Dracula

Dracula

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Dracula
Author:
Bram Stoker (1847-1912), a fan and friend of the playwright Henry Irving, he wrote dramatic criticism and glowing reviews of Irving's work for the local papers and finally became business manager of Henry Irving's Lyceum Theatre. During these years he wrote his greatest novel, Dracula. Stoker wrote numerous novels, short stories, essays, and lectures, but Dracula is by far his most famous work and perhaps the most well known horror novel.

Summery:
Jonathan Harker, a young English solicitor, is sent to the Eastern European country of Transylvania to conclude a real estate transaction with Count Dracula. But he ends up finding out that the count is actually a vampire and flees. As Dracula the vampire successfully reach London, he transforms Lucy, a friend of Harker¡¯s fianc¨¦e Mina, into a vampire whom her fianc¨¦ finally has to destroy with the help of a knowledgeable professor Van Helsing. The men decide to hunt down the vampire as Harker joins them. Unfortunately, Mina is attacked and begins to change into a vampire slowly as they succefully track down the boxes the count uses as sanctuary at night. They sterilize the boxes, forcing the count back to Transylvania. They separate and track the count across land and sea. Finally they kill the female vampires in the castle and slay the count just before he reaches his castle thus Mina is saved.

Comments:
It is said that this book is considered as one of the most famous horror novels, if not the most famous one. The Gothic descriptions in the novel are very prominent at the beginning. The portrayal of the countryside of Transylvania, of the ruined Dracula Castle, etc, all provide the effect of horror in the sense of spooky and gloomy atmosphere, which you can obtain close at hand. Everything is so obvious. The originally beautiful scenes are changed by the writer¡¯s magnification of some specific details which provide certain effect on the readers. All of the above reminds how one¡¯s personal feelings can alter their attitudes towards what they see or what they experience. Sometimes when you are sad, everything look so depressing. It is like the whole world is against you. The sunset could be a fantastic scene when you are filled with joy but an extra source of sorrow when you are not in the mood. Harker is separated from her lovely fianc¨¦e to meet some foreign count in the exotic and unknown eastern world.

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He is all alone, and everyone he meets on the road warns him about the danger of his task. What kind of feelings would he have, and with which what kind of things would he see in the foreign landscape?

The rest of the book we can see people¡¯s attitude towards women¡¯s desire and how should they behave in Victorian Britain, which also interests me. In the Victorian culture, women were supposed to be either a virgin or a wife. Anything beyond this two was forbidden and considered as animal like behavior in that patriarchal society. The ladies were required for chastity and purity. The two lovely ladies Mina and Lucy are portrayed as models of this kind in the novel, while the three lustful female vampires in Dracula¡¯s castle are meant to be destroyed. Even Lucy is ruthlessly destroyed by her fianc¨¦ after her transformation to a vampire which means she is no longer pure. We can see here women¡¯s desire was oppressed in the Victorian era. They were supposed to be obedient t o their husband. As we have learned from Frankenstein, and Roman-Greco Mythology, men sometimes are afraid of their desire, they can¡¯t control themselves. So they destroy their counterpart, what is the source of their desire.

The entire plot of the vampire legend is definitely something very interesting, too. The supernatural power of the vampires and the holy rituals people have to perform in order to slay them still attract many movie viewers today. Some interpretations about the supernatural elements in the book say that they represent people¡¯s anxiety of the reason and scientific society in Victorian era, when religion received more and more doubts because of theories like Darwin¡¯s. And the book tells us we should be open to all the knowledge includes what is considered as superstition today. We can have some clues in how Van Helsing manages to know the cause of Lucy¡¯s sickness while Dr. Seward who is only concerned about modern medicine cannot. In my opinion, there is in deed something we cannot explain with the help of science today, and we should have an open mind to all kinds of things. Nevertheless, we should not hold on to the outdated theories or proved-fault believes. Besides that, people are free to believe what they want to believe.

