For every bit long as there have been lamias, there have been lamias there have been those who have sought to murder them. Divers civilizations and new coevalss frequently recreate the lamia into a animal that best represents a menace peculiar to the civilization in which it is produced. Vampire killers are besides fashioned in such a manner. Each lamia killer is created to stand for the demands of the making civilization. These killers are diverse, runing from the Victorian Van Helsing to the new age Buffy.
The lamia killer has had an interesting development. Most assume that lamia killers, along with their lamias, originated in Transylvania, or in some other Slavic province. This is, in fact, wholly untrue. To get down with, there were no specific characters such as Van Helsing, who tracked the lamia with a bag full of arms designed to beat it everlastingly. These characters are reasonably recent innovations, Van Helsing being the first existent huntsman of lamias.
There were, nevertheless, narratives of half-vampire, half-human animals, called dhampir, or vampirdzia. These were the progeny of a lamia and his human widow. In his book Slayers and Their Vampires: A Cultural History of Killing the Dead, Bruce A. McClelland ironically points out that “ in the small town context, a widow ‘s gestation might hold no other logical account, for her celibacy in widowhood goes without inquiry. ” ( Byrne 1 ) . Therefore, it was assumed that her un-dead hubby continued to see her, ensuing in half-blooded progeny. As such, they were born with the ability to sense or detect lamias, doing them natural huntsmans.
There is besides that unusual strain of killer, huntsmans who are themselves lamias. There are many illustrations of such animals, most from really recent films or telecasting shows. Two of the most popular are Nicholas Knight and Angel. Nick Knight, from the telecasting series Forever Knight, is an 800-year-old lamia who becomes a police officer, protecting the universe from both condemnable lamias and those of the human assortment.
Angel, the rubric character from the show of the same name, is a spin-off show from the popular series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Angel is a lamia who has regained his psyche through a itinerant expletive, and, depending on the fortunes, is either the good lamia Angel, assisting free the universe of immorality, or his immorality, soulless, other half, Angelus, a typical blood-sucking lamia.
In the literary lamia narratives predating Bram Stoker ‘s Dracula, there were no existent illustrations of a lamia killer. In Samuel Taylor Coleridge ‘s “ Christabel, ” the lamia, Geraldine, is able to assail the chief character, Christabel. Likewise, John Polidori ‘s Lord Ruthven, from The Vampyre, gets off with actual slaying, get marrieding the chief character ‘s sister and so vanishing, holding “ glutted his thirst ” with his new bride ‘s blood ( Polidori 85 ) . James Malcolm Rhymer ‘s Varnery the Vampire ‘s rubric character requires no killer as he commits suicide by leaping into a vent.
Sheridan Le Fanu ‘s Carmilla differs somewhat in that there is a kind of lamia killer. The characters of the physician and Baron Vordenburg are similar to Van Helsing in that they recognize the menace of the lamia. The physician warns Laura ‘s male parent non to go forth her alone, and it was the Baron ‘s huge research that uncovered Carmilla ‘s resting topographic point. It was General Spielsdorf, nevertheless, the bereft defender of one of Carmilla ‘s victims, who staked the organic structure and severed the caput of Carmilla.
Abraham Van Helsing is, hence, the first true lamia huntsman. Dracula, the book in which he appears, can be interpreted many ways. Whether looked at from a women’s rightist, capitalist economy, racial, or any other point of position, it is obvious that the narrative is a commentary on Victorian times. The character of Van Helsing is portion of the equation. His character symbolizes all that was considered good and worthy in Victorian Britain. He was a white, upper-class male, hard-working and educated – a true gentleman. Van Helsing ‘s “ extended cognition, supreme reason, ascetic propensities, and noted willingness to work difficult must be with him all along ” ( Yu 154 ) . He is a great trade like Stoker himself. Van Helsing “ represents the victory of the Enlightenment, of the nonnatural subjectiveness. ” ( 154 ) .
In the narrative, Dr. Seweard ‘s description of him in his missive to Arthur illustrates Van Helsing ‘s best qualities:
I have written to my old friend and maestro, Professor Van Helsing, of Amsterdamm who knows every bit much about vague diseases as anyone in the worldaˆ¦.He is a apparently arbitrary adult male, but this because he knows what he is speaking about better than any one else. He is a philosopher and a metaphysician, and one of the most advanced scientist of his twenty-four hours ; and he has, I believe, and perfectly unfastened head. This, with an Fe nervus, a pique of the ice-brook, an never-say-die declaration, self-control, and acceptance exalted from virtuousness to approvals, and the kindliest and truest bosom that beatsaˆ¦work both in theory and pattern, for his positions are every bit broad as his across-the-board understanding. ( Stoker 243 )
Mina Harker gives a more physical description of this paradigm. She states:
He came towards me ; a adult male of medium weight, strongly builtaˆ¦The poise of the caput strikes one at one time as declarative mood of though and power ; the caput is nobleaˆ¦The face, shows a difficult, square mentum, a big resolute mouthaˆ¦sensitive nostrilsaˆ¦The brow is wide and fineaˆ¦Big, dark bluish eyes are set widely isolated, and are speedy and stamp or austere with the adult male ‘s tempers. ( 300 )
He is evidently, and frequently immediately, well-liked. Mina, one of the book ‘s supporters, provinces, “ I feel from holding seen him that the is good and sort and of a baronial nature “ ( 299 ) . Her hubby, Jonathan, refers to Van Helsing as “ this kindly, strong-faced old adult male. ” ( 305 ) .
