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What are the essentials of the Vampire story? Please apply this to a literary work you...

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jacksonc | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 16, 2010 at 4:15 AM via web

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What are the essentials of the Vampire story? Please apply this to a literary work you have read or viewed.

This is a question regarding chapter 3 ("Nice to Eat You- Acts of Vampires") in Foster's "How to Read Literature Like a Professor." The basic idea of the chapter is that a vampire is an archetypal character who doesn't necessarily suck blood, but is an older man who "preys" on a young woman. The part I'm really having trouble with is coming up with an example of this.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 16, 2010 at 5:58 AM (Answer #1)

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The most elemental example that I can come up in fulfilling the standard of an older man who "preys" on younger women would be Nabokov's work, "Lolita."  I think that the vampire idea might very well apply to Humbert Humbert.  Both he and Qwilty are older men who have this rather "dark" quality to them, despite the public accolades and credible perception they both project.  Especially valid with Humbert, his coveting of the concept of the young girl is something that might fulfill a characteristic of being a "vampire."  Humbert is attractive and charming, but is fairly self centered in the way he covets Lolita and seeks to make her his own.  At the same time, the "mark" of taking her sexuality is something that he pursues when her mother is dead.  This would be another example of his selfishness.  He might also fulfill another element of the vampire narrative in that he presents himself as tormented and experiencing a level of pain at his condition.  He argues that his love of young girls is akin to a "poet," yet he is also aware that he bears full responsibility for Lolita's condition, to the point where he recognizes his "obsession" with her "broke" her life.  This might be another example of the vampire theme in Nabokov's work.

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