Thursday, November 10, 2011

Drusilla and Alice: The Crazies

When Drusilla was first introduced in the episode "School Hard," I thought she was the creepiest character ever to be on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." Not that she looked extremely hideous or anything, but it was the odd combination of a grown-up woman's body, child-like behaviors (and speeches), and a penchant for cruelty and blood that made her scarier than the other vampires, like Spike, who is outwardly violent and bloodthirsty. There is this one scene where Drusilla is in her room full of blindfolded dolls and is punishing one of the dolls for being a bad example. This creeped me out so much and made me sort of realize that Drusilla's weirdness doesn't necessarily come from being a vampire but comes from her insanity. Therefore, it is her insanity that makes her more fearless and cruel (even cruel to her own kinds, the vampires). For instance, in one episode (forgot which one but probably "Innocence"), she is the one who reassembles the body parts of the Judge with the purpose of putting an end to the human world. While doing so, she finds out that one of the vampires has lost the Judge's arm and gets "enraged" (although her face and voice always remain the same--emotionless), breaking the vampire's glasses and threatening to poke his eyes out.

Thus, Drusilla reminded me of Alice in Batwoman Elegy, who was also sort of a creepy, weird combination very similar to that of Drusilla's. Her incoherent, child-like speech (along with the sexy yet childish outfit) and extreme cruelty and disregard for life have proven her crazy. Alice's insanity makes her not fear the consequences of her cruelty, making her amoral like Drusilla.

So I wondered: what made Drusilla crazy, and what made Alice crazy? What made them similar?

Then, I realized that the traumas in the past made them transform into these bizarre characters. Alice becomes insane after she witnesses her mother's death and gets separated from her twin sister, Kate, who she was extremely close to. Having lost someone she loved so much right in front of her eyes, she completely loses herself and constructs a strange world of her own, where she is sort of stuck in a time warp and fails to mature to a normal woman. To me, Alice seemed to fear letting go of her past, where she was loved and had a family to rely on, and, therefore, she chooses to be the replica of the fictional character, Alice, a young girl stuck in a strange land with an askew sense of time (and physics), wearing a cutesy childish garment.

Drusilla's story is not much different from Alice's. In the episode "Lie to Me" (season 2; we didn't have to watch this episode for the class), Angel talks about what happened to Drusilla. When Angel was Angelus, he became obsessed with Drusilla because she was so beautiful and pure. Therefore, he tortured her by killing her family and her loved ones and by turning her into a vampire right before she joined a covenant in Prague. This drove her insane. It seemed like Drusilla was also stuck in the time warp that Alice was stuck in, failing to move on to the present. In the episode "Fool for Love," you get to see how Spike's appearance changes as he lives different time periods (from a dressy Victorian suit with a long hair to leather coat and a bleached blond hair). Spike "adjusts" himself to the present; however, it is not the case for Drusilla. She is always wearing some sort of Victorian era dresses. She does not move on like Spike does. Her time has stopped at the moment of her death and of her traumatic past, and although she has become a soulless vampire, she refuses or has forgotten to let go of her past. Holding onto the past trauma for centuries has made her more insane and more cruel.


  1. I really liked your comparison between Drusilla and Alice. They are both very similar in the way that they dress and act. It also goes to show that many "enemies" in stories or television shows are crazy or extremely strange while contributing so much to the story line.

  2. They are also similar in how they are physically portrayed. As Michele said they act and dress quite similarly and they are both pale and white. We said in class that this would resemble a corpse.

  3. Drusilla is intimidating in how insane she is. When she was first on the show I thought maybe something had happened to her right before she got there, and that's why she was so crazy. I realized very quickly that that is not the case at all and that she is in fact like a demonic child who throws a tantrum when she doesn't get what she wants.

  4. I really enjoyed this post because the comparison was effectively carried out. In exploring this idea further, one difference I could find between the two characters is their importance within the plot. While Alice was central to the Batwoman Elegy, Druscilla wasn't so much so to the Buffy series. Although both end up disappearing from their respective plots, I feel as though Alice's demise was more pivotal to how the the protagonist's ultimate fate.

  5. Your point at the end about Drusilla's clothing was a good one that I had never thought of before. Since her trauma occurred in the Victorian era, that is the kind of clothing that she still wears because she is stuck in the past. Similarly, Alice still wears childish clothing (although it is weirdly sexualized) because the traumatic event in her life happened when she was a child.


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