The properties of blood and its relevance to the narrative (2023)

As a child, he had severe hematophobia that began with an incident involving a Ghostface mask, a zip line, and lots of red food coloring. He was terrified of blood before learning science. We instinctively know that seeing blood means that something has fallen apart; this crumbling kept me up at night.

That our heart pumps blood around our body in a continuous circular motion is a fact we take for granted, but the theory of blood circulation wasfirst proposed by William Harvey in 1628. From then on, the word “circulation” was associated with the exchange of information (18th century) and became synonymous with communication [1]. Stories are, so to speak, the blood of culture: they circulate and are sustained.

From a storyteller's perspective, the properties of blood (life-giving, life-taking, deep red, metallic taste, etc.) have excellent narrative value. Blood is often used for its shock value, for example in splattered horror movies or more conservative gore movies likeSe7en. It can even be used for comic value (like the Black Knight scene inMonty Python and the Holy Grail). In this article, I want to look beyond the visceral to the cerebral, and the many meanings that blood has acquired throughout different eras, cultures, and works of art.

The properties of blood and its relevance to the narrative (1)

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Blood symbolism has this duality where it represents both life and death. In premodern East Asia, some Buddhists practicedblood writing. This was a ritual and sacrificial act, in which the writer used his own blood to copy the Buddhist scriptures, allowing them to literally embody the Buddhist teachings. In ancient China, blood was considered the source of life, the ultra-Whichthat could keep the darkness and the devilyingforces at bay [2]. On the contrary, in other cultures it is a harbinger of death. InThe Iliad,the skies rain blood as a warning from Zeus about slaughter in an upcoming battle. In medieval and modern Europe,rain of blood appears in literature and historical accountsvariously as a portent for the Black Death, and a moral warning from God.

Blood sacrifices in ancient Greece were violent, fetishistic, and cathartic. The blood itself had theatrical significance by playing a role in the ritual (being sprinkled on the altar) and also spiritual. Purified the soul. In Scylus's trilogy of tragedies,The Oresteia, Apollo purifies Orestes by sprinkling him with pig's blood. Homer'sThe odysseyoffers information on the blood rituals of ancient Greece; Odysseus sacrifices a ram and a sheep and lets the blood drip on the ground to reach the souls of the underworld and give them a temporary life.

"Things crumble; the center cannot hold; / Mere anarchy breaks loose upon the world, / The blood-drenched tide breaks loose, and everywhere / The ceremony of innocence is drowned."

W. B. Yeatsthe second coming

In other cases, instead of being able to exorcise evil, blood is a vector of evil. Incarrie,Mrs. White refers to menstruation as "the blood curse" placed on Eve; blood, therefore, is evidence of sin. This theory predates the Christian notion, asThe ancient Romans supposedly believedthat menstrual cycles had the power to destroy crops and sour wine. Henry Maudsley wrote inBody and mind(1870) that "the monthly activity of the ovaries" could lead to "a direct explosion of madness" [3]. The tidal wave of blood inthe glowhas been compared to many things, andone of these is menstrual blood. It could be interpreted as the physical manifestation of Wendy Torrance's hysteria (I should note that the word hysteria comes from the ancient Greek for "womb").

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Today, blood in religious rituals is often metaphorical, for example the wine of the Eucharist, but certain Christian denominations believe in transubstantiation, that is, that the wine literally becomes the blood of Christ. The meaning of wine in this doctrine isto imbue the drinker with Christ's gift of salvation. By transferring the physical properties of the blood of Christ, they also receive its spiritual properties.

“For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; because it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.”

​—Leviticus 17:11.

The properties of blood and its relevance to the narrative (2)

vampiresthey have become one of the most prolific denizens of pop culture. As Agent Mulder says inx-filesepisode'Bad blood': “There are as many different types of vampires as there are cultures that fear them.” Its relevance to this article is apodictic, but if blood can symbolize identity, life, etc., then what do vampires actually consume?

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InMidnight mass,the bloodlust of vampires is used as a metaphor for alcoholism. Vampires crave blood like a drug, and it makes them behave antisocial and selfish. Addiction is vampiric, and vampirism is an addiction. InJennifer's body,Jennifer's violence is revenge for sexual assault. The image of Jennifer hunched over a mutilated body stuffing handfuls of blood into her mouth is cathartic, because she consumes as she consumes sexual assault, as she consumes patriarchy.

Throughout history people consumed bloodto cure diseases or achieve eternal youth. This is the premise of one ofx-filesThe bloodiest episodes: 'Nothing lasts forever'. In this episode, fame and fandom are cannibalistic (consume, consume, consume). At the beginning of the episode, a priest recites: "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life [...] whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them." This draws a rather grim parallel between the Eucharistic wine and the very explicit scenes of cannibalism throughout.

