Bram Stoker's Dracula is one of the most renowned British novels of all time. It has left its marks on many aspects of literature and film. Many thematic elements are present throughout the story and have been interpreted in many ways. Stoker uses his characters to manifest the themes that he wishes to imply. Three themes that present themselves throughout the book are the theme of Christian Redemption, science and technology, and sexual expression.
Christian Redemption is shown in many ways throughout the book. Very early in the book when Jonathon Harker is making his journey to the Count's castle he makes a stop where he is given crucifixes. The people who give them to him tell him how they will protect him. The crosses are a way to show that Christianity will promise protection. Also, the communion wafers that are used multiple times throughout the book show how the Christian faith will save and protect you. An example of this is when Van Helsing drops the holy wafers into the tomb of Dracula to ensure that he may never return. The theme of Christianity throughout the novel is also present in the battle of good versus evil. The most prominent example of this is when Mina is burned on the forehead by the Communion Wafer. After being burned Mina screams, "Unclean! Unclean! Even the Almighty shuns my polluted flesh!" (Stoker, p 314). This event represents how the Christian object is truly good as it scars an evil spirit in the vampire. Another example of the conflict of good and evil is in Jonathon's bedroom when Mina is drinking Dracula's blood. Mina, the pure, chaste being, is dressed in all white while Dracula, the evil, corrupt being, is clad in pure black. The way the two are dres...
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...r purity by mentioning that her dress is bloodstained, similar to that of a virgin's white sheets on her wedding night. Stoker uses this as a way to imply that this is a sexual event. In describing Dracula's disposition Seward writes, "His eyes flamed red with devilish passion" (Stoker, p 298). The connotation of the word "passion" gives the description a sexual undertone. Sexual expression is noticed in almost all characters and aspects of the story.
On the surface, Dracula is a story of the battle of good and evil, however it has many other attributes. Christian Redemption, science and technology, and sexual expression, among many others, are ideas that Stoker explores in his book. The themes that Stoker chooses to portray are representative of the Victorian Era ideals. The many themes that are present in Dracula are brilliantly entangled within the plot.
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