Xenophobia In Dracula

369 Words2 Pages
Dracula Sucks
While the image of vampires has become vastly distorted through the commercialization of the horror genre to a more comical and tacky depiction of a once-feared fictional monster, Stoker’s use of gothic elements in a Victorian environment, the masked theme of xenophobia that is weaved throughout the novel, as well as the combination of multiple different types of terror frightened Victorian readers and, in some parts, frightens us still today.
According to Stephen King in Danse Macabre, there are “three types of terror”: the “gross-out”, comprised of gore and and blood; “horror”, or the supernatural fears like the undead and unnaturally large insects; and “terror”, which is the fear of strange happenings that are disturbing or unsettling without a known cause. (cite) Stoker mainly uses horror to incite fear in his readers over the course of Dracula; the novel’s plot is centered around the existence of a vampire disguised as a Transylvanian nobleman. Stoker also utilizes gross-outs often to adhere to the gothic theme of the
…show more content…
Watson, children were “conditioned” to fear things by association of otherwise-harmless animals with loud, metal noises. Similarly, Western Europeans were terrified of Eastern Europeans because they were conditioned to associate Eastern features (enlarged noses, pointed ears, high cheekbones, strong build, etc.) with the fear of reverse colonization. This fear began to take form in aspects of fictional antagonists and villains, and is exemplified by Count Dracula.
It is unclear whether Stoker intentionally used sentiments of xenophobia to appeal to an audience, or if he was xenophobic himself and subconsciously modeled the Count after stereotypical Eastern European features due to classical conditioning. (cite) However, we can infer based on Stoker’s Irish background and immigration to Victorian England (cite) that he would likely be accustomed to the experience of received
Open Document