Study Guide

Interview with the Vampire The Supernatural

By Anne Rice

The Supernatural

"'I thought vampires didn't like light.'" (1.9)

Within the first couple of pages, Louis busts a vampire myth. They don't lurk around in dark castles and creep around in the shadows. As long as it isn't sunlight, they're fine with a little illumination.

"He drained me almost to the point of death, which was for him sufficient." (1.62)

Different vampire myths have different ways of transforming people into vampires. In Anne Rice's mythology, the victim must be drained just to the brink of death and then must drink the blood of a vampire. Voilà! The victim is now a vampire, too.

"I saw as a vampire. [...] It was as if I had only just been able to see colors and shapes for the first time." (1.102-1.103)

Here we see how vampirism can enhance someone's life, rather than just add an eternal burden. Being a vampire takes all your senses and turns them on to the max. No wonder Louis goes through so much description… he has a lot of things to describe that we normal humans would never notice.

"I can look on anything I like. And I rather like looking on crucifixes in particular." (1.116)

Being a vampire doesn't prevent Louis from enjoying most aspects of his Catholic faith. He can still enter a church, and he can look at and hold a crucifix without dashing off hissing and spitting in the other direction.

"The story about stakes through the heart. [...] Bull-s***." (1.121, 1.122)

Anne Rice's vamps don't turn to dust like they do in Buffy or go to goo like they do in True Blood. We're not sure exactly what happens when they die, but we do know that it's going to be harder to kill them than you might think.

"I failed to realize that their experience with the supernatural was far greater than that of white men." (1.142)

Most slaves at Pointe du Lac hail from the Caribbean, where supernatural myths are strong. And maybe even real. They know the voodoo Louis and Lestat are up to in the mansion, and they're not happy about it.

"You don't drink after they're dead! [...] He'll suck you right down into death with him if you cling to him in death." (1.148)

This little factoid is an interesting addition to the vampire mythology. If a vampire drinks the blood of a dead person, it will make him sick and could even kill him. Anne Rice makes this a pivotal plot point when Claudia tricks Lestat into drinking from two dead boys.

"'[The white horse] took off up the hill, just wild. [...] And here it came, trotting right over the mounds, right through the flowers, and no one made a move to get hold of the bridle. And then suddenly it came to a stop, right on one of the graves.'" (2.90)

The ritual described here has roots in actual rituals that took place during this period, when paranoia over vampires was at its height (source). We're surprised a cliché didn't arise from this. You can lead a horse to a vampire, but you can't make him stake it. Hmm… we guess that isn't exactly a catchy one.

"'He reached up for his shovel and with both his arms he drove it sharp, right into the dead woman's throat. The head was off like that.'" (2.98)

These primitive rituals are the ones Anne Rice and her vampires are trying to move away from. The ancient Revenants of Eastern Europe may have met this gruesome fate, but Anne's modern vampires prefer to be manipulative and backstabbing. They're too civilized to go around decapitating each other with garden implements.

"[Claudia], as I'd never seen before, possessed the same stillness. And they were gazing at each other with a preternatural understanding from which I was simply excluded." (3.168)

Claudia and Armand are different from Louis. Claudia is younger than Louis, and Armand is much, much older, but they both seem to be very in touch with their vampire nature, something that Louis is constantly tormented about.