Author Lorelei Bell, welcomes you! Vampires are my addiction, I assume they are yours as well. Come and journey with me to the darker shadows, where the vampires lurk, watching us, waiting for us weak humans...

The journey awaits, come!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Can We Pity The Damned?

Just going to make the focus of this question general. It refers to both The House on Blackstone Moor as well as the sequel, Unholy Testament.

A lot of dark things come out of the first book. Human beings and demons alike are shown to be capable of great evil, of horrific violence and the worst sins imaginable.

Louis was referred to by one of the books' reviewers as a Byronic hero. Perhaps he is. After all, he's  damned through no fault of his own yet he has a moral code he exists by, despite the fact that it ensures absolutely nothing will come of it. Louis Darton because of his father's support of Lucifer knows what his destiny is. As he says:

I am what I am... no promise of heaven awaits me. I have too much  freedom and no restraint…”

Think about it! How would we behave if there was no reason to live a decent and honorable life? Would we live principled lives if nothing we did counted, if there was no punishment ever?

Can those creatures (whatever they are) vampires, fallen angels, demon spawn, be the object of our pity ever? Should we try to see how it all began for them? Why it was and how they came to be what they are?

I probe these questions in the first book as well as the second. And this probing and pondering has led me to some very surprising conclusions--or questions. And let me say, I don't always know the answer!
But I do know something. I think  this debate all hinges on one word: 'pity.'

And that leads me to one surprising conclusion: which is, I think, I can have more pity in my heart for a vampire or a marauding werewolf on the loose than I can for an unrepentent entirely human serial killer.

What about you? What do you think?


Anonymous said...

I dunno if it's "pity" for me so much as "compassion". I think a huge part of the whole vampire mythos and their appeal is that we *can* feel a deep empathy for these creatures, not because they are necessarily blameless in their "evil" actions, but because they reflect back to us our own moral quagmire.
I think, for all our efforts and struggle to "do the right thing" we will always fall short of that in our own eyes, if we're really honest about it. Living the perfectly ethical life is impossible in the developed countries of the 21st century. Our luxury is by default built on the backs of those who will likely never enjoy the same (farm workers, the poor in India who disassemble our hazardous electronics through which we are communicating now, etc.)
Still I do think -- I know -- we are quite capable of desire to do the right thing, harming none, being as "good" a person as we can even if we don't believe in any kind of Final Judgment-- heaven or hell. Psychology labels altruism one of the most highly evolved "defenses", which sort of takes some of the nobility out of all those "random acts of kindness", but it also means that it's normal for humans to behave that way, with or without hope of reward.

Anonymous said...

yes, i take your point but even if we have religious doubts as to what it all means and what rewards there might be, there is at least the debate, the possibility that Heaven is waiting, that God sees the good we do, etc.

However, if there were in fact creatures that existed that had no hope of anything, how would that affect them? that is really the open ended question I posed in this blog post.
it calls up ironies too.

i mean i write of the supernatural fiction but obviously i don't really believe these creatures exist, yet i like to pose hypothetical questions as if they did, if you see what i mean.

as for all the horror and unfairness that exists, that has always existed in the real world, (great examples that you mentioned), i think by having fictional monsters and the like, mankind can blame something else for all the gross unfairness of the world (you made an excellent point there)

'it's Satan's fault, it isn't anything to do with us' if you see what I mean, it's evil that was responsible for various outrages in human history (when in fact it wasn't, as I see it) it was all too HUMAN evil.

Back to the point about rewards and such: I feel that people for the most part are motivated to do good, we are guided by moral codes that are based on religion, and it's a comfort to mankind in general (in my opinion).
We have losses, we grieve, but we are taught there is something there for us, guiding us--and it helps. not everyone is comforted or chooses to be, but it helps those who choose to believe.

thanks GW, you made some good points, and I love discussing my posts!