Dracula And The Anxieties Of Victorian Culture

3478 Words14 Pages

Trinity Lam
ENG 1302
Professor Loubser
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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