Coming of Age, with Vampires
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This chapter looks at how common tropes of the vampire tale have been used to figure the challenges and changes associated with coming of age, puberty and adolescence, focusing on influential screen fictions, Lost Boys (dir. Joel Schumacher 1987), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (exec. prod. Joss Whedon 1997–2003) and Let the Right One In (dir. Tomas Alfredson 2008). In these works, adolescent protagonists, removed from the attachments and securities of childhood, struggle to cope with both untested freedoms and unaccustomed responsibility for the self, responsibility which entails the challenge of consent. Of particular interest to this discussion is the focus on children of divorce and how these texts echo and amplify anxieties directed toward the latchkey or self-caring offspring of single mothers, giving social concerns a monstrous form.
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