May 3, 2023
Dracula and the Anxieties of Victorian Culture
Bram Stoker’s novel, Dracula, explores Victorian anxieties prevalent during the era that the book was written in. In contrast to Western uniformity, the cultural norms in England at the time were outmoded and constrictive; old and conservative values were highly respected and frequently connected with modesty and purity. With the Protestant ideals of Victorian society largely influencing the narrative, Stoker's work tackles the tension between yielding to one's desires and fighting them.
Feminist Criticism is a School of Literary Criticism that refers to the masculine language used to subsume the role of women and construct a representation of …show more content…
In the final moment of Dracula’s demise, he is defeated by Johnathan Harker and Quincey Morris. Mina states, “on the instant, came… Johnathan’s great knife. I shrieked as I saw it, sheer through the throat; at the same moment Mr. Morris’s bowie knife plunged into the heart” (Stoker 398). It's important to recall that Harker and Morris are the two who murder Dracula since they both represent the West—Harker for England and Morris for America. The perception of Western superiority is cemented by the fact that Dracula was murdered by two Western representatives. Dracula’s demise is a representation of a fight between unnatural and natural. For instance, Kathleen Spencer states, “With Dracula’s death, the ‘natural’ superiority of Englishmen over the ‘lesser’ races has been once again convincingly portrayed” (Spencer 218). The portrayal of Dracula as being unnatural, and primitive succumbs to the Western narrative of superiority since they assert that they are sophisticated and therefore superior to those not adhering to their ideals. Dracula is killed in the final stand between him and the Westerners, yet he does not appear upset about losing. Mina states, “As I looked, the eyes saw the sinking sun, and the look of hate in them turned to triumph” (Stoker 398). Dracula is dead, yet despite this, he declares victory. The fact that Dracula declared triumph suggests that the anxieties and worries that he represents proceed even after his demise. Dracula’s influence continues to live throughout the lives of those he has encountered. The actions and occurrences that have taken place throughout the narrative reveal the Westerners' true character, but they choose to disregard it due to their sense of superiority. Carol Senf argues, “The narrators insist that they are agents of God and are able to ignore their similarity to the vampire because their
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In Dracula multiple characters join together to defeat the vampire, with each individual bringing their unique skills to the group. Van Helsing, the expert, knows how to defeat the Count, Mina brings her observation skills and her ability as a writer, and Quincey Morris is an experienced hunter. In his article, “It Takes Capital to Defeat Dracula,” Richard Coe examines the motely group to find a uniting characteristic. Coe concludes that the rational, “bourgeois” characteristics of Stocker’s heroes allow them to defeat the medieval, emotional monster.
In his article, Mathews argues that Stoker's novel reflects the racial tensions and anxieties of the Victorian era. Mathews states, "Stoker clearly suggests that the vampire is a product of Eastern and non-Western cultures, and is essentially a non-Western entity who has invaded the West." (Mathews 86) This reflects the idea that Stoker saw immigrants as a threat to Western culture, as they brought with them their foreign customs and beliefs that differed from the values of the Western world. Furthermore, Stoker uses the character of Count Dracula to highlight the dangers of allowing the "inferior East" to infiltrate the "civilized" West.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a Gothic tale that in a lure of decadence warns against the pull of the past. Victorian ideals are set to cherish the idyllic home, but when the national dwelling is compromised, Dracula’s invasion mixes the foreign with the familiar. England, a paragon of Western order and a colonizer, fears any disease that weakens the growing Empire. In Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the Count embodies the Victorian fear of reverse colonization through his deliberate crossing of cultural and physical boundaries as a way to undermine British imperialism.
Jonathan Harker had to face the evil man himself and is willing to fight this evil, supernatural being too to keep everyone safe. His future wife, Mina, does become a part of the evil Dracula when they suck each other's blood and when hypnotized she can act out what Dracula is doing. She helps in the final searches for Dracula when they all want to go out to destroy him. Lucy falls under the mysterious and evil spirit of Dracula, but her future husband Arthur Holmwood tries to help Lucy get better when she was sick by giving his blood for a transfusion and does whatever he can to help his future wife. Quincey Morris is a good man throughout the novel during the many instances and sacrifices his life in order to possibly rid the foul impacts Dracula has made on everyone.
