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Karen Russell’s writing shows a similar connection between the two stories, “Vampires in the Lemon Grove” and “Reeling for the Empire”. In both of these short stories, Russell’s writing is not complex or outlandish. The writing itself is simply constructed. However, the messages portrayed in these short stories are complex. Looking specifically at “Vampires in the Lemon Grove”, this story is creative in its storyline: a vampire couple living in a lemon grove trying to keep away from blood thirst. Within the story there isn’t a whole lot that actually happens, similar to “Reeling for the Empire”. Even though the stories are simple in their writing, and storylines are not full of exciting development, Russell uses the simplicity to say a lot to a “bigger picture”.

In “Vampires in the Lemon Groves”, Russell is toying with the idea of overcoming the past in the character of Clyde. Although Clyde is not an immensely developed character, the reader can understand what Russell is getting at about overcoming ones past. Clyde has had to overcome challenges of myths told to him about vampires after meeting Magreb, and soon having to conquer change by overcoming his past ways of living. Russell also gets at the point of humanity. Russell utilizes the vampire couples attempt of using lemons, and other foods/objects, instead of sucking the blood of humans as an act of good humanity. However, there comes the point in the short story where the lemons are no longer sufficient for their blood thirst. The symbol of blood to a vampire is a symbol of a humans need for life. In other words, Karen Russell utilizes this thirst of blood, after so long of being conscious of others needs, to be equivalent of human agency. How much can one sacrifice before it becomes too much for them?

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