In this short In this short story we learn of Mariusa, a young woman living in a village that celebrated the holiday of Saint Andrew. During the normal festivities, Mariusa meets a young man who is very interesting, even intriguing to her. They were both great dancers and he was constantly trying to impress her. She follows him out to the yard and when it is time to go home, on the very first night they have met, this young man asks Mariusa to marry him. Mariusa appears to be ready to jump in and marry this young man, but her mother is more wise and instructs her to take a spool of thread and attach it to him the next night so that she can follow him and find out where he is really from. When reading this story I think of the article written by Jeffrey Cohen regarding seven theses of monster culture. This particular story falls nicely under the sixth thesis that discusses how the monster is actually a being that "awakens one... to the simple and fleeing joys of being frightened." Mariusa had never experienced such a feeling as when she finds the young man feasting on a corpse.
There are plenty of more modern and famous tales with the same outcome. The Twilight Series is a perfect example of this. Bella is taken beyond fear and actually becomes emotionally invested in Edward, but nonetheless their relationship began with fear. We see the vampires becoming more attractive and less of the downright scary beings that they were in the past. The evolution of Dracula from the scary being in a remote castle to the charming and attractive vampire he is in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Season 5, Episode 1) is one other example. All in all, the evolution from the Vampire we see in Fairy Tales to the mystical Edward in the Twilight series is a phenomenon that is very interesting.
Russian Fairy Tales, published 1973
Cohen, ed. Monster Theory: Reading Culture (Minneapolis and London:University of Minnesota Press, 1996) 3-2
Themes that was presented in the Russian Fairytales, The Vampire, were the charms of vampires and the weakness of Vampires.
The first theme that presented itself was the theme of a Vampire’s charm. The Vampire of the short story has his attention caught up in a young beautiful lady by the name of Maruisa. After getting her attention the vampire charmed her by buying drinks and food for all and they had fun until
nights’ end. When its was time to go home the vampire charmed Maruisa and processed to ask her hand in marriage and she replied by saying “If you want to take me as your wife, I will gladly marry you”. This type of charm is seen again with vampires in the TV series “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” especially to Season five episode one “Buffy vs Dracula” . In this episode, Buffy is seen being charmed and seduced by Dracula himself. Through many accounts of those studying folklore and vampires, Vampires have been seen through history as being charmers and being very seductive.
The following theme that came out of the short story were Vampires weakness to holy water. For after years of running away from the vampire and having more to life for like her husband and kids, Maruisa went to her grandmother and asked for advice and in turn, Maruisa received holy water and life water from her grandmother. During her confrontation with the vampire, she pours holy water all over him and then processed to pour the water of life on her husband and kids which brought them back to life. By pouring Holy water on the vampire he turned to dust immediately. Throughout the world view of vampires, they have been seen as creatures of evil, so by pouring holy water on them it will kill them for something so pure and good will always defeat evil.
AfanasÊ¹ev, A. N., and Ivan Iï¸ Aï¸¡kovlevich Bilibin. Russian Fairy Tales. The United States?: Planet, 2013. Print.