Contrast Two Vampires
Vampires have been viewed with fear and fascination for centuries. Of all the vampires in literature, Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula is probably the most prominent vampire. Recently, there has been an upsurge of public interest in socially acceptable vampires, like the Cullens in the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer. This essay will contrast Stoker’s Dracula with Carlisle Cullen, one of the newer vampires from the Twilight series. They will be examined in terms of their origins and how they dealt with immortality.
While Bram Stoker’s Dracula has been described as the “quintessence of evil creatures we meet in our everyday lives” and “the Darkness” in the hearts of men (Herbert, 2004, pp. 62), Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series has been accused of “rewriting” vampire mythology, stripping them of their “darkness and countercultural natures” (Wright, 2014, pp.354). The ‘good’ vampires in Meyer’s novels have the mystery of vampirism with just the right amount of humanity to make them attractive to the teenage fans. Over the years, the character of Count Dracula has been interpreted differently by moviemakers and authors inspired by the original book. However, for this essay, the comparison will be between the original books where these characters were first essayed.
To contrast their behavior as vampires, it is important to examine the beginning of Count Dracula and Carlisle Cullen. In chapter 23, Professor Van Helsing mentions that Count Dracula was in life a “wonderful man,” a soldier, and a statesman, (Stoker, 1897/2001, pp.289). Although Stoker in his original book does not clarify how count Dracula became a vampire, there are references in the text that suggest it was the result of necromancy. In chapter 18,...
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...eed to connect or form relationships with the humans he changes. As immortals, both Cullen and Count Dracula are destined to live alone, but they deal with it in different ways. While Cullen seeks companionship and kinship through his coven, Dracula seeks to create more like himself.
In conclusion, as a vampire, Cullen is the antithesis of Count Dracula. They differ drastically, in how they dealt with losses in their early life, in their aspirations, how they dealt with immortality. Meyers’ Cullen is more a vampire of the times, though soulless, he is full of empathy; a monster, nevertheless, a benevolent one. Cullen shows that even if the beginning is potentially villainous and evil, the destiny is in the hands of the person. While in Dracula one sees how even after living a full and victorious life, one can spiral down a path of ruthlessness and literal bloodlust.
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