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April 14, 2010, edition 1 /
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From Buffy to Bella: The Evolution
of the Vampire in Pop Culture
Caitlin Griffin, Staff Writer
Over the past decade, pop culture
has changed its view on vampires.
No longer seen as a fearsome mur
derer, the vampire today is por
trayed as a somewhat dangerous
but misunderstood foe at worst and
as a tender, romantic lover at best.
The shift has many people wonder
ing: why the sudden sympathy?
There may not be one answer, but
the trend towards positive views of
vampires in pop culture is spread
The bloodthirsty myth
owes its origins to Vlad Dracula, a
15th-century Romanian ruler. Ac
cording to popular legend, Drac
ula impaled his enemies on large
wooden stakes before drinking
their blood. It was rumored that
Dracula created armies of vam
pires by cursing the spirits of his
victims, forcing them to kill. Later,
when Bram Stoker loosely based
his 1897 literary classic Dracula on
this popular Romanian legend, the
vampire myth was introduced into
' Stoker’s Dracula has
inspired many novels, movies, and
television shows, each medium
remained true to the gruesome
depiction of the vampire as an ugly,
murderous immortal. Eventually,
however, the vampire evolved into
a seductive and semi-moral crea
ture, capable of luring prey using
its sex appeal but also experiencing
true love via its human instincts.
Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chroni
cles introduced the sexy, powerful
vampire Lestat and his companion
Louis to the literary work in the
1980s. The popular show Buffy the
Vampire Slayer (i997), in which a
young girl destined to kill vam
pires falls in love with one, also
began to alter the public percep
tion of the vampire in this way.
The handsome, dangerous vampire
Angel fell in love with Buffy but
struggled with his instinct to kill
her while attempting to hide their
love from his vampire friends. His
internal conflict and their love won
the hearts of many teenage fans.
Angel was not unlike Edward
Cullen, the pale, beautiful hero of
Stephanie Meyers’ Twilight saga.
Like Angel, Edward also suffers
conflicting feelings of romantic
love toward his human girlfriend,
Bella and his strong desire to
drink her blood. Unlike Angel,
however, Edward is a “vegetarian”
vampire who chooses to live on
animal blood. Readers of all ages
sympathize with Edward’s ang-
sty emotions and swoon over his
18th-century chivalry, despite the
k Dear Gigi,
'I'm far into my “Four Year Plan," but I’ve been terribly indecisive about
my majors and minors. I’m not behind, because I vc worked hard to make
sure courses count somewhere, but I’m not sure that what I m studjing
right nf)w is relevant to any future dream career. I feel “stuck” in my stud- |
ies, but it 's too late to turn back. How can I manage to make the best of it?
Queen of Indeci.sion
Dear Queen oflndecision, ;
Although the Registrar may hate you, 3 our indecision is totally normal! '
Believe it or not, many college graduates pursue careers completely unre
lated to their undergraduate fields of study. Do >'ou have a special talent, , c
uni()ue community exi^erience, or in-depth knowledge of a subject, such
as a f oreign language? When you arc compared to thousands of other job-
seeking college graduates, your unique traits may prove to be more mar
ketable than your common degree, so cultivate those skills, and highlight'
them on j'our resume or CV. At this point, however, enjoy the explorative
journey that college provides. Your remaining setnesters are your prime , ,
, time to take classes that interest you, regardless of whether they fit into a
• neat category.
Edward and Bella, photo courtesy of http://blog.newsok.com/ofinterest/
danger he presents.
• Since the raging success of
Twilight, modern pop culture has
experienced a vampire explosion.
One cannot walk into a bookstore
without seeing yet another teen
vampire-human romance series
on display or ignore commercials
for new television dramas starring
the beloved bloodsucker character.
One well-known example, HBO’s
True Blood (2008)-, based on the
Southern Vampire series by Char-
laine Harris, depicts interactions
between the vampires and humans
of Louisiana; many of the vampires
live peacefully amongst humans,
feeding on scientifically created
blood, and engage in complicated
romantic relationships with their
How will the vampire evolve
next? This mythical monster’s sub
sequent status in the culture of the
future remains to be seen.
What’S Up In Raleigh
• April 15; Beach Music and Dancing at North Hills
• April 17; Herb Fest 2010 - http://mvw.herbfest.net/
• April 17: nth Annual K9-3K Dog Walk in Moore Square
• April 17: Earth Day Celebration at Umstead Park
• April 17 and 18: Turkish Festival at the Expo Center. $3
• April 17 (10-6) and 18 (1-6): Durham ArtWalk in Downtown Durham
y:. • April 17 at 7 pm: Redress Raleigh Fashion Show at Flanders Art Gal-
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