True Blood: Take a Walk with Me
Today’s incredible growth of interest in vampire series is clearly not accidental. People have always been attracted to the evil because it is enigmatic, unpredictable and thrilling. Because of social, religious and moral laws people repress their “bad” side, which psychologist call “Shadow”. The show True Blood, as well as other shows of the type, explores a thin borderline between the good and the evil, which goes through a soul of a human. It is remarkable that even nominal positive characters have this personality split, which allures them into stepping a forbidden territory.
True Blood is ironic and cynical enough to reveal the ruthless truth about the human race: there is not much difference between them and the race of vampires, which struggles to legalize their rights. Moreover, people are shown as extremely hypocritical because they claim to despise vampires, while secretly being addicted to their blood. This split of consciousness is characteristic for many non-vampire characters, but there are exceptions. The main heroine, Sookie Stackhouse, a naïve and inquisitive waitress, is different from other humans for several reasons. She is attracted to vampires because she understands them. She realizes what it takes to be different because she has telepathic skills, so that she can hear other people’s thoughts. This is quite interesting, as she is the one who understands the gap between people’s behavior and their dark desires and impulses, which they hide. This is why she is sympathetic of vampires: she realizes that in many ways they are more honest and act according to their nature, while people twist their nature in all ways. There is a difference between vampires’ violence who can kill because of their inborn instinct of hunters and humans, who commit evil deeds because their dark side cannot be oppressed any longer.
Sookie’s love for Bill and then her attraction to Eric can be interpreted in several ways. On the one hand, it means human’s constant desire to touch the forbidden fruit is finally unleashed. On the other hand, the relationship between a human and a vampire symbolizes the two parts of a human soul that are usually separated from each other. It is this separation that makes people neurotic. In this sense, Sookie’s openness and acceptance of a vampire symbolizes reconciliation with one’s darker self. There is a controversy about whether the girl walks on the dark side because it is interesting or she just wants to make Bill better. One version is that she believes that by sympathizing vampires and being close with them she will be able to reveal their good features. In other words, because vampires are haunted and not accepted, they have to be aggressive and push their position, so it is possible to grow human traits in them by stepping on their side. Yet, it is not simple as that because vampires’ instincts to kill are too strong for them to cope with them. They are mostly old creatures who live for centuries, so they have had experience of human’s chasing them, like for instance in Godric’s case. At the same time, the creators of the series underline that vampires are not all the same, just like humans are not.
There is a difference between Sookie and Tara’s attitude to fighting the evil. Tara mostly sees the picture black and white, she wants to protect her friend, so any potential threat is seen as evil. This is why all vampires are nearly the same for her. There are other enemies, too, like werewolves, whom Tara helps Sookie to fight. Unlike her, Sookie’s world is not as simple about vampires. She is quite sensitive and adjustable when fighting the evil, and she is able to believe in a good transformation. This is actually her main aim, rather than destruction. So, she is quite happy to see Eric’s changed personality when his memory gets erased. She hopes that she is able to influence and cure people and vampires by her compassion. At the same time, her behavior is a necessity to balance fighting the evil and being on the dark side, which makes her confused. She has to take sides all the time, and these decisions are ambiguous sometimes, because there is not perfect solution.
Vampire blood is another important symbol in terms of the evil and desire. Godric says that blood is sacred but it is not for humans. Instead, it is a magic pill that humanity has been looking for throughout centuries. However, the desires that stand behind the blood are far from being clean. It gives the things that ego demands rather than what soul needs: power, sexual intensity, alluring visions. This is why “V” is so expensive and this is why it is illegal, which does not prevent people from buying and selling it. In a way, “V” symbolizes the effects of consumption society, which is totally adjusted to satisfying the hunger for emotions that people have.
To conclude, it is worth saying that despite the controversial and provocative touch that True Blood has, it is quite layered and full of hidden meanings. It raises the issues of integrity about the good and the evil as part of a personality and questions the possibility of the absolute good. On the contrary, the series demonstrates that totally oppressing one’s darker side is futile and will result in an explosion one day. It takes courage to accept one’s negative self despite the barriers that society offers.