Dracula Gothic Analysis

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Gothic imagery and themes include castles, coffins, monsters and strange lands and pose the background of the classic Gothic novel. The Gothic element is synonymous with the horror and uncanny- a feeling rather than form, in which transgression is the central topic (Wisker 7). The vampire is a figure that transgresses society’s limits to form the central dynamic of the Gothic. “We enjoy seeing the limit transgressed- it horrifies us and reinforces our sense of boundaries and normalcy” (Halberstam 13). Assuming that Bram Stoker’s Dracula sets the archetype of the vampire, it is clear that modern vampires have demonstrated a decrease in the Gothic horror despite similarities in the Gothic imagery
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The Count is the benchmark of the vampire archetype as the monstrous Other that “announces itself as the place of corruption” (Anolik and Howard 1). Dracula is associated with disruption and transgression of accepted limits—a monstrosity of great evil that serves to guarantee the existence of good (Punter and Byron 231). The “Otherness” Dracula possess reinforces our own norms and beliefs through his transgression that separates him from society and the polarity to Western norms and ideals makes him an effective device for extorting revulsion and horror. Stoker’s novel employs Gothic tradition, providing “the principle embodiments and evocations of cultural anxieties” from which the very Gothic mood and horror is produced, establishing the baseline used to distinguish the modern vampires, as part of vampire mythology within the Gothic (Botting Aftergothic…show more content…
Differences Between Dracula and Twilight The similarities between the two novels are namely Gothic imagery and theme, but the Gothic mood predominates in Dracula over Twilight and it is this difference that makes Twilight not belong in the vampire canon. Horror is the element that Dracula possesses that Edward does not, and it is crucial in the interplay between transgression and limit. So what makes Dracula monstrous and Edward not? Broadly, Dracula is distancing himself from human form while Edward progresses toward human form. Dracula is “un-dead”, once human before his vampire state and clearly separate from human form, establishing his frightening allure. His fangs, hands and sharp nails are horrifying up close. He is not corpse at first look, mysteriously resisting the decay of death. Dr. Seward comments, “she was, if possible, more radiantly beautiful than ever; and I could not believe she was dead” on Lucy’s vampire state (Stoker 200). At several points in the novel Dracula is life like, “simply gorged with blood; he lay like a leech, exhausted with his repletion” (Stoker 52). The monstrous life in death is an “essential gift of Stoker’s vampires to the twentieth century; a reminder, not of the dreadfulness of death, but the innate horror of vitality” ( Auerbach 95). Edward is opposite in appearance to Dracula. The venom from the bite that transforms human into vampire freezes their appearance forever. Edward was bitten at 17, and never labeled as horrifying.
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