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The Vampire Tapestry Study Guide Discussion Questions

1. Why does Weyland pass himself off as a college professor? What do you think he had to do to create this identity?

2. What other identities might work well for Weyland in our modern world?
What does a vampire’s false identity have to do for him?

3. How does Katje de Groot compare to Abraham van Helsing (the Dutch doctor who leads the vampire killers in Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula)? Think about her character, her background, and her function in the plot.

Why do you think the author chose Katje as Weyland's first antagonist in The Vampire Tapestry?

4. Does Katje change in the course of the first chapter?
How flexible and changeable do you think middle-aged people really are?
Do you have examples from your own life's observations?

5. What factors in Mark's character and situation lead him to be sympathetic to Weyland?
Do your own feelings about the vampire change as you read this chapter?
Do you like Mark? Why, and why not? Do you think Weyland likes him?
How do you think Mark's life will change as a result of the events of "Lost Content”?
In Mark’s situation, what would you do differently?

6. Different kinds of imagination are shown in the "Lost Content" chapter. What does Roger see in his own future? How do Bobbie and her friend Julie see the world and their place in it? What kind of son does Mark's father imagine he can teach Mark to be?
How does their imagining work for them? Against them?

7. What is "the land of lost content" for Mark? For Weyland? For others in the story? Does everyone have a personal "land of lost content" that they remember with longings? If you do, was it a real place? If so how accurately do you think you remember it? Have you ever been back?
How important is it in your life now?

8. Some one dies in the course of the "Lost Content" chapter; who is to blame?
Is someone a murderer on account of that death?
Roger does not die; why not?

9. Where do you think Alan Reese got his supernatural ideas from? Does he really believe in what he's doing?
Why does he want to destroy Weyland what would he, Reese, get out of it? Why do his followers follow him? Can you imagine circumstances in which you would ever follow someone like Reese?

10. Which characters in "Lost Content" function as teachers; what lessons do they teach?
Have you had relationships or events in your life that have taught you in this way?

11. Which characters in this chapter do you think come out of it changed, and how?

12. Why is Floria unhappy at the beginning of "Unicorn Tapestry?" How does she feel at the end of the chapter? What do you think she will do with the rest of her life, and how have the events of "Unicorn Tapestry" change her relationships?

13. Why does Weyland decide to tell her the truth about himself?
At what point do you think he decides to kill her?
Why does he change his mind?

14. Is Floria brave? Is she a coward? How do you know?
What about Kenny? Why does he act as he does? What will happen to him as a result of these events?

15. Why is Floria attracted to Weyland? Why is he attracted to her?
What allows him to let down his guard with her at the end of the chapter?
Does he love her? If yes, why?
Why does he believe that anything like love is dangerous to him? Do you agree?
Is love always a positive influence on a person's life?

16. Do you think Floria acts responsibly in her handling of Weyland and her decision on what to do about him at the end? What would you have done in her place?
Will she ever write about him? If so, how do you think she’ll handle the facts of their relationship?

17. How does the chapter "A Musical Interlude" shift or advance the reader's attention and understanding of the story-line?

18. Why does Weyland respond so strongly to the opera "Tosca"? How does it relate to his own situation, and why does that lead him to kill?
Why is he in such a crappy mood from the beginning?

19. How is this chapter about "performance", and which characters in it are "performing" roles rather than just being themselves? What are the major differences between Weyland's performance of his role as professor and the singers' performances in Tosca?
Who else is an artist in this chapter, and how do you justify that label for them? Is Weyland an artist too, in his performance of his Weyland identity?
Can art be lethal and predatory and still be art?
Can something be art if no one (except the artist) knows that it’s a construction or performance and not reality? What roles do you perform in the course of an ordinary day? Which ones are “really” you?
If you could do one thing that would sum up and exemplify your basic nature, what would that act be?

20. Why does Alison sleep with Weyland? What do you think her later relationships will be like?
How do you think she will be affected by Weyland's disappearance?

21. What do you think is Irv's secret, that drives him to do what he does?
Why is Irv drawn to Weyland? Could Weyland have helped Irv?
If yes, why didn't he?

22. Can you write an entry that would fit into the entries Weyland makes in his own diary?
How does it feel to try to see from Weyland's point of view? Does it surprise you in any way?

23. What would you do if you had Weyland's unusual physical strength?
Do you have any outstandingly unusual characteristics, or know anyone who does?
How does that seem to affect their life?
What is "normal"? Is it always a good thing?

24. At the end of the novel, Weyland believes he has become different than he was, and in a way that threatens his survival.
Is he right? Do you think he behaves differently at the end than he did in the first chapter?
How did you feel about him at the beginning of the book? How do you feel about him at the end?
Do you think he makes the right final choice? If you were there, how would you advise him?
What do you think would happen to him if he chose differently?

25. How is Weyland different from other vampire characters in fiction and film? How, throughout this book, does he utilize other ideas of vampires for his own ends? How would he be different if he were one vampire among many others, instead of being unique?

26. Compare Weyland's fate with that of Bram Stoker's Dracula; who brings each one down? How do the differences reflect differences in Western culture and society between the ends of the 19th and the 20th centuries? What is it about the idea of the vampire that makes it so useful and attractive to fiction authors in different historical periods?
If you were to write a vampire story, what would your vampire be like?

28. Which characters in the story seem to you to really be "monsters"? What do we humans do with real monsters in our midst? How do we relate to them, how do we try to normalize or control them?
What is a "monster" and who defines him or her as such?