InPsychopath the bloodit was literally food. Without the need for red food coloring, Hitchcock found that chocolate syrupportrayed the most effective texture and density. Later, a formula known as Kensington Gore (a mixture of syrup, water, food coloring, and cornmeal) was developed and became the standard recipe. was used inthe glow, For example. The way color and texture translate to screen isn't real, and many filmmakers prefer a bright red color for high visual impact. For example, in Jean-Luc Godard.pierrot the fou,of which Godard reportedly joked thatit was “not blood”, it was “red”.

Vampirism has also been used as an allegory for the property of blood to be a vector of disease. in his bookThe Vampire: A New Story,Nick Groom makes many connections to the dawn of vampires and the European bubonic plagues [4], and Stokerdracula has been associated withthe spread of syphilis in the late 19th century, an infection that, at the time, was seen as both a medical problem and a metaphor for social and cultural degeneracy."(Anthony Sanna).

In the late 20th century, the rise of HIV and AIDS triggered paranoia about "mud blood" (although largely perpetuated by misinformation about how the disease spreads). InHunger,contaminated vampire blood destroys a young, virile body, behaving much like AIDS. The way vampires search for their victims has obvious similarities to gay sex cruising. The leather-clad aesthetic of vampires and the allegory of the chosen family have led to strange interpretations ofThe missing child.To me, the film's tagline "sleep all day, party all night [...] it's fun being a vampire" seems like a coded reference to gay nightlife and the stigma surrounding it.

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HeMillennium The pilot opens with the shocking image of blood spilling down the walls of a peep show.The episode goes on to make an explicit reference to AIDS.; The serial killer known as the Frenchman draws blood from his victims to test for the disease and mutilates them in a way that prevents them from having sex and contracting HIV. He believes that he is purging Seattle of a plague prophesied in the Bible. The effect of the gory image in the trailer is to unsettle the audience in the first place, perhaps making them feel the same deadly anxiety as the Frenchman (the sight of blood in such an unnatural volume triggers that primal fear of "falling apart"). "). Second, a blood-soaked peep show dancer finds the connection between sex and death that typifies HIV, and is doubly significant in the context of French internalized homophobia/repression.

Bram Stoker wrote inDracula:"There is hardly a foot of land in all this region that has not been enriched with the blood of men, patriots or invaders"[5]. "Enriched" is certainly an interesting choice of words. Throughout history, the aristocratic classes have been obsessed with purity of blood (“will our blood, / the royal blood of Aragon and Castile, /?”, be achieved in this way).the duchess of malfi [6]). This quote seems to express the outdated and downright scary belief that there is something in European blood (otherwise royal blood, gentile blood, heterosexual blood) that is better or cleaner, when in fact blood should be seen as a unifying constant. . It also shows that even before the discovery of DNA, blood was seen to contain the essence of our identity.

"If you poke us, we don't bleed?"

— ShakespeareThe merchant of Venice

in an episode ofx-filesCalled 'The Unnatural,' the alien who lives under the alias Josh "Ex" Exley, wants nothing more than to be human, so he can live on Earth and pursue his passion for baseball. He can shapeshift to look like Jesse Martin, but his toxic green blood gives him away. Then, at the end of the episode, he is mortally wounded. At the moment of his death, his wish is granted, for he bleeds red blood: “it is only blood, Ex. Look, it's just blood."

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This moment garnered some criticism for not making scientific sense, to whichwriter David Duchovny responded: “it makes poetic sense”. This, I think, is apt for most of the examples I have used. Therefore, I believe that two seemingly contradictory ideas must be true: first, the wide and varied metaphorical powers of blood are more convincing than the scientific facts; Second, that one substance can mean a hundred different things is amazing (and helpful), but ultimately blood is just one thing. Blood is universal. Since the invention of blood transfusions, we have literally been sharing them. And all those metaphors wouldn't work if we didn't understand this. The reason he was so reluctant to gore as a child was that he would see blood and imagine that although it was not my blood, it wasmay well be. It would look the same.


