Interview with the Vampire, by Anne Rice, is the story of the creation and life of the vampire, Louis. Louis was a 25 year old plantation owner in Louisiana. Following the death of his brother, which he blames on himself, he begins living very recklessly, attempting to entice anyone to end his life. A vampire named Lestat, looking for a slave, turns him into a vampire. From the beginning, Lestat ridicules Louis for his empathy towards humans. Louis begins to feel hatred towards Lestat and wants to leave him. In an effort to keep Louis, Lestat transforms a young girl, Claudia, into a vampire.
Louis and Lestat treat her as their daughter. Lestat teaches her how to hunt, kill and live like a vampire, while Louis tries to educate her, so that she could embrace the beauty of the world. Claudia, unable to grow up, also develops hatred towards Lestat for creating her. Claudia plots to kill Lestat and threatens Louis not to interfere. Claudia’s attempt to kill Lestat fails, but as he attacks the two, Louis sets him on fire and knocks him out with a blow to the head. Afterwards, Claudia and Louis flee to Europe to look for other vampires.
Throughout the story, Louis displays that, unlike most vampires, he has not lost his sense of humanity. He chooses to feed on animals instead of humans. When Lestat kills the young man who runs a neighboring plantation, Louis helps Babette, the man’s sister, successfully run the plantation. Then, when Lestat creates Claudia, Louis serves as a protector for Claudia, so that she is not harmed by Lestat. Louis does not feel right about killing humans so that he can survive. During a conversation with Lestat, he finds out that he can live off of the blood of rats.
His empathy for human life leads him to feed off of animals rather than humans whenever possible. Although it would be easier to kill and live off of a single human a night, he instead chooses to consume the blood of multiple animals. His compassion for humans outweighs his vampire instincts. When Louis find out about Lestat’s desire to kill Babette’s brother, he tried his hardest to stop Lestat. When Louis failed, his attention turned toward Babette. He twice gave Babette advice on how to maintain the plantation.
First he told her that she was the only one of her family that was smart and wise enough to run the plantation. Then, when the plantation started to struggle because everyone doubted her ability to run the plantation, he told her to host a ball to show everyone her capabilities. His attempts to help her were done because he still had feelings for her and wanted to see her succeed. In the case of Claudia, Louis felt for her the any man would feel for their daughter. He felt that it was his fault she became a vampire, so he needed to protect her, especially from Lestat.
Louis would have her sleep in his coffin with him. He ensured that she learned to read and write. He also made sure that she had everything she needed. Louis always had time to answer Claudia’s questions and worried about how she felt. Louis’ sense of humanity is present throughout the story. His choice to refrain from killing human and the care he shows for Babette and Claudia are just a few examples. It separates him from the rest of the vampires. Many of the others find it as a weakness, however a few commend him for it.