Vampires, they have sharp teeth, black capes, perfect skin and black hair, one of the key inspirations to how we see the vampire today is Bram Stoker's book Dracula, written in 1897. Over time the idea of a vampire has evolved from the standard can't go out in the sun and can only drink human blood to sparkling in the sun and can live off of a animal's blood. Either the change occurred from the evolution of writing styles or just written in a way to make a book as popular as possible. This essay will explore the idea of a vampire before and after the book Dracula was made as well as the key inspirations for the book itself. Including comparisons of how we see vampires today versus how they were seen back when Dracula was originally written.
Dracula, by Bram Stoker, is a classic tale of Gothicism. Traditionally, gothic tales only carried single theme of horror. Through Dracula, Stoker breaks this single theme barrier. The theme throughout Dracula is clearly displayed through the characters as they step from ignorance to realization in this tale of horror.
In the year 1897, Bram Stoker releases the crown jewel of the 20th century: his vampire epic Dracula. Ever since Dracula, Transylvania, and castles have been associative of vampirism, the world has become “bloody”. There are slight deviations to the novel, but the majority of them are fairly partial to the novel. Worldly views show Dracula as an old man with a new face. The inception of Bram Stoker’s Dracula has been the melting pot of the recreations and incarnations of the world’s deadliest, bloodsucking vampire, Count Dracula.
These notions became of particular interest to the Gothic writer. The Gothic novel originated as the result of changes in culture in the eighteenth century: “Gothic represented excess and exaggeration, the product of the wild and the uncivilized, a world that constantly tended to overflow cultural boundaries.” (Punter and Byron 7). Bram Stoker used the Gothic novel as a medium to present the dark cultural changes in the Victorian society. His Gothic novel Dracula, published in 1897, depicts the fears and anxieties of the society of that period. Bram Stoker found “the prototype of our modern vampire (q.v.) and created one of the most potent of all literary myths.” (Punter and Byron 230) The fears and anxieties he depicts are the fears of reverse colonisation and the foreign, the contrast between science and folklore, breaking the taboo of sexuality and homosexually, and the change of the traditional role of women. Stoker lets his characters use the modern technological advances of that period such as phonograms and Kodak Cameras; he also emphasises the modernity of its settings by setting the plot in Transylvania and England. A special focus is set on London as the centre
The late nineteenth century Irish novelist, Bram Stoker is most famous for creating Dracula, one of the most popular and well-known vampire stories ever written. Dracula is a gothic, “horror novel about a vampire named Count Dracula who is looking to move from his native country of Transylvania to England” (Shmoop Editorial Team). Unbeknownst of Dracula’s plans, Jonathan Harker, a young English lawyer, traveled to Castle Dracula to help the count with his plans and talk to him about all his options. At first Jonathan was surprised by the Count’s knowledge, politeness, and overall hospitality. However, the longer Jonathan remained in the castle the more uneasy and suspicious he became as he began to realize just how strange and different Dracula was. As the story unfolded, Jonathan realized he is not just a guest, but a prisoner as well. The horror in the novel not only focuses on the “vampiric nature” (Soyokaze), but also on the fear and threat of female sexual expression and aggression in such a conservative Victorian society.
Dracula Compare and Contrast Essay Over the years people have given new out looks on the original vampire, Dracula. He was a tall non-attractive looking man who would never come out during the day. Hollywood however has made new vampire stories such as Twilight, True Blood, and The Vampire Diaries/The Originals that have new ideas of a vampire.
In late nineteenth century Europe, Vampirism became an increasingly popular theme in Gothic novels. While Bram Stoker’s Dracula is by far the most popular from this time, it is neither the first nor the most progressive of its kind. In fact, in 1872, J. Sheridan Le Fanu published “Carmilla”, a short story featuring a female vampire that preys upon young women. This progressive story shows many scenes of homosexual exchange between Carmilla and the protagonist, Laura. Their relationship is meant to symbolize a new paradigm, where men no longer control the exchange of women. While it is often argued that Stoker’s Dracula denies Le Fanu’s paradigm and suggests a return to the previous male dominant system, this may not be entirely accurate. In reality, Stoker suggests a new, terrifying paradigm that allows men to succeed despite their feminine characteristics, while women are brutally punished for poor behaviour, and rewarded only when they possess male characteristics.
While the character of Renfield is ostensively extraneous to the central plot of Dracula, he fulfils an important role in Stoker’s exploration of the central themes of the novel. This paper will examine how Renfield character is intertwined with the three central themes of invasion, blood and otherness. Firstly, through Renfield’s inner struggle we learn that he is ‘not his own master’ (Stoker, 211). The theme of invasion is revealed by the controlling and occupying powers of Count Dracula. Secondly, the recurring theme ‘the Blood is the Life’ (Stoker, 121), is portrayed throughout the novel and has been interpreted through Stoker’s character Renfield. Then finally, a look at the social construction of the ‘other’ in Dracula and how, through Renfield, who is ‘unlike the normal lunatic’ (Stoker, 52), the Count emerges as the ‘other’ of all ‘others’.
Overview Dracula has appealed to readers for almost a century, at least in part because it deals with one of the great human conflicts: the struggle between good and evil. Stoker acknowledges the complexity of this conflict by showing good characters attracted to evil. For example, Jonathan Harker, the lawyer who journeys to Transylvania, is almost attacked at Dracula's castle by three young female vampires. In fact, he seems to be actually welcoming the attack before it is interrupted by the count. In this scene, as well as others, Stoker suggests that evil, represented by the vampires, is an almost irresistible force which requires great spiritual strength to overcome.
Spencer, Kathleen L. Purity and Danger: Dracula, the Urban Gothic, and the Late Victorian Degeneracy Crisis. 1st ed. Vol. 59. N.p.: Johns Hopkins UP, 1992. JSTOR. Web. 6 Jan. 2014. .