Study Guide

Madeleine in Interview with the Vampire

By Anne Rice

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The Smallest One was Madeleine

The vampire with the shortest life span in the book is Madeleine (though we're not sure exactly what happened to that musician boy Lestat turned). Shortly after Louis turns her to take care of Claudia, she and Claudia are taken by Santiago's crew and left in the sun to turn to ash.

Louis thinks Madeleine might be a good guardian for Claudia for a few reasons. She has lost her own child. She makes baby dolls, and Claudia says, "I resemble her baby dolls, I am her baby dolls" (3.21). Oh, and Claudia demands that Louis change Madeleine, so he feels he has no other choice. Claudia is very persuasive.

It's not a smart decision. Louis wants to find a guardian for Claudia quickly so he can run away with Armand. Madeleine possesses a debatable level of sanity, and Louis isn't ready to be a father again, so to speak. He turns her in a fit of rage, saying, "With a man's pride I wanted to prove that to [Madeleine], to humiliate her for what she had said to me, for the cheap vanity of her provocation and the eyes that looked away from me now in disgust." (3.347). Um, dude, this is not a good reason to make a vampire. Did you learn nothing from Lestat?

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