Blog 1: True Blood

The death of a main character is always hard for its fans to bear. However, in some instances death doesn’t always mean that the person is gone forever. The scene that you see above is from the series True Blood. In this scene, we see one of the main characters, named Sooki, being held at gunpoint by an intruder. As a shot goes off Sooki’s best friend, Tara, tries to push Sooki away and gets shot in the process. For those of you who don’t know, True Blood is set in a world full of Vampires, Werewolves, and other magical creatures. Because Sooki doesn’t want to lose her friend, she begs a vampire by the name of Pam to turn Tara into a vampire. In this process a person loses their human life and is essentially dead (cold skin, no heartbeat, and no blood circulation), but gains an eternal life — in which a vampire can only die ‘the true death’ if they are burned with fire, walk into the daylight, or staked with a piece of wood. By turning into a vampire, Tara, by the Cardiac Definition of Death is dead.

However, this show revolves around people dying and coming back, as well as people turning into vampires and being able to stay with their loved ones. In this show death is hardly the finale that we think of in today’s society. There are people who believe in afterlives, however once a person loses their circulatory function and their heart stops, they are no longer able to continue to have a life even remotely similar to the one they have left behind. In contrast, True Blood characters have that ability to continue to live their lives after they have been turned, even though it’s a life of the night. This portrayal of death is extremely misleading. In real life no one can choose to have an eternal, earthly life; A person only has a limited amount of time on this earth.

I think this scene is a perfect representation of how alot of people want to hold on to their loved ones for as long as they can. Tara has had bad experiences with vampires and has a strong dislike for them. In the following episode she expresses how she would have rather died a human and doesn’t want to be a vampire. Sooki knew this before hand, and for her own selfish reasons begged for Pam to turn Tara into a Vampire. Sooki didn’t want to live without her friend and made that decision for her. We could also connect this scenario to a person on life support. Sooki wants Tara to stay alive and stay on life support — Tara on the opposing side and her unexpressed wishes to be taken off of life support. This is a recurring problem in America. Loved ones wanting what’s best for them and not what’s best for the person involved. All of these points leave me to believe that America breathes a death denying culture. We have a hard time letting go of people who have passed on (gone to a better place, croaked, died, etc), and in the process we may overlook very important wishes of the person who is most in need.

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4 thoughts on “Blog 1: True Blood

  1. This was a great show to use for this blog. I wish i would have thought of it, since this is one of my favorite shows.
    People becoming vampires because they are not ready to leave their friends and family is probably the best representation of our death denying culture. People are not prepared to die, plain and simple.
    An episode in this show that comes to my mind is when Sookie’s gran dies and comes back as a ghost and Sookie begs her to stay and find a way to come back to her, her gran won’t even consider it because she has come to peace with her death. I think that shows that the older you get the more accepting of death you actually become.

  2. Sookie displays grief, denial and uncontrollable weeping extremely well in this scene to portray how she felt when her best friend took a bullet for her. This is an actual representation of how most of us would react in this situation when we just lost a loved one. Regardless that this show is about vampires, it actually has a lot to do with death and how we are a death denying culture. Sookie refuses to let Tara die and cannot imagine her life without her. She begs and pleads just like anyone of us would do in that instance. However, as you pointed out, Tara became a vampire against her will which is common in today’s world (not becoming a vampire, but getting treatment that you do not wish to have). In the moment of it all, it seems like we would do anything to have one more day with a loved one, even if they have already accepted their death. Great choice!

  3. First off, True Blood is one of my favorite shows! And yes, I completely agree with you that this show is completely misleading in regards to death and people dying. One strong point that you had that really stuck out to me was the similarity of Sooki’s decision to let Pam turn Tara in to a vampire (rather than letting her die), and someone’s decision to keep someone on life support. Families all around America have to make decisions to take loved ones off of life support, but ultimately, they should base there decision off of what their loved one wanted, not what they think is best for there loved one. Further more, people on life support, unlike Tara being turned into a vampire, don’t have the luxury of expressing how much they want or don’t want to be alive, that’s why its so important for people to make the right decisions in cases like this.

  4. I think you picked an excellent example of how many people cope with the death of someone close to them (or the possibility of it). If someone you loved was dying right in front of you, and you had the power to somehow save them, of course most of us would do whatever they could to make it happen! But at what cost? Is it your choice to make, and if it isn’t, would you make the choice for them anyway? The connection you made between Sookie making Pam turn into a vampire (because she was afraid to lose her best friend) and family keeping a terminally ill person on life support (because the family is afraid to lose the person, obviously!) is perfect, and is an accurate portrayal of how we face the possibility of death as a society. We often run from it, and will do anything to “deny” the death of a loved one by doing anything we can to keep them breathing, even if the person dying is unable to make the choice themselves or doesn’t want to be kept alive. Maybe a more healthy view of death would make us better at accepting it, because everyone must face the great equalizer at some point in time.

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