Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
How we cite our quotes:
"Living men are bound by time," he said. "Thus, their lives have an urgency. This gives them ambition. Makes them choose those things that are most important; cling more tightly to that which they hold dear. Their lives have seasons, and rites of passage, and consequences. And ultimately, an end. But what of a life with no urgency? What then of ambition? What then of love?" (3.86)
Luckily, we've all read Interview with the Vampire and Twilight—or at least we've watched the movies—so we know what it's like to live forever. That's good because Abe and Henry only spend a few paragraphs discussing what it's like to live without death. Answer: it's weird. Without death, it's hard to organize your days according to what's most important.
Poe laughed at the suggestion. "Is not our existence long and miserable enough?" he asked, laughing. "Who in God's name would seek to prolong it?" (4.89)
Poe is even more depressive than Abe, so when the issue of immortality comes up, Poe's answer is pretty clear: life is terrible, so more life is even more terrible. It's a good thing Poe says this because now we know that he doesn't actually have a secret, creepy desire to be a vampire (which you'd forgive us for thinking, given the way he goes on about them). Poe laughs at this (he is a weird guy), but this is a serious issue that Abe faces. If life is bad, then is death maybe the best way out?
An old, familiar dread. I was a boy of nine again, watching my mother sweat and suffer through the same nightmares. Whispering the same futile prayers; feeling the same unbearable guilt. It was I who had brought this upon her. (6.93)
Here's Ann Rutledge dying and Abe feeling useless. Which is interesting because of how Abe is so strong and skilled in many other ways. This weakness sort of foreshadows the rest of Abe's life: he can kill vampires all he wants, but they'll always be around, and they'll always kill the people he loves. But wait, there's more. It's not just that Abe is useless, it's that he's actually part of the problem—he's the one who got Ann killed by writing a letter to John MacNamar. Ruh roh.