Like in Briar Rose and other version of sleeping beauty, the Countess lacks agency in her life. Her life is governed by fate, which is symbolically empathized by the Tarot cards she deals herself which are always the same, showing that her fate as sealed. Even though in the story she draws a different Tarot card, that of love along with death, she doesn't choose that card, it's drawn by chance or destiny. The bicyclist realizes this and takes pity on her, he calls her a, “hapless victim,” and, “ventriloquist's doll,” and he believes, “that she might be an automaton.” The ventriloquist controlling her every move is fate. The countess thinks she that she is, “condemned to solitude and dark,” while the bicyclist thinks she is, “Quite damned.” Since she is a vampire, she is condemned to repeat the life of her ancestors, to hunt on moonless nights and drink blood to survive. The fact that she her is a repetition of ...view middle of the document...
Seeing that you are not alone and that someone else struggles with the same problems as you can be comforting. A reader can find validation of their own experience though sleeping beauty, just as the countess finds validation of her own experience though her pet lark. At the end of the story, the countess is dead and therefore free of the trappings of her vampire life, and this is reflected by the lark being free of its cage. The bicyclist helps the Countess escape her prison-life, and he also prompts the long-caged bird to fly away.
The bicyclist calls the sent of the Countess' roses, “corrupt sweetness.” This juxtaposition of words reflect the source of the rose's beauty. The roses' food which gives them their rich color and odor is the leftover bones and flesh of the Countess' unfortunate victims. The Countess' servant buries their bones under the rose garden. The sweet smell of the roses is fueled by the corrupting corpses, thus the, “corrupt sweetness.” In a way, the roses represent the Countess, she too has a, “corrupt sweetness.” Her surreal beauty is from a lack of human imperfections, from her soullessness, from being a vampire. Her sweet beauty is from the corruption of darkness and death.
In the text, the countess is called a “somnambulist” or sleepwalker, because the Countess goes through her “imitation of life” as though sleepwalking. The phrase, “A single kiss woke up the Sleeping Beauty in the Wood,” is repeated in the text. The bicyclist saves her by breaking the cycle of death with love. In this adaptation, when the prince wakes sleeping beauty, he makes her human and she bleeds when she is cut with glass. She wakes up from hundred or so years of sleep-walking to die. A single act of love woke up sleeping beauty, and a single brush with love also make the vampire Countess human. Here sleeping beauty is already lifeless and asleep, and by the prince's disturbing her life and her pinking her finger she wakes up from the endless cycle of death and becomes human. That's a contrast to the original story where she is alive and awake and by pricking her finger she falls asleep.