Renfield In Bram Stoker's Dracula

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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…show more content…
evil (dark). To begin with, light colors, such as white, are highlighted through characters such as Lucy Westenra, as she is both literally and figuratively characterized to be among “the white garments of the angel,” indicating that Lucy is a character who represents all that is pure and noble in a lady (Stoker 209). On the other hand, the vampires in the novel, Count Dracula and the three female vampire wives, are associated with the colors black and red. For example, when Jonathan Harker first encounters Count Dracula, Dracula is revealed to be “clad in black from head to foot, without a single speck of colour about him anywhere” (Stoker 13). This emphasizes his role as an antagonist in the novel. Also, when the three female vampires appear before Jonathan, he characterizes them to have “dark, piercing eyes” and “ruby [red]” lips, which conveys that they are also among the evil in Dracula (Stoker…show more content…
According to Tadlock, Bram Stoker in Dracula uses the “force of God and His religious symbols to avail against the Un-dead.” For instance, the crucifix is the first Christian symbol to be introduced when an “old lady…[took] a crucifix from her neck [and] offered it to [Jonathan]” as a ward to protect him from Count Dracula’s potentially harmful attacks (Stoker 4). Also, Van Helsing’s and Dr. Seward’s attempts to defend Lucy Westenra and Mina Harker against Dracula’s attacks involve delving into Christian rituals, for it is implied that the vampire is powerless against all that is Holy (Tadlock). Helsing’s initial method of treatment for Lucy Westenra involves lacing her room with garlic (an action derived from religious superstitions), which he believes will act as a defense mechanism against the Count (Stoker 113). Also, when traveling to Transylvania, Van Helsing creates defenses for Mina Harker by forming a “Holy circle” consisting of the men in the novel, which he believes will “[ward] away Dracula’s [followers]” (Gray). Van Helsing is also described to rely heavily on Christian ritual when he places the “piece of Sacred Wafer” upon Mina Harker’s forehead, a method believed to protect her from Dracula’s attacks (Stoker

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