Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
How we cite our quotes:
That I am being used to further the unseen ends of one vampire in particular? I must admit the possibility. Yet after deliberating the whole, I have come to this conclusion:
It matters not.
If indeed I am nothing more than Henry's servant, so be it. So long as the result is fewer vampires, I shall serve happily. (6.5-7)
Abe's duty to kill vampires is so great that he's even willing to work with a vampire, whose motivations aren't exactly all out in the open. Think about it: at this point, Henry might be using Abe to kill off good vampires, and Abe is all, "Whatever, the only good vampire is a dead vampire." This is a strong, almost crazy sense of duty. Why doesn't Abe just kill Henry? That's one less vampire, right?
I could not fail her. I threw the weapon on the floor and wept, damning myself for cowardice. Damning everything. Damning God. (6.112)
Abe can be melodramatic when he's depressed (or, you know, when he's leading the country through the bloodiest war in American history). But when he gets a bit too emo, he reins himself in with his sense of duty. No matter how sad he is about losing Ann, he can't kill himself because he owes his mom a duty to live.
I have given too much of myself already. Henceforth, I shall hunt only when it is convenient for me to do so, and only because it honors the memory of my angel mother... only because it honors Ann's memory. I care not for the unsuspecting gentleman on the darkened city street. I care not for the Negro sold at auction, or the child taken from its bed. Protecting them has not profited me in the least. On the contrary, it has left me even poorer, for the items my errands require are furnished at my own expense. And the days and weeks spent hunting are days and weeks without a wage. If what Henry says is the truth—if I am truly meant to free men from tyranny—then I must begin by freeing myself. There is nothing for me here [in New Salem]. The store is failed, and I fear the village is not far behind. Henceforth my life shall be my own. (7.10)
On one hand, Abe has the duty he feels towards his mom and Ann (both killed by vampires); on the other hand, there's the duty he feels—or doesn't feel right now—towards those less fortunate than him, like the slaves; and on the other, other hand, there's the duty he feels towards himself. So how does Abe prioritize these conflicting duties? Here, he says he has to take care of Number One. But be honest—do you really think that's gonna last?