Philosophy of the Vampire Chronicles: Part 2:
Preservation of Childlike Innocence: Analysis of Claudia Part 2:
An innumerable amount of vampire myths explore the dangers involved with transfiguration of children into vampires. By principle, the mutability of their bodies is stalled. In a sense, they become immutable in terms of bodily changes. There is no deterioration process in which their bodies slowly go through some process of entropy that is similar to the method in which our universe will inevitably go. The implications of this is that there happens to be physical manifestations of this through the sudden precedence and through development of sexual arousal within vampire.
Claudia is a conundrum because though physically she never goes through any growth processes that are the signature signs of maturation. Intellectually, she seems to mature at an exponential rate. Without knowing she was a vampire, some people might believe she is just a precocious girl: she is someone who has the intellectual capacity to absorb knowledge. Or, there is some intrinsic desire within her to use books, artwork, and music to form some tentative idea of the purpose of our existence and very being.
When Louis selects Claudia, he is enamored with this subtle adult-like intelligence. I highly doubt that Claudia’s vampire nature suddenly instills her with the tools to expand her knowledge. Within herself, there always lies some wonderment and inquisitiveness about the world. Louis uses her to relive that lost possession of his : the lost artifact of childlike innocence. During his mortal life, he was only accustomed to the oppressive darkness and arid territory of the world. In many ways, his extended life may have caused him to defy certain ingrained moral codes in order to survive. Even so, he could still have some remaining time to extract conclusions about the mysteries of the world that seem to infinitely puzzle him.
Claudia’s entry into his life presents that granule of hope that there must still be some hope for restoration and salvation within his life. By vicariously living through her, he can re-explore all those perplexing mysteries about the world. In many other ways, he can stall the brunt of pain and guilt associated with feeding from humans. Similarly to the way in which widows suddenly purchase pets for emotional comfort. Louis uses the responsibility of being Claudia’s caretaker to provide him with some tangible purpose within his life which will help him stave off the angst that is produced by the rumination over the unsolvable mysteries forced by the intangible elements.
Within the next post, I will explore in-depth the paradox of Claudia’s very existence: How can someone dually be both an adult yet a child? In many ways, Claudia could be depicted as spiritually being an adult yet physically being a child. Perhaps, its this very element that represents some greater concern about human development that Anne Rice further explores within the Mayfair Witch novels.