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.
The horror genre of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, combined with mild eroticism is able to draw in readers due to the fact that Stoker is able to intricately weave suspenseful sexual scenes/scenes of desire throughout the novel—making it clear that
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).
It is not just women in Victorian society who suffered due to complicated sexuality; Johnathan Harker was a victim of the open sexuality displayed by the vampire women. In his journal he writes “The girl went on her knee and bent over me, simply gloating. There was a deliberate voluptuousness which was both thrilling and repulsive, and as she arched her neck, she actually licked her lips like an animal.” When he says “Bent over me” it makes the girl seem of a higher status than him. In these times, women were always thought to be inferior to men, which transgresses the boundaries of Victorian societal norms.
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).
The fact that there were some role reversals in the novel, especially among the female characters, made most characters all the more dynamic. All the same, the novel was very obviously influenced by gender roles and when Stoker was writing Dracula there was an obvious dividing line between male and female characters that he would not cross. Stoker’s preoccupation with female sexuality in Dracula “is attested to by the fact that [gender roles] actually come to dominate the story, with the vampire hunters mainly concerned not with Dracula himself but with his effect on their beloved companions” (Dixon) While Mina, who represented the ideal Victorian woman, acted as a support system and assistant to the heroic group of men. While things have changed significantly for men and women alike in the modern age, Dracula will likely remain in place as one of the most famous and telling critiques of Victorian gender
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.
The major theme in the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker is the threat of female sexual expression. During this time period, female sexual behavior was frowned upon. Women were said to have to be either a virgin or a wife and mother. Social standards were very strict during this time, making it unheard of for women to show sexual expressions. In is era, the main concern was the role women had in society.
When we think about gothic fiction it is hard not to think about Dracula, a renowned novel written by Irish author Bram Stoker. It was published in 1897 and has set the foundation of the vampire villain character, which is still popular today. Although our current popular culture altered vampire-fiction immensely, Bram Stoker’s Dracula still remains the most popular vampire-fiction novel there is. The plot is set in the late nineteen century and we can say it is written in epistolary form, as a collection of letters and journals of the main characters.
This sheds a light on Dracula as a figure who truly does feel homosexual affection towards Harker. When Harker disobeys Dracula he finds himself in a room where Dracula’s three wives are. Harker journal entry recalling this event describes it in very close details. He describes the women in a very erotic way, saying “I could feel the hot breath on my neck. Then the skin of my throat began to tingle” (Stoker, 48), and the “soft shivering touch of lips.
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,
Bram Stoker, describes one of the verbal taboos of the Victorian era, violence, through the representation of vampires as “monsters” through the point of view of their victims in his novel Dracula. Stoker portrays violence in three distinct categories- physical, visual and psychological. Each one of these categories is described by one of the antagonists in the Novel, with Count Dracula as the physical aspect of violence, his underlings, the female vampires as the visual and Renfield, the patient at Dr. Seward’s mental asylum, as the psychological aspect of violence. This essay looks at the portrayal of such Categorical violence as different renditions of a “monster” and considers why Stoker would segregate violence in such a manner.
Seeing is believing, especially when it comes to the supernatural. Throughout Dracula, by Bram Stoker, the clash between science and the supernatural is a recurring theme. At the time, London, England, was in the middle of modernizing society and the science behind it. This included the invention of the phonograph, typewriter, and the way people were thinking. Because of this new era, the English began to discharge the ideas of superstitions.
The four pieces of literature to be compared in this comparison are Dracula by Bram Stoker, Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) by Francis Ford Coppola, Nosferatu (1922) by F.W. Murnau, and Dracula (1931) by Tod Browning. In these works of fiction, there are answers to what it would have felt like to be a vampire, what it would have felt like to have a vampire in one’s life,