The Girl with the Hungry Eyes is a short story of how an unknown and reserved girl became such a revolution in the world of photography. Like many vampires, the Girl reveals a sexual appeal, however it is explained that it is more than just sex. The narrator, as well as others in the story try to engage in sex with the Girl as they have an evident desire to be with her. Similar to Dracula, the Girl possess the ability to almost hold a trance over people as the photographer often has a faint feeling of dizziness when around her or as if maybe his lunch did not sit well and caused a small discomfort. The Girl also offers little to no information of herself, giving the photographer none of her contact information and having strict rules to follow for her cooperation with photos, which separate her from society.
Many of the times, vampires are used as a scapegoat or blame for the problems in society. However, in The Girl with the Hungry Eyes she tends to do the opposite most of the time. As the modeling world recognizes her, many are taken in by her beauty, and she serves almost as a distraction for people. This then leads to an influx of revenue, especially for the photographer. He is now able to spend money on himself through new clothes, a payed rent, liberal drinks, and even taxis. However, there have been mysterious “maybe- murders” that have been occurring out of town. They are noted as “maybe- murders” since the actual cause of death was not able to be procured and some were settles as death by heart attacks, although many did not have a history of heart problems and were relatively healthy. It is here that the Girl serves as the scapegoat or blame. At the end of the story we see the narrator walking with her through the park, when she pulls him toward her. As he takes it in a sexual matter she tells him she doesn’t want him in that way. Instead, she wants him and his life, the story he has told her of his past lovers, memories, and pain. We finally see that the Girl had been the cause of the murders, stealing the life and everything that came with it from her victims.
Society and the Girl Edit
The Girl is the representation of vampiric societal standards in terms of desire, sex, and beauty. But from the story, one realizes that the Girl is not something or someone that is good or right. Although the Girl appears beautiful and captivating she places individuals, like Papa Munsch or Mr. Fitch or even the photographer-narrator Dave, under her spell and uses her appearance and attitude to get her way. The Girl embodies the figures on billboards and store window posters and uses her sly persuasion to get picked up by strangers that are later found mysteriously dead. The Girl wants everything about a person, their past, their desires, their relations so that she can twist it to her advantage.
Similarly, society is riddled with social media to proclaim one's life accomplishments on, and surrounded by unrealistically beautiful images to show us what we should want to be. The Girl in Leiber's story is the vampiric representation of society sucking life details and collecting personal information to use for or against us. The rise of social media as become an overwhelmingly prominent force in the daily lives of many, consuming more time and energy as technology is further incorporated into our lives. Like a vampire, social media consumes us slowly and makes us more and more dependent on it to bring us satisfaction. Additionally, like the Girl, the photos and images of models, particularly women, place a high standard on beauty and the sexuality of women. The fact that the narrator states everyone is obsessed with the Girl further emphasizes the draw of the Girl and the almost unhealthy desire of the idea of modeled, posed beauty.
The Vampiric Theme Edit
The Girl, although a representation of societal issues, is also related to vampirism. Like the classic vampire stories and spin offs of Dracula or the vampire themes shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer "The Girl with the Hungry Eyes" is a vampire themed story.
Although the mention of vampires is rare, the descriptions concerning the mysterious Girl or how she makes those around her feel is similar to the stories of vampires. The Girl is described as hauntingly beautiful and thin but with a deeper hunger and vampires are usually described as unusually beautiful creatures.
The Girl also has a subconscious draw on those around her, enticing others to be interested in her but not giving any information as to who or what she is. Likewise, vampires have a pull on those around them, especially their victims (like Lucy and Mina in Stokers Dracula).
Also, death surrounds the Girl and her appearances singling out individuals. Like a vampire that singles out its prey, kills them, and leaves the death unsolved, the Girl picks out individuals who are enticed by her and then these individuals are found dead with no closure as to what happened.