I guess that’s the real question…what happens to the soul?
I think legend and tradition would say the soul leaves, and the body remains as the vampire. In that sense, I suppose the vampire would indeed be a monster. What happened to the human’s soul, then? Under the original premise that vampires came out of murderers, then I suppose that particular soul was damned (for murder) while the monster continued to exist.
But what about vampires’ victims? An innocent person, upon being turned by the ‘monster’, would probably have it’s soul sent to purgatory at the very least. From a Catholic perspective I wonder if that soul will be reunited with the body at the Second Coming, regardless of what the body did in it’s eternial state.
It would seem that the vampire would fall under the realm of Satan, then, thus the premise that they are evil in and of themselves. But Satan seeks the ruin of souls, so what purpose would be served in ruling over vampires if their victims’ souls do not get condemned in the turning itself? If the vampires only killed people who were in a state of mortal sin then I could see the point of having an army of vampires to lead, but that’s not how tradition portrays them. They kill innocents along with the condemned, and it seems they prefer innocents.
Then there’s the monster’s existence to consider. He/she still has a functioning mind, emotions, and free will to exercise according to whatever plan is unfolding. How does that happen? What does that indicate?
It seems that’s where Meyer goes with her concept. Their bodies don’t function as a living organism, they don’t need to breathe but they need air in order to speak and growl so they still use their lungs. They don’t eat food so their digestive system isn’t used, but they consume liquids and it doesn’t stay with them so it must be expended in their exertion of just existing.
Meyer has Carlisle attempting suicide when he awakes to realize what happened to him rather than kill a human. He never found a way. I can’t recall if he attempted to starve himself but from what Meyer reveals elsewhere, I get the impression that if they let themselves go without feeding for too long their bodies’ survival instinct would kick in and they’d kill a human without choosing to. Rather than risk that he fed on animals.
That Carlisle laments being victimized and chooses to not to lose his humanity despite the turn of events is what had me pondering what if it happened to someone like me? The vampires still have emotions and a reasoning mind, even in traditional tales. That has to mean something, but whether or not it has to do with the soul remains the question.