Study Guide

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Death

By Seth Grahame-Smith

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In Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, death is both a source of pain and also possible relief from pain. Abe spends a lot of his life losing friends and family—and not lose as in "misplace" but lose as in they die on him, which leaves the living Abe in a lot of pain. Because of all that pain, Abe begins to see death as a restful vacation. But it's even better than a quick jaunt to Tahiti because it's permanent. Then again, in a book with vampires (who exist in a gray area between life and death), death may be none of those: it may not be permanent, it may not be a total loss, and it may not be restful. Well then what's the point?

Questions About Death

  1. Is death talked about in a special way in this book? Are there any metaphors or imagery that get used to describe death? Anything surprising?
  2. How do different characters react to death? For instance, do Mary Todd and Abe react the same way to their children's deaths? What about Thomas Lincoln and Abe Lincoln?
  3. Are there any religious issues that characters talk about when death comes a'knockin'? Do characters pray over coffins or talk about meeting each other in the afterlife?
  4. How does the presence of vampires affect our notion of death in this book? Is death less sad because it's not totally permanent?

Chew on This

Of all the characters in this book, Abe's the only one who truly understands death.

In a book with vampires, death is not the end, which makes the death of characters less meaningful.

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