Introduction Many people know the name Dracula. The king of vampires has been the subject of many different stories across many forms of media but this terrifying character created by Irishman Bram Stoker pales in comparison to the evil of the real life historical figure whose namesake he bears. Vlad III Dracula, Also known as The Impaler, was the former ruler of what is now Romania. He committed terrible atrocities upon his fallen foes such as dismemberment, boiling and of course Impalement.
During the Victorian period in which Dracula was written, morals and ethics were often strictly enforced. Some of the morals that were upheld had to do with personal duty, hard work, honesty, as well as sexual proprietary. It was very important during this period that one was proper in their sexual behaviors and conventional in whom they had sexual relations with. However, during this period, many authors sought to challenge the ‘norm’ with ideas of reform and change and Bram Stoker was no exception to this. In his novel, Dracula, Stoker provides a critique of this rigidity in his portrayal of Dracula and Dracula’s relationship with Jonathan Harker.
The topic I have chosen for my essay is how Dracula is meant to remind society of the importance of religion, specifically Christianity, in Stoker’s time. I intend to do this through analyzing symbols in Dracula, drawing connections between these symbols and Christianity, and analyzing the implications Stoker attempts to make. I chose this topic because vampires and their sacrilegious implications, such as burning when touching a cross, have always been of interest to me, hence why I chose to study Dracula in the first place. My thesis is: Stoker uses Count Dracula as symbol to represent what society may become if they abandon religious beliefs.
Throughout the novel, Dracula is described through biblical terms. An example is when Dracula is crawling up the wall Jon asks “What manner of man is this?” and this is the same scenario and question from the disciples when Jesus calms the seas in Matthew 8. Another biblical example is when Mina describes Dracula as a “pillar of cloud” when she sees him in her bedroom, this is the form God took when guiding Israelis into the wilderness. Mina is picturing Dracula as a godly figure which pushes the evil representation of Dracula back causing the reader to not see him so fiercely as the anti-god.
Dracula challenged this ideology by characterising Count Dracula as attractive and machiavellian. He was covertly evil, he manipulated and lured his victims in so they were trapped. This contradicted the beliefs about foreigners, Stoker illustrated the foreigner as smart and cunning. Dracula, as a character, challenges xenophobia as he was seen as more of a predator than a monster but he created them which led to him being more romanticised.
At first glance, the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker appears to be a typical gothic horror novel set in the late 1890s that gives readers an exciting look into the fight between good and evil. Upon closer inspection, it becomes apparent that Dracula is a statement piece about gender roles and expectations for men and women during the Victorian age. Looking at the personalities, actions, and character development of each of the characters in Dracula bring to light startling revelations about Victorian society and how Stoker viewed the roles of men and women during this time period. To really understand Dracula, it is important to note that this novel was written during a time “of political and social upheaval, with anxieties not just about the
A battle between good and evil is a common plot to Dracula. The forces of evil, Count Dracula and other vampires (the un-dead), try to take over Britain. The novel heroes Dr. Van Helsing, Dr. John Seward, Johnathan Haker, Quincy Morris, and Arthur Holmwood are the first responders for this evil invasion of the British Empire. In the novel the characters Dracula and Van Helsing play a major role for being the leaders of their respective groups, therefore they controlled the actions of their groups. Dracula’s actions in the novel have the purpose to flourish the rise of the un-dead, while Van Helsing’s actions aim to preserve and protect the human race.
Gothic horror novel Dracula, the title character makes only several relatively short appearances, some of which are while in disguise. Throughout the novel, Stoker keeps Count Dracula in the shadows, both literally and figuratively. This essay will describe these appearances and analyze Stoker’s use of them to determine what effect they might have on the impression of the character and the novel overall. It will be claimed that by keeping his title character hidden for much of the novel, Stoker’s Dracula is made much more frightening to the reader. Human beings tend to fear the unknown, and by leaving Dracula to the imagination,
“As ruler of Walachia, Vlad became notorious for the brutal tactics he employed against his enemies, including torture, mutilation, and mass murder” (Was Dracula a Real Person). These acts earned him the name Vlad Tepes, or Vlad the Impaler, as he preferred impalement as his method of killing. “One of the most notable instances of Vlad’s sadistic acts concerned the impalement of hundreds of Saxon merchants and a place called Timpa Hill. Vlad allegedly feasted among the field of dying bodies as they writhed in agony, and was even said to drink the blood of his victims from a bowl” (The Legend of Dracula). These rumours are probably what inspired Stoker to create the legendary, bloodthirsty vampire named