In the short novella Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan La Fanu the vampire reigns supreme. It is an interesting twist on the gothic vampire story because in this story the vampire is a young and beautiful girl. To the naked eye she is a young helpless child, who needs someone to help take care of her. This is seen when we are first introduced to her when her carriage tips over in front of the schloss. “My child will not have recovered sufficiently to resume her route for who can say how long. I must leave her: I cannot, dare not, delay. “To Laura and her father she seems like a perfect normal young girl, and because of the loneliness of the schloss they decide to take the young girl in, even though they really know nothing about her, and are even told not to ask questions of her.
I found the story interesting because of the innocence of Carmilla. She doesn’t show the signs of a scary monster; in fact she is the complete opposite. She can live, breathe, and walk among humans as if she is one of them, and no one would ever suspect her. She uses that innocence to prey on her victims slowly and methodically. In a way the story reminds me of The Vampyre because she can blend in with humans, but unlike Polodori’s Ruthven who is depicted as mysterious, she is innocence personified.
The story has an underlying gothic theme of the dual nature of the character. She is evil and destroys life, but at the same time looks and acts like a child, and feeds off the loneliness of Laura. Laura dismisses many of Carmilla’s quirks because she desperately wants someone to be her companion.
Another interesting note in this story compared to Polodori is that Carmilla could actually love someone. It is shown many times over in the story that she is in love with Laura. “The time is very near when you shall know everything. You will think me cruel, very selfish, but love is always selfish; the more ardent the more selfish. How jealous I am you cannot know. You must come with me, loving me, to death; or else hate me and still come with me. and hating me through death and after. There is no such word as indifference in my apathetic nature.” Even though Carmilla is an evil creature she can still love another person. Once again is emphasizes the dual nature of her character. It emphasizes more of her human characteristics. We can see by her love of Laura that she is determined to have her no matter what, and she will take her death to have her all to herself. In this passage she blatantly admits to Laura she is being selfish with her, even though Laura doesn’t really understand the true meaning of Carmilla’s words.
Overall this was a very enjoyable novella, and I will admit I did not stop reading until the end of the story. I enjoyed the story very much, though I will admit I really wasn’t sure what to write about for my blog this week. I am hoping that others in the class will help give me a better idea of something to write about for next week.