Science and Religion: Dracula’s Contrast Religion has been practiced by many and continues to be a part of many households today. Individuals use it as a means of healing, meditations and a philosophy of life. In ancient times, it was the foremost practice for healing and protection against harm. As the modern era began to emerge, science began to present itself as a more reliable and highly sought after practice. People began to question religious practices and some even left it complete. In Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula, the battle between science and religion comes up numerous times which presents the question of which is better. However, the novel was discreet in choosing sides especially being written during the Victorian era. With science …show more content…
During the Victorian Era, science was becoming advanced more than ever and especially in the medical field. The part in the novel that supported the scientific element was when Lucy was bed ridden and the men were constantly providing their blood for transfusions to help save Lucy. Within this statement arises irony that Lucy was bitten by a blood-thirsty vampire and in order to save her, a blood transfusion was performed. “As the transfusion went on, something like life seemed to come back to poor Lucy’s cheeks, and through Arthur’s growing pallor the joy of his face seemed absolutely to shine” Stoker wrote showing that the miracles of science can bring hope and work logically in a way that can prove results faster than religious ways (Stoker 176). With that being said, Seward performed the operation but did so in an unsanitary method; we know today’s medicinal practices hold the utmost standards of sanitization and regulations and when Lucy was given transfusions by numerous people, this potentially made it lethal for her and caused her to die quicker. Some can say that the scientific practices are indeed religion to some because of how some follow the principles of logic. Stoker wrote “Let me tell you, my friend, that there are things done today in electrical science which would have been deemed unholy by the very man who discovered electricity, who would themselves …show more content…
With Dracula and Van Helsing going head to head with their knowledge of each field, Dracula was vulnerable to the cunning minds of humans. Even though the numerous encounters of superstition and sorcery were present in the novel to persuade the reader of how powerful it can be against the ideas of science, Stoker was trying to prove that they both are key parts in living life but one will always be more superior than the other in their own respected categories. Lucy was harmed by a mystical being and the humans referred to scientific methods to try and save her but only resulted in delaying the process of transformation. Nonetheless, science was a key role in delaying the transformation process in order to determine what was actually wrong with Lucy. To this day, the battle between the ideas of religion and methods of science continue to draw out the worst in each other; schools, churches and even governments have set regulations as to when each shall be permitted in a setting so the it can be used at the proper times in the proper ways and also do so without harming or insulting others. As mentioned before, Stoker emphasizes they key roles of the two practices without desensitizing the other but showing how each can have its own qualitative
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Some think of science as advantageous, while others believe it can be immoral. Acts of science can lead to manipulation of the natural world and cause those performing the experiments to “play God.” Nathaniel Hawthorne 's short stories “Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment,” “Rappaccini’s Daughter,” and “The Birthmark” each incorporate characters that attempt to alter a natural aspect of life and in turn are met with failure. It is through his short stories that Nathaniel Hawthorne reveals opinion of science: Men should not engage in scientific studies that require them to act as God.
In Bram Stoker’s gothic novel, Dracula, the overall and fundamental theme of the book is given away the further you read, expressing Stoker’s view of religion. The novel is an account of the paths taken by many different characters such as Count Dracula, Van Helsing, Jonathan Harker, Mina Murray and Lucy Westenra. Since this poem was written with ideas focused primarily on the concepts of evil, as it was viewed during an appearingly-conservative nineteenth and twentieth century society, the book can be seen as a parallel to Eliot’s and others’ own religious quests. While Bram Stoker attempts to acquaint the reader with a frightening tale on the accounts of a dreadful vampire named Count Dracula, he also expresses the goal of strengthening
The essay I chose to compare Dracula with was “Kiss Me With Those Red Lips: Gender and Inversion in Bram Stoker’s Dracula” by Christopher Craft. The essay explains the sexuality in Dracula, desire, gender, and even homosexuality. Craft mentions his essay gives an account of Stoker’s “vampire metaphor” (Craft 108). He highlights certain and very valid points in the story of Dracula that breaks the Victorian gender role, writing, “a pivotal anxiety of late Victorian culture.” (Craft 108).
Bram Stoker’s Dracula, is a classic that has been enjoyed by readers for many years. It is one that involves fantasy, gore and even has the potential of scaring readers. It is a story that has been enjoyed and feared by readers for centuries. With that said, even though it is commonly known as a classic horror novel, it can also be seen as an erotica. Throughout the novel, Stoker incorporates sexual scenes, and scenes of desire that may or may not capture readers’ attention due to the presence of horror.
The central idea of this excerpt from Dracula was the fear of the prisoner living in the castle of Count Dracula who felt trapped and alone. The authors use of first person point of view of the prisoner was able to develop this central idea of fear because prisoner was able to describe his feelings first hand living in the castle with the Count as well as emphasize the thoughts that were scattered inside of his head during this time. An example of the author using first person point of view to help develop the central idea of fear was when the prisoner had realized that he was helpless in the situation of his current living conditions. The prisoner said "I think I must have been mad for the time, for I have behaved much as a rat does in a trap" (lines 4-5).
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.
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
Furthermore, Shelley examines the relation that Frankenstein and his monster have towards relevant motifs of Enlightenment such as science, religion, and humanity. To begin with, the era of Enlightenment was characterized by numerous scientific discoveries in Europe. Advances were made in various scientific fields such as astronomy, physics, and mathematics. They caused large controversies which had a deep impact on people’s thinking about God and religion.
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.
In Stoker’s novel Dracula, Renfield is a patient in Dr. Seward’s mental asylum who has a desire to gain the life of small, living organisms (e.g., flies, spiders, and rats) by consuming their souls. Although the purpose of Renfield’s character may be considered irrelevant to the central plot of Dracula, it is of utmost significance. To elaborate, the Renfield sub-plot functions as an “abstract representation for a better understanding” and in-depth knowledge to the character of Count Dracula through Renfield’s actions (Dracula). According to Gray, the character of Renfield “parallels aspects of Dracula 's livelihood,” such as his need to consume life. The dark relationship that Renfield and Dracula share is evident in the scene when Renfield
For instance, the religious and scientific objects used by the protagonists are put on an equal level and shown working together when Seward states “We each held ready to use our various armaments—the spiritual in the left hand, the mortal in the right.” (Stoker 324). Likewise, Mina’s aforementioned rationalist deduction of Dracula’s escape route is notably said to be made “under God’s providence” (Stoker 373), again suggesting faith and reason working together in harmony. This reconciliation of religion and rationalism is best shown in the character of Van Helsing, who embodies both extremes of the debate. He is described by Seward as “one of the most advanced scientists of his day” (Stoker 122).
In paragraph 15: “Science becomes the modern man’s superstitions” the authors mean that with reasons individuals are fascinated by vampires. Vampires illustrate a future science myth that is clashing with the present, while individuals' "technological arrogance" enable them to satisfy their fear and
Representation of Scientists in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Towards the end of the 19th century, the portrayal of science in literature became more frequent than before; science has been progressing and it began to spark the interest of the readers of fiction. Supernatural elements in stories have been ascribed to scientists and experiments rather than God and miracles. However, since science still covered much of the unknown and inexplicable, the characters of scientists have occasionally been given almost godlike powers, thus prompting the readers to consider the question of morality. The scientist characters in both Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde have initially been successful with their scientific experiments and achieved groundbreaking discoveries, but have ultimately been punished for having gone too far with their experiments on humanity.