Otherness In Charalaine Harri’s Novel, Dead Until Dark

1214 words - 5 pages

Charlaine Harris, the author of Dead Until Dark, familiarized us with the world of supernatural creatures from Sookie’s point of view. Vampires, shapeshifters and Sookie represent the otherness in their world.
Since Bram Stroker published his horror novel Dracula in 1897, vampire stories have become popular. His novel is considered to be the main influence on writing vampire stories. Vampires are usual described as notorious creatures of the night that attack humans and drink their blood, and people fear and abhor them, connect them with Satan. Charaline Harris’s modified her vampires and made them live together with humans; the fear and the notorious reputation started to blush, “Ever since vampires came out of the coffin (as they laughingly put it) four years ago, I'd hoped one would come to Bon Temps” (Harris 1). They have rights, pay taxes, can own a bar (Eric, owner of Fangtasia), they want to be equally treated as humans and they do not have to drink human blood because the Japanese developed synthetic blood, although “I'd always heard that the synthetic blood the Japanese had developed kept vampires up to par as far as nutrition, but didn't really satisfy their hunger, which was why there were "Unfortunate Incidents" from time to time. “(Harris 3). Harris’s vampires could be seen as 21st century vampires, they have the abilities to glamor people, heal them with their blood, are fast “He made a vampire entrance; one minute he wasn't there, and the next he was, standing at the bottom of the steps and looking up at me.”(Harris 25) and they can be infected with Sino-AIDS if they feed from an infected human “but it left the undead very weak for nearly a month, during which time it was comparatively easy to catch and stake them” (Page 38). Harris kept some of the usual vampire features that were popular in Dracula’s time as well. Some of them are that they sleep in a coffin during daytime because they are allergic to sunlight, they cannot tolerate garlic and silver on their skin, immortality, have pale skin. In order to fit in with humans, vampires have to mainstream, follow certain rules like; to pretend to be human in order to be accepted by humans, mimic their emotions and postures, know boundaries and appropriate behaviour. Harris’s described in her novel following vampires; Bill Compton came to Bon Temps to settle down and mainstream and is in a romantic relationship with Sookie Stackhouse. Eric Northman is the oldest vampire and therefore the strongest, all vampires need to obey him. Long Shadow was a bartender at Fangtasia who embezzled sixty thousand dollars from the bar and Eric killed him. Liam, Malcolm and Diana are spoilsports because they do not want to mainstream and behave as true vampires. Vampire symbolised in the 80’s literature a cultural reflection of anxieties caused by the fear of AIDS. It was believed in the Western culture that only people from “other” countries could get AIDS. This belief created a fear toward...

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