The Hunger for Blood
Why does the idea of a vampire sucking one’s blood so offend our sensibilities? Extreme hunger in the past has forced people into committing canabalism. We, as humans, are carnivorous and eat other species. Still, when vampires are portrayed, the innate horror is felt by humans just observing it, as in a movie. One has to go further into the motivations of the creatures to come closer to understanding their aberrant behavior.
“Dracula” has an underlying theme of the vampire trying to search for love again after losing it, prior to becoming a vampire. He uses all his power to affect natural forces, emotional needs, and time. He is portrayed as taking what he needs in the way of sustenance as he finds it. His cohorts take what foods they can.
For example, Renfield eats insects and grubs. The women in the castle that Jonathan Harker has to deal with are presented with a baby for their nourishment. Dracula is shown with smugness licking the blood off of Jonathan’s razor. A love of power seems to be the theme.
Power is also present where the Volturi vampires are concerned. They have laws that ban hunting within their city, but that doesn’t stop them from sending henchmen to obtain food. Comparing Dracula’s eating to the Volturi’s is a bit like comparing shooting a quarry with a weapon to sending someone else to the grocery store for food. The food source might be similar, but the method is not. Having someone else doing the work to obtain food is definitely more efficient.
Sending out a proficient hunter to obtain food seems like a sensible course of action for a group. It appears as appropriate for survival of the species. Hunting alone for a single soul is a little more dire, if food is not plentiful.
The Volturi vampires are portrayed as collectors, as well as a operating as a collective. They collect the unusual and use the gifts those vampires have to make their overall group stronger against those threatening them. They don’t covet something to the detriment of the group. Aro wanted Bella because of her unusual gifts, but let her go with Edward, satisfied that Edward would make Bella a vampire. In contrast, Wilhemina is lured by the “Prince” or a young Dracula to fall in love with him, irregardless of her feelings for Jonathan.
The Volturi vampires also are susceptible to losing their power to a challenger or another within their group. They have cocooned themselves with layers of bodyguards. A dependency is inherent in their group’s structure. They appear to depend on others to provide food and their lifestyle.
Dracula’s weakness is that he is for all intents a solitary vampire.At the conclusion of the movie, the chase back to his castle is proactive on the part of humans to destroy him. He is stabbed and his head chopped off. Humans vanquish him, despite his evident power.
How would one choose which of these two types of vampires is portrayed as more horrific? The visual impact of the movie, “Dracula” appears blood-thirsty and dark. Woven with sexual overtones and venal needs, the plot is laid for the vampire to obtain love and survival by using his power.
In comparison, the Volturi vampires seem enthralled with wielding their power. It is infinitely more dangerous.
Survival of their group is assured by numbers. Their lifestyle is continued because of the community.
Just the thought of their hunger for blood being assuaged by humans herded to their deaths provokes an image of slaughterhouses of other animal species.
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