Above all, to me what is important is that I enjoy this book. I don¡¯t know much about Gothic and Victorian writings. Still I enjoy the imaginary plot and detailed descriptions of an unknown supernatural creature. And I had some thinking, too.
Dracula
Author:
Bram Stoker (1847-1912), a fan and friend of the playwright Henry Irving, he wrote dramatic criticism and glowing reviews of Irving's work for the local papers and finally became business manager of Henry Irving's Lyceum Theatre. During these years he wrote his greatest novel, Dracula. Stoker wrote numerous novels, short stories, essays, and lectures, but Dracula is by far his most famous work and perhaps the most well known horror novel.

Summery:
Jonathan Harker, a young English solicitor, is sent to the Eastern European country of Transylvania to conclude a real estate transaction with Count Dracula. But he ends up finding out that the count is actually a vampire and flees. As Dracula the vampire successfully reach London, he transforms Lucy, a friend of Harker¡¯s fianc¨¦e Mina, into a vampire whom her fianc¨¦ finally has to destroy with the help of a knowledgeable professor Van Helsing. The men decide to hunt down the vampire as Harker joins them. Unfortunately, Mina is attacked and begins to change into a vampire slowly as they succefully track down the boxes the count uses as sanctuary at night. They sterilize the boxes, forcing the count back to Transylvania. They separate and track the count across land and sea. Finally they kill the female vampires in the castle and slay the count just before he reaches his castle thus Mina is saved.

Comments:
It is said that this book is considered as one of the most famous horror novels, if not the most famous one. The Gothic descriptions in the novel are very prominent at the beginning. The portrayal of the countryside of Transylvania, of the ruined Dracula Castle, etc, all provide the effect of horror in the sense of spooky and gloomy atmosphere, which you can obtain close at hand. Everything is so obvious. The originally beautiful scenes are changed by the writer¡¯s magnification of some specific details which provide certain effect on the readers. All of the above reminds how one¡¯s personal feelings can alter their attitudes towards what they see or what they experience. Sometimes when you are sad, everything look so depressing. It is like the whole world is against you. The sunset could be a fantastic scene when you are filled with joy but an extra source of sorrow when you are not in the mood. Harker is separated from her lovely fianc¨¦e to meet some foreign count in the exotic and unknown eastern world. He is all alone, and everyone he meets on the road warns him about the danger of his task. What kind of feelings would he have, and with which what kind of things would he see in the foreign landscape?

The rest of the book we can see people¡¯s attitude towards women¡¯s desire and how should they behave in Victorian Britain, which also interests me. In the Victorian culture, women were supposed to be either a virgin or a wife. Anything beyond this two was forbidden and considered as animal like behavior in that patriarchal society. The ladies were required for chastity and purity. The two lovely ladies Mina and Lucy are portrayed as models of this kind in the novel, while the three lustful female vampires in Dracula¡¯s castle are meant to be destroyed. Even Lucy is ruthlessly destroyed by her fianc¨¦ after her transformation to a vampire which means she is no longer pure. We can see here women¡¯s desire was oppressed in the Victorian era. They were supposed to be obedient t o their husband. As we have learned from Frankenstein, and Roman-Greco Mythology, men sometimes are afraid of their desire, they can¡¯t control themselves. So they destroy their counterpart, what is the source of their desire.

The entire plot of the vampire legend is definitely something very interesting, too. The supernatural power of the vampires and the holy rituals people have to perform in order to slay them still attract many movie viewers today. Some interpretations about the supernatural elements in the book say that they represent people¡¯s anxiety of the reason and scientific society in Victorian era, when religion received more and more doubts because of theories like Darwin¡¯s. And the book tells us we should be open to all the knowledge includes what is considered as superstition today. We can have some clues in how Van Helsing manages to know the cause of Lucy¡¯s sickness while Dr. Seward who is only concerned about modern medicine cannot. In my opinion, there is in deed something we cannot explain with the help of science today, and we should have an open mind to all kinds of things. Nevertheless, we should not hold on to the outdated theories or proved-fault believes. Besides that, people are free to believe what they want to believe.

Above all, to me what is important is that I enjoy this book. I don¡¯t know much about Gothic and Victorian writings. Still I enjoy the imaginary plot and detailed descriptions of an unknown supernatural creature. And I had some thinking, too.
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