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Priceless
13-06-18, 10:44 AM
Suggested by TriBel, that this would be an interesting discussion :) What does light (in all it's forms) mean to vampires? What does it mean for humans who are involved with vampires? How is light used in the Buffyverse? What is it's meaning and metaphor? ;)

SpuffyGlitz
13-06-18, 11:51 AM
I've always found it interesting that in the episodes Afterlife and Dead Things, we have two successive references to light and dark in the Spike-Buffy relationship. He makes increasing forays into daylight to meet her, she makes forays into the dark. There's both darkness and light invested in the Spuffy relationship. And Dawn interests me, given her name and the fact that she's always been supportive of Spuffy up to S7.

Afterlife:
BUFFY
Spike. It's daylight and you're ...
SPIKE
Not on fire? Sun's low. Is shady enough here.

Dead Things:
SPIKE: You see ... you try to be with them...
Spike walks up behind Buffy.
SPIKE: ...but you always end up in the dark ... (whispering in her ear) ...with me.

OMWF:
SPIKE: The sun sets and she appears. Come to serenade me?

As a sidebar: this stanza interests me in relation to this theme:

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
-She Walks in Beauty, Lord Byron.

Priceless
13-06-18, 12:33 PM
Just watched In The Dark, the AtS episode, and Spike is set on fire because he wanders into the light. So does that make 3 times in the show when he's been burnt? This ep, Lovers Walk and Chosen? It seems, even if by accident, he tends to find the light, even though it always burns him up.

SpuffyGlitz
13-06-18, 12:36 PM
Not to mention, he almost smokes in Harsh Light of Day when the ring is yanked off him. Light and "brightness" is also associated with pain, even for Buffy - "Everything here is hard and bright and violent. Everything I feel, everything I touch. This is Hell." (Buffy - Afterlife)

TriBel
13-06-18, 01:31 PM
I've always found it interesting that in the episodes Afterlife and Dead Things, we have two successive references to light and dark in the Spike-Buffy relationship. He makes increasing forays into daylight to meet her, she makes forays into the dark. There's both darkness and light invested in the Spuffy relationship. And Dawn interests me, given her name and the fact that she's always been supportive of Spuffy up to S7.

Afterlife:
BUFFY
Spike. It's daylight and you're ...
SPIKE
Not on fire? Sun's low. Is shady enough here.

Dead Things:
SPIKE: You see ... you try to be with them...
Spike walks up behind Buffy.
SPIKE: ...but you always end up in the dark ... (whispering in her ear) ...with me.

OMWF:
SPIKE: The sun sets and she appears. Come to serenade me?

As a sidebar: this stanza interests me in relation to this theme:

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
-She Walks in Beauty, Lord Byron.

Love the stanza from Byron! It seems to me that light and dark are falsely polarised in BtVS. The realignment of night - the positive aspects of dark - are there in The Beatles song Blackbird (significantly one of the Cuemixes in the Giles mini):

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to be free
Blackbird fly, blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night

The "Gaudy day" compares nicely with the blindingly white light that dazzles Buffy in "Get it Done" - which contrasts with the black of the demon dust. I wonder whether this sort of polarity should be laid firmly at the feet (or the staff) of the Shadow Men (WC; patriarchy)? Why are they called "Shadow Men"? Does this make them more or less palatable? Shadows only exist if there's something to cast the shadow.

There's no amount of theoretical books on night and the need to control the culture of the night. It's always associated with unruly sexuality (you could be arrested for night walking; night walker is another term for prostitution etc). At the same time there's a Women's Movement called "Take back the Night".

SpuffyGlitz
"Everything here is hard and bright and violent. Everything I feel, everything I touch. This is Hell." Nice call - it sits well with the hard light in "Get it Done". There's the clearly defined shadows on the wall and floor in Afterlife. In addition, the alley where Buffy and Spike shelter from the sun is the same alley where Spike fights the demon in Get it Done.

