The Countess represents unreason. Reason states that death is definite, but she defies this law because she is the living dead. She lives in the dark, which represents ambiguity and mystery. The narrator refers to her suite as "Juliet's tomb" to indicate that just as Juliet was alive in the pretext of death, the Countess is dead in the guise of life. Legend also tells us that vampires die when exposed to light because their bodies disintegrate. However, we can also say that light kills vampires because it exposes them as impossibilities. It is not only light but also enlightenment that they cannot withstand. The Countess's irrational existence gives her great power, but it condemns her to misery. She is trapped in an seemingly unchangeable destiny, just as her lark is trapped in its cage. She takes pleasure in caging the lark because she herself is caged. However, she cannot free herself from her illogical fate; she enjoys having control over the lark. In contrast to the Countess, the soldier represents reason. He does not believe in the supernatural, so he does not shiver in fear when he enters the Countess's lair. Additionally, his virginity symbolizes the innocence and lack of experience. He is not afraid of her even when she tells him, "You will be my prey." He also rides a bicycle, which symbolizes human reason at work; the bicycle functions based on human laws and have no power beyond their provisions. When the soldier initially refuses to give the governess his bicycle, he is symbolically denying a belief in the irrational. He refuses to be separated from his bicycle just as he refuses to be separated from reason. Because the soldier embodies 'the light of reason' so completely, his face actually blinds the Countess so that she must wear glasses in his presence. At the end of the story, light floods the Countess's room, showing it to be false. Symbolically, reason invades the realm of unreason, showing it to be no more than an illusion.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document