This essay has a total of 4185 words and 13 pages.
Main Characters: Lestat de Lioncourt
Nicholas de Lenfent
This book is about the life of Lestat de Lioncourt, later known as the Vampire Lestat. Lestat is writing The Vampire Lestat to let the other vampires around the world know that he is still around. He has been underground for a couple hundred years, but decides to come to the surface when he hears wonderful music by radio waves.
Lestat begins the story with him at twenty-one years old, in the 1700s. He, his horse, and his two mastiff dogs have gone to the surrounding woods to kill wolves that have been terrorizing his town. When he encounters the wolves, there are more than he has expected, and he loses his two dogs that he raised from puppies, his horse, and narrowly escapes with his life. He has killed all eight wolves. When he finally reaches home, bloodied and extremely tired, he is shocked at himself, and stays in his room for days. He missed his dogs, and he got new puppies, but it wasn’t the same. He was also shocked that he had killed eight wolves by himself. He felt almost like a murderer. His near-death was also a reason for him staying closed in his room, with only servants coming in and out with food. Then, one evening, his mother, whom he loved dearly, the only one in his family he loved, came and spoke to him. She told him that she was dying. There was a consistent sharp pain in her lungs, and the doctors had told her she wouldn’t live more than a year. This deeply troubles Lestat, because other than his mother, he really has no one in the world he can rely on. His father does not respect his choices in life, and is cruel to Lestat, as are Lestat’s two brothers. His mother also has a conversation with him, which is highly unusual for her. She tells him she should befriend Nicholas de Lenfent, a boy in the town about the same age as Lestat. After waiting over a week, Lestat finally goes down to see Nicholas at a bar, and they hit it off and become friends immediately. One night, when Nicholas and Lestat were in one of Nicholas’s private rooms, drunk as usual, when Lestat says something that scares him terribly. He was telling Nicholas about his mother, as he tells Nicholas everything, and he says, “ We’re going to die and not even know. We’ll never know, and all this meaningless will go on and on and on. And we won’t any longer be witnesses to it. We won’t have even that little bit of power to give in meaning in our minds. We’ll just be gone, dead, dead, dead without ever knowing!” What he means is that when we die, there’ll be nothing. He’s saying that even after life is over we’ll never know what we were here for. Lestat then fully understood what he was saying. “There was no judgment day, no final explanation, no luminous moment in which all terrible moments would be made right, all horrors redeemed. The witches burnt at the stake would never be avenged. No one was ever going to tell us anything!” This thought of the sudden end of everything about him with no answers at all terrified him. He said “Oh!” and he just kept saying it over and over, all night. He was so horrified with this thought. Nicholas assured Lestat that this feeling would pass, but it never did. It always lurked in the back of his mind somewhere. News that Lestat had “lost his religion” reached Lestat’s mother. His mother spoke to him, and asked him what was the matter. Lestat told her as much of the truth as he could without scaring her more than she already was about dying. She was already so afraid of dying, and Lestat did not want to cause her more pain. Lestat’s mother gave Lestat a few gold coins, the last of her savings, and told Lestat to go away to Paris, which had always been Lestat’s dream. When Lestat refused to take her money; refused to leave her, she told him that she wanted to know he was safe in Paris before she died. She also reminded him that there was nothing here but a father and two brothers who don’t love him and will never let him fulfill his dream, because his dream was to be an actor, and noble families like Lestat’s do not act. Lestat told Nicholas that night that they will go to Paris. Lestat will act; Nicholas will play his violin. They do so, and Lestat and Nicholas find an apartment in Ile do la Cite'. Lestat writes his mother often to tell her how he is doing, looking on the bright side of things for her. He gets someone to write these letters in Italian so only his mother can read them. She is a prolific reader, and has taught herself a few languages. Both Lestat and Nicholas find jobs in a small shabby comedy theater in Paris, the boulevard du Temple. Nicholas plays in the orchestra, and Lestat works backstage, doing menial jobs for the actors. One day, when an actor is sick, Lestat gets to play a decent part of Lelio, trying to capture Flaminia's heart. His improvisations make the audience roll in laughter, and he is much loved. He gets hired as a full time actor, with full pay. He is ecstatic. Nicholas, however, is disheartened. He wants to be a great violinist, but he doesn’t think he will ever be. He started playing too late in his life. Lestat tells him that his music makes others extremely happy, and is so good and full of expression, people stop whatever they are doing to listen to it. Nicholas says that if Lestat had been him, he would have been playing for the Court by now. Lestat shrugs this off and says that we must make the best of what we can with our lives. He says that anything that brings happiness is good. Nicholas retorts by saying there is no good in his music. He says that they are not famous, and they are outcasts, as well. Lestat walks away, and shortly Nicholas comes to him and says he is sorry. Lestat tells Nicholas of a face he has been seeing for over a week in the theater. There is a face that has been watching him. Nicholas says that everyone is watching Lestat, but Lestat says it’s a different kind of watching. Nicholas casts this comment away. Lestat tells Nicholas of the stranger’s appearance. “All I see is a face. He must he wearing something black, a cloak and even a hood. But it looks like a mask to me, the face, very white and strangely clear. I mean the lines in his face are so deep they seemed to be etched with black greasepaint. I see it for a moment. It veritably glows. Then when I look again, there’s no one there. Yet this is an exaggeration. It is more subtle than that. The way he looks and yet…” Then Lestat tells Nicholas that he doesn’t know how, but he gets a certain feeling that this being knows about Lestat and the wolves. Nicholas assures Lestat it is his imagination and they both go to bed, but Lestat still believes what he has said.