The bedroom in the stranger's house in Touched has 6/7 light sources - none of which are used. In addition they're "emergency" lights (candles and storm lanterns). What's emergency lighting about? In contrast, Revello Drive has 3/4 lit candles in every room.

There's also this (in DMP):

BUFFY: This'll make my day complete. (sighs, walks over to the cash register) What?
SPIKE: What's in the DoubleMeat nuggets?
BUFFY: I'm working. Go away.
SPIKE: Yeah, and you chose to be in the consumer service profession, and I'm a consumer. (smirking) Service me.
BUFFY: (not amused) Order something or go.
SPIKE: (sighs) Give a bloke a chance for his eyes to adjust. Damn fluorescent lights. Makes me look dead.

Buffy just makes an annoyed face.

SPIKE: Some demons love 'em. The way they vibrate makes the skin twitch. That the kinda demon you are, luv?
BUFFY: I am not a demon. I don't know why you can hit me, but (firmly) I am not a demon.

Is it actually "day" when Spike shows up? Is this a comment on capitalism imposing its own logic on nature?

Finally there's this (Touched):

VI Yeah...yeah...we'll get some rest and then tomorrow, things won't seem so—
The lights go out in the house, and everyone jumps and gasps, frightened, asking what happened.
CARIDAD
The lights went out?
AMANDA
I'll get some candles... if we have candles.
KENNEDY
I'll check the fuse box.
FAITH
(looking out the window) Don't bother. All the lights on the whole street just went out.
KENNEDY
Which means?
FAITH
(looking at the group) That the people from the power company have got the hell out of Sunnydale.
VI
I think I'm freaking out.

I can't help thinking Faith's comment is telling - if only because it juxtaposes power and light.

Stoney
13-06-18, 03:31 PM
There are soooo many specific times that the sun is referenced for the vamps. Being able to walk in the sun and the inability of a vampire to do so featured heavily in Buffy and Angel's story in the early seasons. It is something Angel had nightmares about (back to beds again!) and they discussed as a barrier between them when the Mayor raised the difficulties in them staying together. The whole magic snow being needed by the powers to protect Angel from his suicidal thoughts too. Buffy dreams of meeting Angel on the beach when she is in LA and there is Angel's ability to join the fight in Graduation Day because of the eclipse. I don't remember the details of IWRY well enough to know, but I think Buffy and Angel go out into the sun together then and he basks in the freedom to be in non-harmful light in Pylea before he finds out it will also bring his demon forth too.

Light is used symbolically greatly across Spike's story. It just features over and over. It's used as an indicator of goodness and darkness of course, of purifying and damning. The light is reached for and the darkness can be cut by the light but darkness can smother light too. As a vampire Spike is born in the dark and yet reaches for the light and refuses to be restricted by it (those damn blankets he is so fond of). Buffy and Dru represent the light/dark choices before him. The Crush review in the rewatch really looked at the ties between Spike's siring, Dru's return and her offer to bridge Spike's chipped state for him. Instead we see his rejection of what she is offering now as he looks to fight for/with Buffy. There are repeated incidents of the light/sunlight directly playing a part in their interactions. The burn to his hands in Spiral for example has his vampiric nature a disadvantage happen just before he damages his hands grasping the sword to save Buffy, his vampiric nature a benefit. He is trapped by the sun from returning after his mission with Andrew but then goes to find Buffy when he gets back in Touched. There are so many incidents all the way through the show. There is of course then the whole development of their relationship in the comics, his risking burning in the sun in S8, rejecting being the dark place still in S9 and the creation of the solarium for Buffy on the bug ship, his fantasy of walking in the sun with her, then to it being raised as a barrier in their relationship in S10 but him looking to live above ground with the group.

It's just such a key part of the mythology of vampires that it naturally features in Buffy's relationships with the vamps. But where it represents redemption and being a demon often in Angel's story, it is used more through Spike's as part of the sense of an overall journey, from one toward the other. If that distinction makes sense. :)