Vampires are sexy. The vampire bite is nothing if not a metaphor for sex and seduction. Small towns are sexy too—or, at least, novels like Grace Metalious's Peyton Place, which was a major influence on 'Salem's Lot, presented small towns as seething with adultery and lust and illicit naughtiness. So maybe vampires are a metaphor for small town lust, or maybe vampires are a punishment for small town lust, but either way, there is a lot of sex in this book. We don't get a lot of hot and heavy details (see our "Steaminess Rating"), but here are a lot of shenanigans implied behind those shutters, hidden in the dark places.
Questions About Lust
- Are lust and sex always evil in the novel? Explain your answer.
- Is Barlow a metaphor for the townspeople's sexual desires? Why or why not?
- Do the vampires in the novel experience love, or only lust? What about the people?
Chew on This
In 'Salem's Lot, sex and death are often equivalent.
Susan becomes a vampire because she had sex.