A Drop of True Blood

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  • Topic: True Blood, Vampire, Sookie Stackhouse
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University of Granada
Faculty of Philosophy

A drop of True Blood:
subversion of heteronormative
stereotypes in American society.

Laura Carpinelli
Supervisor: Margarita Carretero

Table of Contents

Introduction
Chapter I:
Byronic heroes and romantic fantasies
Chapter II:
From the darkness to the light
Chapter III:
True Blood: Queer sensuality and homosexual desire
Chapter IV:
Vampire: the hidden desire to be human
Conclusion
Bibliography
Videography

MA dissertation structure
In the opening credits of True Blood , based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries series of novels by Charlaine Harris, the viewer is overwhelmed by a blend of bizarre Southern American images – gospel, dead animals, religious ceremonies, strange people and strippers.

But the most significant image is a Christian advise which simply states: God hates

fangs.
It is about a takeoff on the famous statement God hates fags, used in hate campaigns of the American Baptist church.
The TV serie True Blood is a complex universe, in which Christian Southern values have to face and co-exist with a world of supernatural beings – vampires, shapeshifters, menads, witches, werewolves and werepanters. The hidden secrets of the small Louisiana town BonTemps are revealed to the main character Sookie Stackhouse, a freak outsider who has telepathic skills and comes into contact with vampires, who have recently announced their existance to the human race.

But it is not only about a love story between supernatural creatures and human beings.
Even if they have come out of the coffin – and the reference is not accidental vampires have to fight for their rights and prejudices because of their ambiguous nature.
Due to the leading idea that True Blood is a complex web of romance, queer sexuality and Americaness, this current study investigates the subversion of heteronormative stereotypes in modern American society.

1

The word vampire has always suggested an ancient, bloodsucking and dark creature as a result of two centuries of literature and cinematic stories. But nowadays, it is an evolution of the Byronic hero, so named because of Lord Byron‘s writings in XIX century: rebel, arrogant, passionate, he rejects moral codes of society being a figure of repulsion and fascination.

In the first chapter of the current study the main male characters and Byronic heroes in True Blood are analyzed, Bill Compton and Eric Northman, who are in the constant search of humanity inside of them but always fighting their nature. At the beginning of the series, Sookie is disgusted by phallocentric society in which she lives and falls in love with Bill Compton, a strong, protective, passionate vampire who rescues her from death.

Her romantic relationship is portrayed as something sacred and special because, despite his vampire side, Bill places love before vampirism. In opposition to the Southern ex-soldier, the arrogant and egocentric Eric Northman, as with Bill and Byronic heroes of literature before him, is tortured by his love for Sookie.

But the white straight woman who has exclusive romantic relationships with a white vampires cannot be the main theme.
In fact, True Blood goes beyond conventional heterocentrical paradigms of modern society through the complexity of supernatural beings.
The following chapters analyse vampirism and homosexual desire. The True Blood series emphasises a trasformation of evil supernatural being into a member of social minority.
The evolution of homosexual identity into the Western society happens in a significant historical period: the 1990s.
It is about the beginning point of visibility of gays and lesbians on American TV series which coincides with the issues of marriage and the desire of LGBT community to deny heteronormative stereotypes in American society.

Heteronormativity is a term coined by Warner in 1991, which „refers to invisible norms of heterosexuality, embedded as a normative principle in social...
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