Dracula And Dracula In Bram Stoker's Dracula

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“The impression I had was that we were leaving the West and entering the East” (Bram Stoker) This is one of the opening statements with which Stoker’s main character, Jonathan Harker, starts his description of the landscape he encounters while traveling across the continent towards Transylvania. As we come to understand later on, this remark is the first of many to segregate the West from the East in Dracula, converting rural Transylvania into “a place where the supernatural reigns supreme.” (Light, 2009: 243). Moreover, Stoker’s novel placed in motion an entire vampire culture during the 20th and 21th century, which eventually established an enduring place myth around Transylvania, and implicitly Romania, as the home of vampires…show more content…
A good answer is given by Carol A. Senf in his book The Vampire in the 19th Century English Literature where he notes that such beliefs go far beyond the place itself, and that “the vampire was simply one more example of a mysterious subject that appealed” (1988: 21) by virtue of its Orientalism. As he explains it Dracula symbolized an idea of the sensational that attracted the reader, and not the essence of Transylvania or its historical…show more content…
I long to go through the crowded streets of your mighty London, to be in the midst of the whirl and rush of humanity, to share its life, its change, its death, and all that makes it what it is. (1993: 22) Thus, as we come to realize the context is crucial, and from the beginning of Dracula it is quite obvious that the story’s localization strengthens contemporary fears related to the Victorian society as well as with the nature of Englishness. The contrast between the West’s richness and splendor is constantly correlated with the East’s perpetual worthlessness. As Gill Davies pointed out, “the detailed geography of London is deployed to highlight a number of imperial and national anxieties” (Davies, 2004) which already existed. As a matter of a fact, by the time that Dracula was published stereotypes were well-established, and London was already considered both the heart and the image of the Empire, all the while the East represented all the things that the West was not. In his article “Performing Transylvania: Tourism, fantasy and play in a liminal place”, Duncan Light perfectly pointed out how in the novel the author was more interested, due to his imaginative construct of the place, in portraying “Transylvania as the social and spatial Other of Victorian Britain” (2009: 243), than to describe the beauty and peculiarities of this region. Thus, London was the center of the British Empire and Bram
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