet.)

And then Lestat does something absolutely morbid that I am not going to spoil for those who have not read it. He and Louis fought hard, and then Lestat consigned him to his coffin. And Louis makes observations here about the vampire's state during the daytime. Pay attention, fellow writers! Anne Rice here (whether consciously or unconsciously) laying down what is called foreshadowing. A very important writing lesson!

No comments:

Post a Comment