In his article “ Reading the Vampire, ” Ken Gelder describes Van Helsing as “ scientist who mediates between folkish superstitious notions and enlightened knowledgeaˆ¦who is every bit at place in these otherwise contradictory domains. Therefore he is both rational and clearheaded ” ( Gelder 1 ) . All these descriptions tell of a adult male who seems to hold the best qualities: strength, intelligence, kindness and sternness, and a “ baronial nature. ” Van Helsing is the prototype of the Victorian adult male.
There is much grounds to propose, nevertheless, that as strong, intelligent, and sort as he may be, Van Helsing is besides narcissistic. It should be noted that these qualities would non be have been viewed as unfavourable by a Victorian audience, except possibly by that new strain of female, the New Woman. But a 21st-century audience, particularly one that includes the modern adult female, would see many of van Helsing ‘s actions as unwanted, if non downright offense.
First, there is Van Helsing ‘s progressively bothersome wont of declining to unwrap any information, to anyone, until the last possible minute. Even upon his first scrutiny of Lucy, Van Helsing must hold had some thought of what ailed her. Yet Dr. Seward references that “ Van Helsing made a really careful scrutiny of the patientaˆ¦He is, I fear, much concerned, but says he must thinkaˆ¦.As I tell you, he would non state a word more, even when we were entirely ” ( 244-45 ) .
Van helsing subsequently likens his silence to Dr Seward ‘s interactions with his mental patients. He states, “ You tell non your lunatics what you do nor why you do it ; you tell them non what you think. So you shall maintain cognition in its topographic point where it may rest..I hold for myself ideas at the present. Subsequently I shall blossom to you ” ( 248-49 ) . When Dr.Seward inquiries this action, Van Helsing launches into a grandiloquent address about maize and the demand for it to turn before it can be harvested. He declares, “ I have sown my maize, and Nature has her work to make in doing it sprout ” ( 249 ) . While it is apprehensible that he may hold needed clip in order to explicate a complete program of action, sharing what cognition he had could hold spared Lucy ‘s life.
It is reasonably obvious he had at least a good thought of what was happening to Lucy. Upon happening her one forenoon, picket and near decease, he exclaims, “ My Supreme being! … this is awful. There is no clip to be lost. She will decease for sheer privation of blood to maintain the bosom ‘s action as it should be. There must be a transfusion of blood at one time ” ( 250 ) .
Van Helsing ‘s determination to maintain all cognition to himself could really probably have been motivated by the desire to non dismay those who loved Lucy, every bit good as by the fact that he knew he would n’t be believed if he all of a sudden proclaimed that Lucy had been attacked by a lamia. However, he could hold merely stated that the garlic hanging around the room was for medicative intents and must non be touched. Lucy ‘s household and retainers may hold thought it unusual to shut her up in her room with cloves of Allium sativum everyplace but his wants would hold been followed.
Why would Van Helsing garbage to portion such cherished cognition when making so could salvage lives? There is a well-known expression by Sir Francis Bacon, who said, ” Knowledge is power. ” While it is dubious that Van Helsing meant any injury, so his purposes appear selfless and pristine, it does look probably that Van Helsing enjoyed the power that his private cognition brought him. It kept him ever a small in front of the remainder.
Van Helsing ‘s secretiveness and narcissistic behaviour has been directed, for the most portion, at the work forces up until this point in the narrative. His somewhat chesty actions soar to new highs with his chivalric or, depending on your point of position, chauvinistic intervention of Mina. It is she who feels the full brunt of Van Helsing ‘s prejudiced attitudes. Though it is her intelligence and difficult work that enable the group to track and finally defeat Dracula, Van Helsing repeatedly insists that she be kept from the group ‘s conversations and activities for fright that “ even if she be non harmed, her bosom may neglect her in so much and so many horrors ; and hereafter she may suffer-both in waking, from her nervousnesss, and in slumber, from her dreams ” ( 343 ) .