  1. Boyfriend Nick.The Vampire: A New Story.2019. London. Yale University Press.
  2. Yyou, IThe writing of blood as an extraordinary artifact and agent of socio-religious change. 2020. Humanit Soc Sci Commun 7, 3.
  3. Maudsley, Henry.Body and Mind: An Inquiry into Their Connection and Mutual Influence, Especially in Reference to Mental Disorders. London, Macmillan and Co. 1870. (Quoted in Groom,The Vampire: A New Story,150-151).
  4. Boyfriend Nick.The Vampire: A New Story.2019. London. Yale University Press.
  5. Stoker, Bram.dracula. Garden City, Nueva York Doubleday, Page & Co, 1920.
  6. Webster, Juan.The Duchess of Malfi.1623. Edited by Brian Gibbons, Bloomsbury, London, 2014.


What is an important property of red blood cells the ability to? ›

The RBC demonstrates a unique ability for repeated large deformation, which allows for its movement through blood vessels as small as 2–3 μm in diameter during circulation.

What are the main functions of blood and what traits of blood allow it to fulfill these functions? ›

Blood brings oxygen and nutrients to all the parts of the body so they can keep working. Blood carries carbon dioxide and other waste materials to the lungs, kidneys, and digestive system to be removed from the body. Blood also fights infections, and carries hormones around the body.

What is blood and its significance? ›

Red blood cells, or erythrocytes

They transport oxygen to and from the lungs. Hemoglobin is a protein that contains iron and carries oxygen to its destination. The life span of a red blood cell is 4 months, and the body replaces them regularly. The human body produces around 2 million blood cells every second.

What are the functions and properties of blood quizlet? ›

What are the 3 functions of blood? (1) Transport - oxygen, nutrients, hormones and removes wastes. (2) Regulation - pH, temperature, volume of fluid in circulation. (3) Protection - prevent blood loss (clots), prevent infection (antibodies, immune proteins & WBCs).

What are five properties of blood? ›

Blood also may be analyzed on the basis of properties such as total volume, circulation time, viscosity, clotting time and clotting abnormalities, acidity (pH), levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide, and the clearance rate of various substances (see kidney function test).

What are red blood cells list their properties? ›

Red blood cells are deformable, flexible, are able to adhere to other cells, and are able to interface with immune cells. Their membrane plays many roles in this. These functions are highly dependent on the membrane composition.

What is the most important component of red blood cells? ›

Hemoglobin is the oxygen-carrying protein that is found within all RBCs. It picks up oxygen where it is abundant (the lungs) and drops off oxygen where it is needed around the body. Hemoglobin is also the pigment that gives RBCs their red color.

What are the important components and major characteristics of whole blood? ›

Whole blood contains red cells, white cells, and platelets (~45% of volume) suspended in blood plasma (~55% of volume). Whole Blood is the simplest, most common type of blood donation.

What are some of the important functions of blood? ›

Blood Provides the Body's Cells with Oxygen and Removes Carbon Dioxide. Blood absorbs oxygen from air in the lungs. It transports the oxygen to cells throughout the body, and it removes waste carbon dioxide from the cells.

What are two major functions of blood and why are they important for homeostasis? ›

Blood helps maintain homeostasis by stabilizing pH, temperature, osmotic pressure, and by eliminating excess heat. Blood supports growth by distributing nutrients and hormones, and by removing waste.

What is the most important thing in blood? ›

The main job of red blood cells, or erythrocytes, is to carry oxygen from the lungs to the body tissues and carbon dioxide as a waste product, away from the tissues and back to the lungs. Hemoglobin (Hgb) is an important protein in the red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to all parts of our body.

What does blood symbolize in life? ›

Throughout time, blood has been associated with opposites, including life/death, death/redemption, - eternal life - innocence/massacre, sickness/therapy, nobility/malediction (haemophilia in the “Blue Blood” descendants of Queen Victoria), generosity/transmission of infections, and attraction/repulsion.

Why is blood so important to God? ›

The blood is God's sign bearing special significance. The blood signified a life had been given and sacrificed (Leviticus 17:11). It is by blood that God's covenant is ratified, making it officially valid (Hebrews 9:11-23).

What are the two key properties of blood? ›

Explain the two key properties of blood that allow it be a key piece of evidence. are its ability to transport oxygen and nutrients to the body's cells, and its ability to clot.

Which of the following is not a function or property of blood? ›

Answer and Explanation: Among the given options, the one which is not a function of blood is: A) Gather sensory information. Gathering sensory information is the function of nerve cells or neurons.

What are the functions of blood and circulation? ›

The blood circulatory system (cardiovascular system) delivers nutrients and oxygen to all cells in the body. It consists of the heart and the blood vessels running through the entire body. The arteries carry blood away from the heart; the veins carry it back to the heart.

Where is blood made? ›

The bone marrow produces stem cells, the building blocks that the body uses to make the different blood cells – red cells, white cells and platelets.

