It’s very apparent early in Carmilla that it is a very different world than the one in which we live. If you think about it, it is very rare that most of America is unconnected from the rest of society. Between cell phones and Facebook (and other sources) it is very easy to keep in touch with people, and to see how they’re doing.
The characters in Carmilla are not afforded this sort of luxury to which we have become accustomed. It is very clear, given the descriptions in the books, that all the people living at the castle only have each other to socialize with. “I have said that this is a lonely place. Judge whether I say truth. Looking from the hall door towards the road, the forest in which our castle extends fifteen miles to the right, and twelve to the left. The nearest inhabited village is about seven of your English miles to the left. The nearest inhabited schloss of any historic associations, is that of old General Spielsdorf, nearly twenty miles away to the right.” (page 244).
This situation is made even more solitary by the fact that not a lot of people live in the castle. “I must tell you know, how very small is the party who constitute the inhabitants of our castle. I don’t include servants, or those dependants who occupy rooms in the buildings attached to the schloss.” (page 245) Added to this the fact that the narrator only is able to visit with her friends occasionally. “And there were two or three young lady friends besides, pretty nearly of my own age, who were occasional visitors, for longer or shorter terms; and these visits I sometimes returned. These were our regular social resources; but of course there were chance visits from ‘neighbors’ of only five or six leagues distance. My life was, notwithstanding, rather a solitary one, I can assure you.” (page 245)
While I was reading this, it made me think of how connected we are to each other and how dependent on that sort of connection that we have become. Even if we tried to disconnect ourselves, I doubt it would be successful. Now, I am aware that the world is not all the same as us, and not all places have the sort of connection that we do. But for America, the majority of us depend on our socialization. Think about it, talking to the people in your class, talking to your teachers, talking to your friends. How desolate it would seem to only talk to the same few people day in and day out! Yes, our narrator does not seem that bothered by it, the descriptions just seem to be telling us of her life and the fact that it does get lonely.
It’s interesting to think about the clash of our modern society with the one this book describes. Would we be able to handle the solitary location?