Study Guide

Interview with the Vampire Dissatisfaction

By Anne Rice

Dissatisfaction

"'Lestat was never the vampire I am. Not at all.' The vampire did not say this boastfully. He said it as if he would truly have had it otherwise." (1.108)

You might have heard that you can't choose your parents. Well, you can't choose your vampire maker either, and sometimes you get stuck with a stinker.

"I did not like Lestat at all." (1.131)

This is the understatement of the novel. Louis's attitude toward Lestat goes way beyond dissatisfaction and all the way to revulsion. Oh, and to murder. We can't forget murder.

"Overcome with revulsion and weak with frustration, I obeyed." (1.147)

Louis is dissatisfied with some of the, um, grosser aspects of being a vampire. Like drinking blood. But Lestat makes him do it, and he doesn't have any choice but to comply if he wants to live. Sort of like life in general, huh?

"[Lestat] belittled and attacked me for my love of the senses, my reluctance to kill, and the near swoon which killing could produce in me." (1.169)

Louis isn't the only one who is dissatisfied. Lestat is dissatisfied with having such a wimp as a vampire. But really, why is Lestat so down on Louis? Does Louis's guilty conscience make Lestat feel uncomfortable, even if just a little bit?

"'You spoke of detachment,' said the boy. 'Do you think that angels are detached?' asked the vampire." (1.254-1.255)

A big discussion in the latter half of the novel is about the issue of "vampire detachment." If the sophisticated Euro-vamps have a motto, it's likely whatever the French translation of "Whatever" is. But, hey, by the way, what does it mean to be le detached? Is it a cool Zen-like thing, or is a sign of total depression? Does it depend on the circumstances?

"'He deserved to die!' [Claudia] said to me. 'Then we deserve to die. The same way. Every night of our lives.'" (1.625-1.626)

The longer Louis is a vampire, the more dissatisfied he is with his very existence. It's a very Goth attitude. Once again, Louis has to serve as a moral compass for the rest of the cast. Maybe some of his dissatisfaction comes from having to deal with some truly despicable fanged folk all the time.

"'I would undo it to have you back. I can't undo what I've done.'" (1.629)

Claudia eventually comes to regret her decision to kill Lestat because it makes Louis turn cold toward her. Louis's dissatisfied with her decision, and she's dissatisfied with the fact that he's angry with her. Lestat is a source of dissatisfaction even after his supposed death.

"'Louis, your quest is for darkness only. This sea is not your sea. The myths are not your myths. Men's treasures are not yours.'" (2.30)

Before Louis and Claudia even get off the boat in Eastern Europe, he already imagines that the sea is talking to him. Yes, the sea, and this is what he thinks it's saying. Positive thinking is not one of his strong suits. Then again, what does he have to be positive about?

"'It began to sink in. It was as I'd always feared, and it was as lonely, it was as totally without hope. Things would go on as they had before, on and on. My search was over.'" (3.180)

There is no relief at the end of Louis's quest. He has realized that there may never be any answers. Whether you are mortal or vampire, the meaning of life has no definitive response. Is this something depressing or something interesting and exciting?

"'I don't see our life as powers and gifts. I see it as a curse.'" (3.448)

Even after meeting Armand and seeing how sophisticated and luxurious the lives of the European vampires are, Louis is still dissatisfied with being a vampire. Maybe Louis needs to learn how to own it, or maybe he can see through the whole vampire immortality thing better than the other vampires can.

"'You're dead inside to me, you're cold and beyond my reach!'" (4.86)

We shouldn't be that surprised that Louis ends up dissatisfied with Armand. He's dissatisfied with everything. But if there's anything that gets his goat, it's deceit. Once Armand's deceit enters the equation, Louis can never be satisfied with him again.