Upon first meeting Mina, his answer to her statement that she can state him all about Lucy ‘s experiences, is “ Oh, so you have a good memory for facts, for inside informations? It is non ever so with immature ladies ” ( 301 ) . Even after Mina has proved her accomplishments clip and once more, Van Helsing will merely acknowledge her intelligence by depicting her as holding a “ adult male ‘s encephalon ” ( 343 ) . It appears to be impossible for him to accommodate the thought of an intelligent, strong adult female. She must, hence, have some male qualities to explicate her abilities.
Van Helsing ‘s attitude and properties were really declarative of what Victorian society felt was of import. In an age where industrialisation, increased colonisation, and in-migration were altering the imperium, where the New Woman was doing her voice heard, there was an increased desire for society to stay as it was. White, upper and middle-class males were the dominant members of society, and adult females were expected to remain place and raise their households, seting all of their mental and physical resources to that undertaking. Van Helsing, in his actions and ideas throughout the book, illustrates this place. He was the perfect lamia killer for his coevals.
But in the twenty-first century, societies all over the universe have changed. The alleged New Woman is no longer new, but “ normal. ” Society has changed to let for greater equality between sexes, ethnicities and even ages. Vampires themselves have changed. They are no longer old work forces who keep a hareem of lamia brides in a destroyed palace while they feast on the small town adult females. Today ‘s lamias reflect the alterations in society. They are made up of different genders, backgrounds, and ethnicities. They have many more supernatural powers. They are more seductive and frequently more human. A new strain of lamia calls for a new strain of killer.
Though there are many, many new narratives, each with their ain killer, one base out. In the early 1990 ‘s the film Buffy the Vampire Slayer created the new killer society needed. Created by writer-director Joss Whedon, the film became a popular telecasting series. Buffy is the antonym of Van Helsing in about every manner. She is immature, female, non excessively bright in the beginning, selfish, and spoiled. She was chosen to be a killer in a mode similar to the Godhead right of male monarchs. It was her fate. Through her tests and preparation, she becomes stronger, wiser, and less selfish.
There are a few similarities between Buffy and Van Helsing, the most noteworthy of which is the fact that both killers had a group of huntsmans that fought with them. Van Helsing had Seward, Quincy Morris, Jonathan Harker, Arthur and at times Mina.
Buffy ‘s community of combatants includes her Watcher, Giles and friends Willow, and Xander. However, in a footer in Rhonda Wilcox ‘s book Why Buffy Matters: The Art of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Wilcox points out that the “ interrelatedness of the supportive foreigner friends in Buffy is rather different from the group interaction of those who hunt Stoker ‘s Dracula with, as Auerbach describes it, a “ corporate ethos ” and the counsel of the “ authoritarian patriarch Van Helsing ” ( 212 ) . Buffy, while technically the killer, does non order, maintain secrets, and dictate actions was successful “ because she operates within a group of friends who support but can besides oppugn each other ” ( 102 ) . Buffy ‘s character and those similar to her, “ have offered new visions of gallantry by inflecting the construct of stamina with the impression of flexibleness ” ( Inness 231 ) . She grows in strength and wisdom because of those around her.
While Stoker smartly wove elusive deductions about the New Woman, gender, colonisation, and other Victorian concerns into his narrative, Buffy is much more unfastened about modern society ‘s tests. Buffy trades with regular teenage concerns, high school play, sexual dual criterions, and parental struggles, while beguiling a secret lamia murdering calling. She is easy for audiences to link with because she is traveling through the same jobs as those who are watching her.
Writer and Professor Mary Magoulick, in her article “ Frustrating Female Heroism: Assorted Messages in Xena, Nikita, and Buffy, ” discusses “ critic French republics H. Early who likewise argues the positive, feminist virtues of Buffy, mostly because she finds Buffy an empowering, merely, conflict-resolving, gracefully athletic ironically distant, morally sharp, and patriarchy-rejecting hero in a expansive historical tradition of adult females warriors. “ ( 5 ) .
Wilcox quotes Nina Auerbach, who states, “ Every age embraces the lamia it needs. ” She continues that “ one might add, the killer it needs. And though Auerbach ‘s usage of the term age refers to cultural period, her statement could be extended to use to a phase of life-in this instance, adolescence. Alternatively of a patriarchal Van Helsing, Buffy provides a kind, rebuff, teenage miss ” ( Wilcox 20 ) .
Though an articulate, older, intelligent, narcissistic, and unfailingly “ knightly ” gentleman was the perfect killer for Stoker ‘s coevals, the twenty-first century needed a killer who appealed to an audience of adult females and modern work forces. Thus was born Buffy. She is the killer of today ‘s society, as Van Helsing was the killer of Victorian society. Each coevals finds new devils to contend and, in so making, must besides happen a new hero to contend them. Tomorrow ‘s society will hold demand of a new killer for the monsters skulking about new corners.