True Blood and Vampire Culture

Season 3 of HBO’s True Blood premieres on 13 June so let’s talk about vampire culture.  The show has done a great job at building a realistic world in which vampires are a reality after they have “come out of the coffin.”  The vampire culture consists of: synthetic blood (Tru Blood) which comes in different blood types, travel coffins for vampires when they travel by plane, a vampire hotel, vampire escorts (you pay them to drink their blood), organizations against vampires, humans and vampires can get married in the state of Vermont, a vampire hierarchy, a Vampire Rights Amendment (VRA), vampire bars, and vampire blood is used as a narcotic called “v” or “v juice.”

But the thing that stood out the most to me was this statement by one of the main characters:

I am vampire.

When I first heard this it sounded a bit strange to me.  Vampires are usually referred to as “a vampire.”  So I began thinking about the use of language to illustrate identity.  People usually refer to themselves as “human” or “a human being.”  It’s rare to hear someone say, “I am a human.”

“Human” is an adjective, “human being” is a noun and “vampire” is both a noun and an adjective.  When we use an adjective to describe ourselves as who we are and a noun for what we are.  It’s just another example one of the many interesting ways we use language to create our world and mold our identity.


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