One night, someone steals Lestat from his bed. He awakes from a dream about him on the mountain with the wolves and hears a voice say “Wolfkiller” very softly. A figure with unmeasurable strength lifts Lestat up and bursts through the window with Lestat in his arms. They seem to fly at a great speed over the tops of buildings. Suddenly they stop, and Lestat is thrown down. When he peers into the face, he realizes it is the face of the man he saw in the theater; the man staring at him. This creature bared its fangs and sunk them into Lestat’s neck. As this happened, Lestat heard what sounded like a gong. Finally, he saw Nicholas coming toward him, and he yelled at him to get away, just before he stopped breathing and fell into unconsciousness. When he awoke, he was in a strange room and was extremely thirsty. There was a bottle of wine in front of him, and he drank the entire thing. Next to him, a voice said, “More wine.” He realized it was the vampire that fed upon him the night before. He drank another bottle and a half of wine, and was very drunk. He looks over at the vampire, and drops the bottle of wine he is drinking. “Huge black eyes seeming to stretch the white flesh in deep folds, the nose long and thin, and the mouth the jester’s smile. There were fang teeth, just touching the colorless lip, and the hair, a gleaming mass of black and silver growing up high from the white forehead and flowing down over his shoulders and his arms. Lestat is terrified by this hideous creature. The creature grabs him, and once again bites his neck and steals his blood away. Lestat tries to resist, but once the vampire bit into Lestat, Lestat is rapt and wants this to continue. Lestat knows then that this vampire’s name is Magnus. He does not know how he knows this, but he is certain of this fact. Lestat falls on the floor when he is finally released, and Magnus lifts him easily with one arm and lays him on the bed. Lestat is gasping for air, and the old vampire tells Lestat that he is dying. Magnus slits his own throat and tells Lestat to drink the blood. As Lestat opens his mouth to scream, the blood drips onto his lips, and thirst overpowers him. He drinks and drinks until Magnus is almost dry. Then, Magnus pulls away. When Lestat opens his eyes, he is seeing things so familiar, yet totally new to him. IN exchanging blood, he is made a vampire, and is now starting to see things with his new vampire eyes. He does not have the real sight of a vampire, but slowly is becoming one. With his new vampire eyes, he notices everything; every movement, every detail around him. Magnus tells Lestat to follow him. As he is led down a winding stone staircase, he is enthralled by what he sees with his new sight. “And everything I beheld absorbed me. The rough-cut stones seemed to give forth their own light, and even the rats shooting past in the dark had a curious beauty. When they reach the bottom, Magnus tells Lestat that, as a vampire, he is now immortal. Also, he must drink fresh blood, and show no mercy. However, he must stop drinking before the victim’s heart stops beating, otherwise he could pay a terrible price. Further, he tells Lestat he will soon be leaving him. Lestat grows panicked that Magnus is leaving him. He does not want to be alone, as he has never been in his mortal life. Magnus tells Lestat to pull out a stone protruding from the wall. Much to Lestat’s surprise, he had the strength to do so. Magnus tells Lestat that this is the passageway to his treasure, which he is passing on to Lestat. Magnus then lights a fire, and sets alight a pile of wood. Magnus tells Lestat that vampires can only die by the light of the sun, or sustaining high temperatures, like fire for extended periods of time. Lestat begs Magnus not to leave him alone, but Magnus proceeds with instructions. After he is burned up into ashes, Lestat is to scatter the ashes so that Magnus can’t reform. If he does not, Magnus will make Lestat hideously ugly. When Lestat asks for a reason for all of this, Magnus states that he will go and find the “Prince of Darkness” if he exists. After Magnus jumps into the roaring flames and is slowly melted away by them, Lestat waits until the fire has ceased and the ember are no longer glowing. He is on the floor, crying, lost, and alone. As the last of his humanness leaves him, he arises and does as Magnus instructed. He holds his hand out the window and lets the wind scatter the ashes. He then crawls into the inner room, where Magnus’s treasure is. (99)
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