What factors affect blood volume? ›

What factors affect blood volume?
  • Congestive heart failure.
  • Excessive sodium intake.
  • Kidney conditions such as kidney failure and nephrotic syndrome.
  • Liver failure.
Jul 8, 2022

What is the definition of blood in anatomy? ›

Blood is a constantly circulating fluid providing the body with nutrition, oxygen, and waste removal. Blood is mostly liquid, with numerous cells and proteins suspended in it, making blood "thicker" than pure water. The average person has about 5 liters (more than a gallon) of blood.

What are the 4 functions of blood quizlet? ›

  • first function of blood. carries oxygen to cells and carbon dioxide away from cells.
  • second function of blood. carries waste from cells to the kidneys to leave the body.
  • third function of blood. transports nutrients and other substances to the cells.
  • fourth function of blood. fights infections and helps heal wounds.

What are the 4 points of blood? ›

What Are the Components of Blood? Whole blood is made up of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets, all of which are suspended in a liquid called plasma. Whole blood and each of it's four components are all valuable tools in modern medicine.

What is the function of the white blood cells? ›

White blood cells are part of the body's immune system. They help the body fight infection and other diseases. Types of white blood cells are granulocytes (neutrophils, eosinophils, and basophils), monocytes, and lymphocytes (T cells and B cells).

What are the 3 functions of the red blood cell in our body? ›

What Is the Function of Red Blood Cells? Red blood cells carry oxygen from our lungs to the rest of our bodies. Then they make the return trip, taking carbon dioxide back to our lungs to be exhaled.

What are 3 things about red blood cells? ›

Blood Fun Facts
  • There are 150 Billion red blood cells in one ounce of blood.
  • There are 2.4 Trillion red blood cells in one pint of blood.
  • The human body manufactures 17 million red blood cells per second. ...
  • A red blood cell is around 7 microns in size.

Which component of blood is most important and why? ›

Plasma is the main component of blood and consists mostly of water, with proteins, ions, nutrients, and wastes mixed in. Red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygen and carbon dioxide.

What is blood mostly composed of? ›

It has four main components: plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Blood has many different functions, including: transporting oxygen and nutrients to the lungs and tissues. forming blood clots to prevent excess blood loss.

What are the two main types of cells contained in blood called? ›

Also called erythrocyte and RBC. Blood cells. Blood contains many types of cells: white blood cells (monocytes, lymphocytes, neutrophils, eosinophils, basophils, and macrophages), red blood cells (erythrocytes), and platelets. Blood circulates through the body in the arteries and veins.

What are the three formed elements in blood? ›

Formed Elements. The formed elements are cells and cell fragments suspended in the plasma. The three classes of formed elements are the erythrocytes (red blood cells), leukocytes (white blood cells), and the thrombocytes (platelets).

What are the three basic kinds of formed elements in blood and what are their respective functions? ›

The three major categories of formed elements are: red blood cells (RBCs), also called erythrocytes; platelets, also called thrombocytes; and white blood cells (WBCs), also called leukocytes. Red blood cells are primarily responsible for carrying oxygen to tissues.

What is the composition and physical characteristics of whole blood? ›

Blood is composed of RBCs, WBCs, Plasma, and platelets. It is sticky, opaque liquid, metallic taste, pH 7.35-7.45. Considered a connective tissue because it connects all of the body systems together.

What is one of the most important functions by blood cells? ›

The red blood cell's main function is to carry oxygen from the lungs and deliver it throughout our body.

How does blood protect the body? ›

One of the key functions of blood is protection. White blood cells are immune system cells. They are like warriors waiting in your blood stream to attack invaders such as bacteria and viruses. When fighting an infection, your body produces more white blood cells.

What are the important components and major functions of blood quizlet? ›

Functions of the different blood components:

Red blood cells - carry oxygen to all of the cells in the body. Platelets - cell fragments that have an important role in blood clotting. White blood cells - are important in the immune system.

What are two of the most important functions of the human circulatory system? ›

The circulatory system delivers oxygen and nutrients to cells and takes away wastes. The heart pumps oxygenated and deoxygenated blood on different sides. The types of blood vessels include arteries, capillaries and veins.

What part of the blood is key in maintaining homeostasis? ›

Plasma surrounds blood cells and serves as its connective tissue. It contains additional components essential for homeostasis including proteins, glucose, and hormones.

What three things does the blood work to maintain at constant levels homeostasis? ›

Maintaining homeostasis

Some of these include body temperature, blood glucose, and various pH levels.

What is everything about blood? ›

Your blood is made up of liquid and solids. The liquid part, called plasma, is made of water, salts, and protein. Over half of your blood is plasma. The solid part of your blood contains red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Red blood cells (RBC) deliver oxygen from your lungs to your tissues and organs.

