Superhuman Vampires and monstrous humans in True Blood

“We pay taxes, we deserve basic civil rights” – The human/vampire division in True Blood

True Blood draws from the gothic genre to reflect on various social problems. The series brings the ancient figure of the vampire out of the shadows into the public sphere. A large part of the humans soon fears these new (or old?) others with their superhuman strength and their immortality. They forget that these blood sucking vampires used to be humans. Simultaneously, the vampire society is divided into those who want to mainstream,. i.e. drink artificial blood to live among humans, and those who want to experience their full potential without worrying about human lives or any consequences.

Leave a Reply

4 Comments on "“We pay taxes, we deserve basic civil rights” – The human/vampire division in True Blood"

Notify of
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Johannes Poulsen
Johannes Poulsen

I think the headline of your blog post points to an interesting topic: Can we find examples of posthuman societies in popular fiction where coexistence is potentially made possible by a “neutral” social system or government that doesn’t consider an individual’s humanity but rather their contribution to the system as granting them status as members of society? Can the vampires be equated with humans because they “pay taxes”? I am thinking of how citizenship in pre-national societies such as the Roman Empire functioned.

Also: How do the vampires regard their own immortality? Is it a gift or a problem?

Desiree Förster

The tv series is interesting in regards to the way it captures the phenomenon of exclusion of a group, the vampires, that are regarded as a threat to human society. This threat not only applies to the human health but also to the values and identity human unity grounds upon.

Jelica Veljovic
Dear Claudia, I liked the example you’ve given because 1) it is a part of a huge popular trend 2) it revelas the posthumanistic tendencie towards changing the overall ethical field 3) it reconstructs the anthropocentrism. It is somewhat interesting and odd the rapid popularity and production of series, novels, movies and other mediums that thematizes the world of vampires, warewolves and other beings, and I see this genre growing and developing in all new directions. I would say that the directors of this kind of series tend to reduce the differences between the representatives of supernatural world (although they… Read more »
Florian Auerochs
Florian Auerochs
Dear Claudia, thanks for bringing up ‘True Blood’, what was my favorite series once. The narrative clearly can be seen as ‘multi-species fiction’, as vampires, werewolves and shape-shifters etc. perform as distinct species with own histories, traditions and habitus. Yet the unfolding of different species and ‘races’ within the narrative might be a stylization of the actual diversity of human society – the stigma-archive of ‘fangs’ has a lot in common with the one of the ‘fags’. Later one there are allusions to the Aids-Crisis and even the Holocaust. True Blood has, in my opinion, no interest to undone (humanist)… Read more »