The Vampire Diaries Essay

2212 words - 9 pages

The television show, The Vampire Diaries, first aired in February of 2010 based on the book series by L.J. Smith. The show stars Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder as the three main characters Elena Gilbert, Stefan Salvatore, and Damon Salvatore, respectively. The summer after the death of her parents, Elena tries to fall back into teenage life of school, dating, friends, and social events only to discover that she is no longer the same person. After meeting Stefan, a new student, and eventually his older brother Damon (who are both vampires from 1864), Elena soon learns that her small town of Mystic Falls hold dark, mysterious, and supernatural secrets from the past that involve ...view middle of the document...

He proclaims that “After what I’ve done, it has to end…I just want it over… I’m making the decision I should have made years ago” (CITATION). Stefan regrets drinking blood all those years ago rather than dying when he should have in 1864. Rather than to continue to live with his guilt and continue to fight his urges, Stefan chooses to give up. Although he shows this weakness and feels the need to kill himself, this is an example of his humanity. To be human means to feel emotions and to be weak at times, just as Stefan is showing weakness into wanting to die. He sees himself unworthy and that if he continues to live others around him will only get hurt. To vampires, humanity is a switch, “...and the guilt, the pain…I can turn it off like a switch…you don’t have to feel that pain anymore” (CITATION), but once a vampire turns off their humanity, they lose their conscience and freewill. In one of the final scenes of the episode, Elena, his girlfriend, tries to convince him not to destroy himself by saying “Our actions are what set things in motion. But we have to live with that…you also made a choice to stop. To reject the person that the blood made you. You made a choice to be good…” (CITATION) Torn between what is right and what is easy, Stefan laments, “it hurts me. It hurts me knowing what I’ve done, and that pain- that pain is with me all the time and every day, I think that if I just give myself over to the blood, I can make that pain stop. It would be that easy, and everyday, I fight that and I am so terrified that one day I'm not gonna want to fight that anymore…” (CITATION). Stefan fears that one day he will not be able to control his blood lust, his natural instincts, but his free will and choices overcome that fear. Stefan continuously chooses humanity and because of that he is an example of Sartre’s existence precedes essence and “en causa sui” (being that causes itself). Existence precedes essence means that " 'existence' comes first, without definition, and finding that we exist, it is only subsequently that we go on to define ourselves" (Earnshaw, 74). Meaning, an individual first exists and through existing they become who they are through their choices. Their essence is not predetermined but created through actions. Stefan is an example of this because he does not allow a predetermined nature (being a vampire) to control him but chooses to keep his humanity “turned on”. Living with the guilt of his past, Stefan fears that one day he might stop resisting and fall back into his old ways as “the ripper”. It is this fear that stays as a reminder of what he does not want his life to be. He chooses to continue to fight his urges for blood, and refuses to allow emotions such as anger and revenge to overcome him. He is an example of a “being that causes itself” because he goes against his nature as a predator, as a killer, and forms himself into the person he is. Stefan, with his will to survive in tack once again, thanks his brother for...

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