Study Guide

Vampire Academy Society and Class

By Richelle Mead

Society and Class

Disgust poured into me. It was an old instinct, one that had been drilled in over the years. Feeders were essential to Moroi life. They were humans who willingly volunteered to be a regular blood source, humans from the fringes of society who gave their lives over to the secret world of the Moroi. They were well cared for and given all the comforts they could need. But at the heart of it, they were drug users, addicts to Moroi saliva and the rush it offered with each bite. (4.18)

Hypocritical, much? Even though she let Lissa drink her blood (and liked it), Rose looks down on the feeders, just like everyone else. She might like to think she doesn't buy into the dominant ideas about social hierarchy, but in reality, she believes it just as much as the next kid.

It was ironic that dhampirs had such an allure here, because slender Moroi girls looked very much like the super-skinny runway models so popular in the human world. Most humans could never reach that "ideal" skinniness, just as Moroi girls could never look like me. Everyone wanted what she couldn't have. (4.58)

One class or race being better than another is nuts. It's not as though dhampirs or Morois are superior—it's that St. Vladimir's Academy values one thing over the other. Here, we see that dhampirs are thought to be more attractive (read: sexy) than Morois, even though they're not as valued.

The Dragomirs were one of the twelve ruling families. She'd have a very powerful place in Moroi society, and the other young royals wanted to get in good with her. Fake friends tried to schmooze her and get her to team up against other people. (4.82)

You might not be royal, but we're betting you've seen this at your school: a bunch of posers try to bump up their own social status by hanging around the star quarterback or head cheerleader. It seems cliques are everywhere—even in the vampire world.

No matter what happened in our world, a few basic truths about vampires remained the same. Moroi were alive; Strigoi were undead. Moroi were mortal; Strigoi were immortal. Moroi were born; Strigoi were made. (4.111)

As Rose starts to explain the differences between groups to us, it's easy to see why the Morois hate the Strigoi—they do try to bite them, after all—yet we can't help but wonder how that's so different from Morois keeping feeders around to bite all the time. Hmm… maybe it's not.

Dhampirs and Moroi had a strange arrangement. Dhampirs had originally been born from Moroi mixing with humans. Unfortunately, dhampirs couldn't reproduce with each other—or with humans. It was a weird genetic thing. Mules were the same way, I'd been told, though that wasn't a comparison I really liked hearing. Dhampirs and full Moroi could have children together, and, through another genetic oddity, their kids came out as standard dhampirs, with half human genes, half vampire genes. (6.40)

Doesn't it blow when someone compares you to a mule? Poor Rose doesn't want to be like some animal that can't have kids, yet that's exactly what she'll become unless she is with a Moroi. It's a lot for a seventeen-year-old to think about, for sure, but we're more interested in the way she describes each of the races, as though that's just the way things are.

But, much like with Target, it became another matter altogether when someone was trying to pass herself off as something else. And in the week that I'd been here, I'd picked up on how desperately Mia wanted to fit in with the school elite. (6.52)

One of Rose's biggest problems with Mia (aside from the fact that Mia hates her BFF) is that Mia pretends to be something she's not. She wears Target and tries to pass it off as Stella McCartney; she says she's a royal when her parents are cleaners. There's nothing wrong with any of these things, but it's always best to just be yourself.

You couldn't come back from something like this. Not among the Moroi. Once a blood whore, always a blood whore. What made it worse was that some dark, secret part of me did like being bitten. (12.80)

Rumors spread around that Rose is a blood whore, even though she's not, but it doesn't really matter. A burn like that completely ruins her reputation, and her status falls off the radar because no one—and we mean no one—wants to hang out with a filthy social outcast.

He had to learn that being royal and Moroi doesn't mean you can do anything you want to other people—even blood whores. (13.81)

Dimitri tells Rose about beating up his dad when he was thirteen because he treated his mom poorly. Check out what he says, though—he's standing up for his mom, but putting her down at the same time. Even he thinks about her the way society does—as a blood whore.

"He shouldn't have done that to her. People can't treat other people like that— even feeders." (15.79)

Lissa might be royal, but she's also kind, unlike a lot of her crowd. She flips when Wade brings a feeder to the party because it's just not right, and through her we get to see that not all royals are jerks.

"Well, maybe that's the problem. We're deciding who's 'important' based on family alone, so we end up with these screwed-up people making decisions. That's why Moroi numbers are dropping and b****es like Tatiana are queen. Maybe there needs to be a new royal system." (16.86)

We'll even admit this seems a little drastic—does Rose really think they can just change how things are done?—but we also agree with her. People shouldn't be confined to their social class the way they are at St. Vladimir's Academy, and how someone acts is more important than whose blood is in their veins. If only the other students listened to us… and Rose.

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