For my third Vamedia entry I chose to analyze the folklore, “The Family of a Vourdalak,” by Aleksey Tolstoy, and the relationship it has to our course themes. “The Family of a Vourdalak” was originally a French adaptation, but has been adapted into many other languages. This sorty is about a young French diplomat, Marquis d’Ufre, who stumbles upon a Serbian village. About then days before, a man left his home and children to escape to the mountains to join the chase to find the scoundrel, Ali Beg. This man, Gorcha, told them that if he didn’t return in exactly ten days, then he was tuned into a ‘vourdalak’ or a vampire. Gorcha returns on the exact hour as he was told, but his sons are unsure if he remained in his true form. Marquis d’Ufre again passes through the town for six months later, staying at the same house. D’Ufre finds himself being lusted by Gorcha’s daughter, Sdenka, whom he fell for the first visit to the village. D’Ufre then realizes he’s being manipulated by a vampire and tries to escape. Upon his escape, a group of vourdalaks attack him, including the entire Gorcha family, but luckily escapes them.
I think “The Family of a Vourdalak,” by Aleksey Tolstoy represents out course themes, gender and sexuality. Marquis d’Ufre falls for Sdenka, which symbolizes the sexual tensions and manipulation some have on one another. His lust and attraction for Sdenka allows him to fall under her spell. I feel like this represents the way women are portrayed, as a sexual image that men drool over. Men seem to see women as simply sexual objects, and I think the way Marquis D’Ufre lusted over Sdenka represents this sexual pedestal that women stand on set by men. This also relates to the dark, seductive view that vampires can be seen as. Sdenka allures Marquis d’Ufre under her spell to manipulate him, which seems like a reoccurring theme for vampires to sexually seduce and manipulate others under their spell. This forces vampires be viewed as sexual characters as well.
Tolstoy, Aleksey. The Family of the Vourdalak. N.p.: n.p., n.d. PDF. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.
Furneaux, Holly. "Victorian sexualities." The British Library. The British Library, 28 Mar. 2014. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.
Hughes, Kathryn. "Gender roles in the 19th century." The British Library. The British Library, 13 Feb. 2014. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.