Sinking their Fangs into Society: Assessing the Severity of the Vampire Obsession | Teen Ink

Sinking their Fangs into Society: Assessing the Severity of the Vampire Obsession

March 29, 2010
By AnnaEK GOLD, Oakland, Missouri
AnnaEK GOLD, Oakland, Missouri
10 articles 0 photos 14 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings. "

-Cassius, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare.

“I'm the world's most dangerous predator. Everything about me invites you in. My voice, my face, even my smell. As if I would need any of that. As if you could outrun me. As if you could fight me off. I'm designed to kill.” The Twilight Saga debuted in 2005. Since then, Edward Cullen’s description of vampires has become exceedingly true. An entire generation of adolescents share in the vampire mania that has swept the nation. However, in a somewhat unexpected plot twist, millions of adults, particularly mothers, have flocked to the vampire obsession as well. Does this turn reveal something about Western culture darker than the depths of Dracula’s tomb, or is it simply a passing craze? Ultimately, the obsession with this particular aspect of the supernatural world simply amounts to conformity and trends common in pop culture.
Popular vampire lore began in 1450 with Vlad III, more commonly known as “Vlad the Impaler”. His monstrous tactics and name lent themselves to Bram Stoker’s immortal Dracula. Almost every vampire tale derives key points from this model, though many cultures possess myths relating images of nocturnal, bloodsucking monsters. The arts continued to gratify this character. Novelists such as Ann Rice wrote famous contemporary works with Dracula-like vampires. Film and television idolized these characters, taking turns in movies such as Van Helsing, Interview with a Vampire (based on the novel by Ann Rice), and in several episodes the TV show Supernatural. Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spinoff Angel feature featured the creatures in almost every episode. In addition, vampires have even taken a turn on the Broadway stage in the musical Lestat.
So why was Twilight such a phenomenon if vampires commonly interacted with the media? The main reason comes from the fact that vampires were largely portrayed as goth in most modern interpretations predating the release of Stephenie Meyer’s series. Even though vampires have always been the most popular of monsters and by far ones with the most sex appeal, they’ve largely maintained a darker image. The chivalrous, tortured lovers introduced in the most recent books continue to carry the air of mystery and sex, but possess a preppy quality that appeals to the majority of pop culture.
The media has enjoyed the idolization of vampires. The Twilight films have topped the box office and DVD sales. A spur of TV shows have crossed the airwaves including Moonlight, True Blood 2009’s tenth most popular show, and The Vampire Diaries, currently beating True Blood as number seven on the current 2010 ratings. The publishing companies have released more and more vampire novels for both teens and adults, and though forever brooding, many of the characters are reverting back to the more goth types found early in the last decade.
The current vampire fever largely comes from the media giants taking advantage of an opportunity to introduce large bodies of susceptible consumers with something that has for a long time been the forbidden fruit. Recall the Harry Potter mania as the last books were appearing and movies beginning to roll out of theatres. Similar effects have been witnessed with the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series concerning Greek mythology. There is a brief, roaring resurgence in interest in the magical topic that eventually subsides and disappears as with most fads. The vampire craze will undoubtedly last long though, because a gigantic market existed to be introduced to an entire species. The fever will break, however, and society will find its next trend.
Of greater concern is the conformity the vampires have revealed. The Twilight Saga had a domino effect. Adolescents, particularly girls joined the obsession by the thousands, their parents following suit. Perhaps the greatest attraction of all, which will never die, is the quest for the Fountain of Youth and the psychological need to stay forever young and in style.

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This article has 3 comments.

pray 679 said...
on Jan. 8 2011 at 7:24 pm
i hate when peopple say e are not real because of movies but you are talking to a real vamp

pray 679 said...
on Jan. 8 2011 at 7:22 pm
i am a real vampire ive been one as a baby i changed 3 days after i was born my eyes changed from blue to brown with a dark circle around them

omolata said...
on Nov. 29 2010 at 1:03 pm
i dont get it