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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Telling "Freniere" On a Mixed Tape

Sitting on the dock of the bay by Otis Redding sets the scene for Anne Rice’s  “Freniere” (from The Interview with a Vampire). The story is set in New Orleans describing its unique character and culture that which a vampire would go unnoticed because of its diversity, not to mention the song has a New Orleans feel to it. Redding’s lyrics go on to say “I’m sitting on the dock of the bay, wasting time” which I would imagine is what a two hundred year old immortal vampire would be doing, looking to waste time.  The next song on my Freniere mixed tape would be “Life’s for the Living” by Passenger. This song seems to take the vampire narrator’s perspective on life. The chorus says “Don’t cry for the lost, smile for the living…life’s for the living so live it or your better off dead”. Either live your life or be “dead” but do not get in the way of other people’s lives. The whole story he empathizes with humans, in particular the Freniere family. The Frenieres are a family of one brother and five sisters who own a plantation run by the man of the house. A young Spanish Creole challenges the Freniere brother to a duel and Lestat, the narrator’s foil, wants to take this duel as an opportunity to kill the young Freniere brother. “Bukwouski” by Modest Mouse parallels with Lestat’s negative vibes and perspective of life. The song talks about how cruel of a thing life is which gives reason to why “being a vampire for Lestat meant revenge. Revenge against life itself” (354).  Jumper by Third Eye Blind would be the next track to project the girls’ situation. The lyrics say, “You could cut ties with all the lives that you’ve been living in”. The Freniere sisters don’t want their brother to duel with the Spanish creole because they knew he would be risking his life. Not only did they love him, but without him they would have a rough time running the plantation. Taking into consideration the rights of women for that time period “How’s It Going to Be” by Third Eye Blind best captivates the unknown from this point for the Freniere family. If their brother dies, the plantation will fall into the girls’ hands and at the time it was looked down upon for women to own land, much less run a plantation.  The brother was left with the decision of social ruin of not going to the duel or risking his family’s future. He chose to go to the duel. Since women didn’t have the same rights to owning land, if he died at the duel, he was leaving his sisters to a fate of being forced to sell the plantation and possibly never marry due to the fact that they wouldn’t have a sufficient enough dowry for five women. “It Just Takes Some Time” by Jimmy Eats World takes on the narrators perspective as he tells the girls to give them encouragement to carry on with the plantation, and not to worry about what people say or think.  The story ends in with All Star by Smash Mouth. Society would have believed that the Freniere family would have fallen to shambles without the man of the house, but Babette, the oldest and wisest of the Freniere girls, proves them wrong by running the plantation and marrying off herself and one of her younger sisters.

Anne Rice. “Freniere.” American Gothic Tales. Ed. Joyce Carol Oates. New York: The Penguin  Group. 349-357. Print.

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