Study Guide

Interview with the Vampire Wisdom and Knowledge

By Anne Rice

Wisdom and Knowledge

You know that vampires suffer from an intense, eternal craving… a craving for human blood. But in Interview the Vampire, Louis is driven by something else. The primary motivation for most of Louis's actions isn't a thirst for blood; it's a thirst for knowledge.

Knowledge is a little more difficult to obtain than human blood. Want blood? Grab a poor drunk off the streets and bite his neck. Want knowledge? For Louis and Claudia, the only way to get the knowledge they want is to squeeze it out of Lestat, and he's not telling. They don't know that he's basically dumb as a rock with no knowledge to give. You can't get blood from a stone.

Questions About Wisdom and Knowledge

  1. Why does Lestat withhold knowledge from Louis and Claudia?
  2. How does the knowledge Louis gains in Paris change him?
  3. Why does Claudia want to know so much about vampires?

Chew on This

To someone with eternal life, there's all the time in the world. Gaining riches and power is easy. Gaining knowledge is hard. To avoid going crazy with boredom, a vampire has to seek knowledge.

Knowledge is a commodity like any other, and it might be the most valuable one for vampires. Knowledge is powerful in the vampire world because it's a way for one vampire to control another—that is, by controlling the flow of information.

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