Religion And Religion In Dracula

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Truth and Progress: Reconciling Religion and Rationalism to Defeat Dracula Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula deals heavily with the theme of religion and faith, and, framed in the context of a fantastic struggle against an evil vampire, explores a controversy about religion which dominated its contemporary Victorian period—the debate between Christian religion and modern rationalism, an ideology fuelled by recent scientific advancements which provoked religious doubt. Literary critics tend to attempt to fit Dracula to one side or the other of this Victorian debate, but the novel’s position is difficult to discern, as instances of faith versus reason are not presented in binary opposition—neither side is marked as discernibly good or bad. What…show more content…
Dracula is implied to be a God-like and/or Christ-like figure. As a so-called “Un-Dead,”(Stoker x) he is a being that, like Christ, has been resurrected and is immortal. Similarly, the vampiric act of drinking blood evokes the act of communion, in which Christ’s blood, represented by wine, is drunk. The zoophagy of Dracula’s disciple Renfield also evokes the idea of communion, as his consumption of animal bodies corresponds to Christian disciples consuming eucharist bread, which represents the body of Christ. This idea of Dracula as a God-like figure is seen in Renfield’s worship of him: “I am here to do Your bidding, Master. I am Your slave, and You will reward me, for I shall be faithful,” (Stoker 113). Not only does Renfield refer to him as “Master” and offer his faith, but the capitalization of “You” in reference to Dracula follows the convention of capitalizing words that refer to God. As these are spoken words, and are recorded in Dr. Seward’s audio phonograph diary, this capitalization convention would not actually be evident, so its use here is a significant and intentional means of portraying Dracula as God-like. However, it is apparent that this characterization of Dracula as a god figure is negative, a perversion of religion, because vampires are cast as abject monsters. Though they resemble God-like figures, they are considered “a blot on the face of God’s sunshine; an arrow in the side of Him who died for man” (Stoker 253), and thus are perverted parodies of religion. For example, as Mina begins to turn into a vampire, her unwitting consumption of vampire blood and the scar on her forehead, referred to as a
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