Study Guide

Interview with the Vampire Part 3

By Anne Rice

Part 3

  • Louis cannot wait to get to Paris, "the mother of New Orleans" (3.4).
  • Louis and Claudia purchase one of the finest suites in town and decorate it exactly the way they want to.
  • For the first time in a long while, Louis is happy… until Claudia starts to disappear for long periods of time.
  • Claudia's been talking to the owner of a doll shop and has convinced her to make a lady-shaped doll, instead of a baby doll. Claudia is getting angry again about being trapped inside a child's body.
  • Louis starts brooding again, this time about how he can never make Claudia happy.
  • While roaming the streets of Paris, Louis is followed by a vampire—not the Neanderthal-like creep shows from Eastern Europe, either, but a civilized vamp.
  • We use the term civilized loosely. When Louis finally confronts him, he mimics all of Louis's movements, as if Louis were Lucy and the vampire were Harpo Marx.
  • Just as Louis is about to start a fight with this other vampire, another new vamp swoops in (not literally; vampires can't transform into bats in this universe) and breaks them up.
  • This vampire's name is Armand, and he gives Louis a card inviting him to the Théâtre des Vampires.
  • Excited to find more of their kind, Claudia and Louis go to the Théâtre the next night. There are many humans there, but Louis and Claudia are the only vampires in attendance, and they are given a box to watch the show.
  • The show is pretty much the creepiest thing ever. A lot creepier than having a cast member of Cats end up on your lap in the middle of the show.
  • The "actors" onstage are all vampires, except for one human woman. One of the vampires, dressed as Death, undresses the human woman against her will on stage. Then all the vampires on stage feed on her, killing her.
  • This act isn't greeted with screams of terror from the human audience; it's greeted with applause.
  • After the show, Louis and Claudia are admitted backstage by Armand—and by backstage, we mean the extensive catacombs beneath the Théâtre des Vampires.
  • Louis is instantly infatuated with Armand. "All I saw was his radiant face, as I had never seen Lestat's face, white and poreless and sinewy and male" (3.115). He's like a male Olay model.
  • Armand offers Louis a mortal boy to feed on, and Louis does so. The mortal boy sort of enjoys it.
  • After officially introducing himself, Armand introduces the jerk vampire as Santiago.
  • Armand and Santiago want to know where Louis and Claudia came from, but they won't reveal who made them.
  • Instead, Louis wants to focus on philosophical conversations about the inherent evilness of vampire nature.
  • Louis debates with Armand for almost the entire night, eventually deciding that he wants to get away from these vampires and go back home.
  • Claudia is with a different group of vampires, including Santiago, and they are suspicious of Claudia and Louis.
  • Santiago says that there is one crime a vampire can commit which will lead all other vampires to hunt them down and destroy the offender: "It is to kill your own kind!" (3.227).
  • Trying to be as unsuspicious as possible, Claudia and Louis make their leave and return to their suite.
  • Back at the suite, Claudia declares she doesn't like these new vampires. She's also angry at Louis, because she thinks that he will leave her for Armand.
  • She's also angry because she's stuck in the body of a five-year-old and will be helpless and in danger if Louis does leave her.
  • The next night, Louis talks to Armand and confirms his suspicions: Santiago thinks they killed their maker, and they are in danger.
  • When Louis returns to the hotel, Claudia has a guest: the doll-maker, Madeleine.
  • A huge fight ensues, because Claudia wants Louis to make Madeleine into a vampire. Louis says, "I will not make her one of us, I will not damn the legions of mortals who'll die at her hands if I do!" (3.328).
  • Louis caves. Realizing that he can leave Claudia in Madeleine's care if anything happens to him (or if he decides to run off into the moonrise with Armand), he converts Madeleine.
  • While Madeleine is adapting to vampire life, Louis accompanies Armand on a walk one night. Louis and Armand climb a tower and have a chat, during which Armand confesses, "I want you. I want you more than anything in the world" (3.410). They each believe that the other is a kindred spirit who can help them learn and grow.
  • Armand also admits that he made Louis convert Madeleine so that Louis could rid himself of Claudia. And he doesn't mean gently persuade, either, he "exerted [his] strongest power to persuade [Louis] to do it" (3.451).
  • Finally, Armand tells Louis what can kill vampires: "Fire, dismemberment… the heat of the sun. Nothing else" (3.478).
  • Louis decides to spend a little more time with Claudia and Madeleine and make sure they're stable before running off with Armand.
  • Claudia, of course, wants Louis to stay with her, but she agrees to let him go.
  • Unfortunately, it's too late. A group of vampires breaks into the suite and captures them.
  • Louis, Armand, Madeleine, and Claudia are dragged to the Théâtre des Vampires, where Louis is confronted by someone he never expected to see again: Lestat.
  • Lestat is itching to kill Claudia, but he wants to spare Louis, because he wants him back.
  • Louis is put into a coffin, which is chained shut and then entombed in a pile of bricks. How very "Cask of Amontillado."
  • Later, Armand breaks Louis free and tries to help him escape. But Louis won't leave without Claudia.
  • Louis's too late. When he finds Claudia and Madeleine, he sees that they were put in an open room and that the sunlight has reduced them to ashes.
  • Armand tells Louis that he could not prevent it. Louis flees, and tells Armand not to return to the Théâtre des Vampires again.
  • The next night, right before sunrise, Louis returns to the Théâtre. Armand is not there. With a scythe in hand, Louis sets the place on fire and dismembers any vampire that tries to escape.
  • Louis kills them all.
  • Two nights later, Armand finds Louis. Louis asks if he wants to avenge the dead vampires, but Armand does not want to. He doesn't even despise Louis for what he's done.
  • Armand and Louis go to the Louvre. Of course, it's a total depress-fest for Louis, who has officially lost everything. "The human heart meant nothing" (3.614), he says, looking upon the art on display.

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