What is the power of the blood? ›

The power of the blood of Jesus has provided everything you need to live a life of victory, including Redemption, fellowship, healing, protection and authority over the devil. As Christians, we know about the blood, sing hymns about the blood, and remember it during Communion.

What does the Bible say about blood and life? ›

because the life of every creature is its blood. That is why I have said to the Israelites, "You must not eat the blood of any creature, because the life of every creature is its blood; anyone who eats it must be cut off."

Is blood a symbol of strength? ›

It is the “official” symbol of strength and courage because of the substance it represents. Blood courses through the body and is significant in life. It's what allows the body to have vitality, power, and energy. It also goes to the heart, which can then relate the color to love and passion.

What is the power of blood in the Bible? ›

Hebrews 13:12 tells us that “Jesus also suffered…in order to sanctify the people through His own blood.” It makes sense that God wants us to be in a new relationship with the sin that previously condemned us. That is why He gives us the power, through the blood of His Son, to be cleansed from our sinful behaviors.

What is God's view of blood? ›

Blood represents life and is sacred to God. After it has been removed from a creature, the only use of blood that God has authorized is for the atonement of sins. When a Christian abstains from blood, they are in effect expressing faith that only the shed blood of Jesus Christ can truly redeem them and save their life.

What is the biblical effect of blood? ›

This means that the blood of Jesus cleanses and covers every sin and the accompanying guilt. The blood of Jesus cleanses us from dead consciences and makes it pure and alive, such that it detests every trace or iota of sin. The blood also makes us holy and righteous before the Lord.

What are the 3 main blood characteristics? ›

There are 3 types of blood cells – red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.
  • Red blood cells (erythrocytes) carry oxygen to all cells in the body. ...
  • White blood cells (leukocytes) are an important part of the.
  • Platelets (thrombocytes) make the blood clot and help stop bleeding.

What is a physical property of blood? ›

Blood is a fluid that is technically considered a connective tissue. It is an extracellular matrix in which blood cells are suspended in plasma. It normally has a pH of about 7.4 and is slightly denser and more viscous than water.

What are the 7 elements of blood? ›

Overview of Blood and Blood Components
  • Nourishment.
  • Electrolytes.
  • Hormones.
  • Vitamins.
  • Antibodies.
  • Heat.
  • Oxygen.
  • Immune cells (cells that fight infection)

What are some biological properties of blood quizlet? ›

  • Red body fluid.
  • Viscosity of 4.5-5.5.
  • Temperature of 100.4 F or 38 C 1 degree more than body temperature.
  • pH of 7.35-7.45 (basic)
  • 0.86-0.9% is salt.
  • blood is 8% of your body weight.
  • Blood volume is 5L.

What are 5 common physical properties? ›

Physical properties of matter include color, hardness, malleability, solubility, electrical conductivity, density, melting point, and boiling point.

What is the blood made up of? ›

Blood contains cells, proteins, and sugars

The straw-colored fluid that forms the top layer is called plasma and forms about 60% of blood. The middle white layer is composed of white blood cells (WBCs) and platelets, and the bottom red layer is the red blood cells (RBCs).

What are all the components of blood? ›

  • Whole Blood. Whole blood contains red cells, white cells, and platelets (~45% of volume) suspended in blood plasma (~55% of volume). ...
  • Red Cells. Red blood cells (RBCs), or erythrocytes, give blood its distinctive color. ...
  • Platelets. ...
  • Plasma. ...
  • Cryo. ...
  • White Cells & Granulocytes.

What are the 7 main physical properties? ›

Most minerals can be characterized and classified by their unique physical properties: hardness, luster, color, streak, specific gravity, cleavage, fracture, and tenacity.

What are 7 physical properties examples? ›

Examples of physical properties are: color, smell, freezing point, boiling point, melting point, infra-red spectrum, attraction (paramagnetic) or repulsion (diamagnetic) to magnets, opacity, viscosity and density. There are many more examples.

What are the 8 basic physical properties? ›

Physical properties of matter include color, hardness, malleability, solubility, electrical conductivity, density, melting point, and boiling point.

What are the 5 component of blood? ›

Ravindra Sarode
  • Plasma.
  • Red Blood Cells.
  • White Blood Cells.
  • Platelets.

What are the 5 formed elements of blood? ›

The formed elements are cells and cell fragments suspended in the plasma. The three classes of formed elements are the erythrocytes (red blood cells), leukocytes (white blood cells), and the thrombocytes (platelets).


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