Binding Blood

The Bible is used to convey many ideas, including many motifs that influence the literary work as a whole. Specifically, blood is a common motif presented throughout the Bible; it represents the bonding of humans and the everlasting connection between them. Readers notice the motif of blood when Christ tells his disciples to eat the sacred bread and wine. He states, “for my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink” (John 6:55-59). He wants his disciples to see that his body and blood have come down from heaven, for the disciples to eat, in order to become connected with Heaven and Christ himself. Through this excerpt, readers can see how significant blood is in the Bible, conveying deep trust and devotion to others. Blood appears in other pieces of writing, like American Literature. This motif is used to convey the connections of characters in a rather negative light instead of a positive light like the Bible. Within the motif of blood, readers also can correlate the Foster motif of vampires. Vampires are know to suck of life out of another in order to benefit themselves; this is seen metaphorically in literary texts. During The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Chillingworth is presented as a cold character, and is continuously referred to as a leech. Although he is referred to as a leech in the story, readers can correlate his character to the vampire persona because like a vampire, a leech can suck the life out of a person. Throughout the novel, Chillingworth gets closer and closer with Dimmesdale in order to get back at him for the sin he committed with Hester. Like a vampire, Chillingworth is sucking the blood, or life, out Dimmesdale in order to benefit himself. He presents this idea when Dimmesdale conveys Chillingworth’s character to Hester; “That old man’s revenge has been blacker than my sin. He has violated, in cold blood, the sanctity of a human heart” (17). Readers can see that Chillingworth is living in “cold blood,” by feeding off of both Hester and Dimmesdale’s “human hearts” in order to relieve his “revenge.” Readers can see the significance of blood through Chillingworth’s vampire persona and the negative bonding blood has influenced. This idea is seen in a different piece of literature by Henry James, the author of Daisy Miller. He conveys the motif of blood, and the vampire attributes that come with it, when Ms. Costello judges Giovanelli by coming up with an excuse as to why Daisy like him; “Miss Miller’s [intrigued] with that little barber’s block” (Part II). Mrs. Costello is making fun of Daisy and her relationship with Giovanelli through the Italian stereotype of a “barber’s block.” She does not approve of their relationship so she feels inclined to attach, or suck the life out of their situation. Ms. Costello can be considered a metaphorical vampire in this setting because she is feeding off of Daisy and Giovanelli lives, like a vampire feeds off of blood. Not only is blood seen through the Bible and other pieces of literature, but it is also conveyed through media. Peter Bogdanovich, the filmmaker of Daisy Miller, presents this motif through a scene where Ms. Costello makes a comment about Daisy’s social choices. She firmly states that Daisy is “flirting with any man she can pick up.” This is a key example of Foster’s vampires motif, and how it play a role in literature. James intentionally has Ms. Costello feed off of Daisy’s life by conveying the negative aspects of her social choices. Through multiple examples of American literature and media, along with the vampire theme that appears in them, blood proves to be a key motif that conveys the overall connection between characters. Additionally, the Bible influences the motif of blood through the positive connection of people. Although there is a separation between the negative and positive aspects of blood, they both convey various connections of people.A

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2 Responses to Binding Blood

  1. anudaramola says:

    Hey Sammy, this was extremely well written! What was your train of thought when connecting these themes and motifs together? All in all, this is great. All I would say is you may want to add a caption to your image.

  2. 20cc19 says:

    I find your themes of blood and vampires very interesting. I would not have thought to view these literary texts in this light had you not highlighted how different characters represent vampires so specifically. I was wondering if you had read any texts in which blood appears in a positive light, such as the Bible. I would suggest finding examples in literary merit works in which blood symbolizes something positive and comparing it to your previous examples in order to fully understand the role blood plays in literature as a whole.

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