In the beginning of this novel, women were viewed only as objects. They were used to appeal to Robert’s lust, and to make him leave his house. They did this by striking lewd poses when they knew he was looking out at them. This worked to awaken his lust, but he did not go out to them. This can be traced back to the racial themes of the book, in the fact that he did not want his blood to come into contact with the vampire’s blood because he felt that he would become contaminated by them. The fact that he viewed the women as objects, and not people anymore made it easier for him to kill them, because he did not view them to be the same as he was. This also can be traced to the racial themes of this book.
Later in the novel, he performs experiments on the vampires. However, all the vampires that he experiments on happen to be women. They seem to be more like lab mice than anything. Only good if they serve his purpose, otherwise he has no problems in killing them. They’re just experiments, not people, or even living things to him. He rationalizes killing them by telling himself that they would have killed him, given the chance.
Robert, however, does have a strong desire for a companion. This is where Ruth comes in. He is drawn to her because he believes her to be another human like him, and chases her down. The fact that he goes through such lengths to get to her shows us how desperate he is for someone, anyone else to talk to and to be with. Though the idea of being with her frightens her and he tells himself it would be easier if she was one of them. “But what if she were free of bacillus? In a way, that was a more nerve-racking possibility. The other way he would merely go on as before, breaking neither schedule now standards. But if she stayed, if they had to establish a relationship, perhaps become husband and wife, have children . . . Yes, that was more terrifying.” (Page 139)
Later he thinks, “Shall I kill her now? Shall I not even investigate, but kill her and burn her?” (Page 140). It’s interesting to be that he seems that he would rather keep viewing the women as he had been, as objects. They are easy to dispose of because they don’t have any meaning to him. He is scared of having responsibility again, and by making Ruth into one of them in his mind (and thus making her into and object that is okay to kill), he tries to rid himself of any responsibility that he might have if it turns out that she is not infected.