Throughout this course we have discussed in detail the importance of who the narrator is in a story. How would the narrator change how the story is perceived by the reader? Is the narrator leaving something out that they do not wish the reader to know, or are they simply unaware of certain circumstances that may be prevalent to the story? Something I always find interesting is when the same story is told from the point of view of different characters. Stephenie Meyer does this in the Twilight series and in my opinion she is able to capture the characters different personalities very well.
Carmilla is told in the perspective of Laura, the victim of the story. Many questions are not answered because Laura doesn’t know them. The character who may have been able to enlighten the reader, Carmilla, is vanquished before she has the chance. Obviously this lack of purpose to the story is somewhat frustrating, but it is also necessary. The purpose of the story is to be unknown; if Le Fanu had wanted the reader to know all the answers he would have found a way to tell it.
One passage that especially grabs me is when Laura is first introduced to Carmilla. It is obviously significant that Carmilla visited Laura as a child, but it is never explained why she decides to go there. From the information given in the story I’m going to attempt writing the passage below from Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu in Carmilla’s perspective, to possibly give the reader a reason for Carmilla’s presence in Laura’s life.
“I can’t have been more than six years old, when one night I awoke, and looking round the room from my bed failed to see the nursery maid. Neither was my nurse there; and I thought myself alone. I was not frightened, for I was one of those happy children who are studiously kept in ignorance of ghost stories, of fairy tales, and of all such lore as makes us cover up our heads when the door cracks suddenly, or the flicker of an expiring candles makes the shadow of a bedpost dance upon the wall, nearer to our faces. I was vexed and insulted at finding myself, as I conceived, neglected, and I began to whimper, preparatory to a hearty bout of roaring; when to my surprise, I saw a solemn, but very pretty face looking at me from the side of the bed. It was that of a young lady who was kneeling, with her hands under the coverlet. I looked at her with a kind of pleased wonder, and ceased whimpering. She caressed me with her hands, and lay down beside me on the bed, and drew me towards her, smiling; I felt immediately delightfully soothed, and fell asleep again. I was wakened by a sensation as if two needles ran into my breast very deep at the same moment, and I cried loudly. The lady started back, with her eyes fixed on me, and then slipped down upon the floor, and, as I thought, hid herself under the bed.”
I have waited many years to find her. I knew that when I saw her it would be apparent that she was the one. My family is ancient and strong, but the lineage that has followed me has left more to be desired than I can describe. I have visited the women of my line for the last fifty years and when I do find her I will place on her the same blessing that I have been given; the gift of eternal life. I have decided to visit her tonight. I have observed her from afar since she was an infant and I am convinced that it is her. The mother I let parish. She did not have the qualities that her Laura has, nor the features.
I came into her room the first time while she was asleep. I kept hidden as she awoke from her slumber but when she began to weep I made my presence known to her. She was only a child of six yet she was not afraid as you might expect any child to be. She regarded me with interest and did not pull away when first I touched her. I soothed her gently and joined her on the bed, where soon after she fell asleep in my arms. I knew she was the one I was waiting for and so I marked her. I let myself transform into my other nature and I glided back towards the bed, drew the collar of her nightgown back slightly, and struck! The response from the child was immediate and dramatic. Her eyes flew open, she shrieked and I was gone.
I have only a few years now to wait before I can claim her as my mate. I know she felt the connection, as I did, and I know she will remember me when again I come into her life.