Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Bram Stoker’s Dracula

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Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Evil features in both ‘Dracula’ and ‘Frankenstein’ but the personification of this evil is different in both novels. A feeling of menace and doom pervades ‘Dracula’ because of his supernatural powers. One feels that he has control of the evil and he has the power to manipulate the environment and people for his own ends. ‘Frankenstein’ centres on the creation of a monster made from parts of dead bodies and the fear created by the monster due to circumstance and the ignorance of society. Also, one feels a certain amount of apprehension that the monster is deserted by his creator and loses control without his support and guidance.

The novels were written in the 19th century, ‘Frankenstein’ was first published in 1818 and ‘Dracula’ was first published in 1897. In this century there was a fanaticism with Gothic horror stories and these novels reflect this. In the last century, a wide audience would have appreciated these novels, although they are not great literary accomplishments, people of that period enjoyed reading this type of story, filled with horror, suspense and intrigue. The very idea that such an evil and frightening creature could exist shocked and aroused the curiosity of many people at this time. Society in the last century was extremely corrupt and immoral, the novel ‘Frankenstein’ reflects this, in which an innocent creature is shunned by society because of it’s abnormal and somewhat shocking appearance.

Nowadays, people are still enticed by fear, they have a curiosity for the supernatural, evil and frightening. Although modern day society is supposedly politically correct, we are still an immoral society and many of us would treat a creature like Frankenstein’s creation or a vampire like Dracula like a monster. In this way, the novels still have social significance.

The atmosphere of each novel plays a significant role in setting the scene for the ensuing horror to evolve. The atmosphere in each novel is different; the horror in each novel is different

The fact that Frankenstein’s monster kills out of revenge and anger is a form evil but one can understand and to a certain extent sympathise with his inability to reason right from wrong. Many examples of this inability are shown, for example, the creature strangles Frankenstein’s innocent young brother because he cannot under...

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... although his downfall comes because he has limitations, such as, “his power ceases, as does that of all evil things, at the coming of the day.”… “Then there are things which so afflict him that he has no power, as the garlic that we know of, and as for things sacred, my crucifix…” These reassure one that there is a means to destroy Dracula.

‘Frankenstein’ did not frighten me at all, I merely found it a very tragic story demonstrating both the corruption of an innocent being by an immoral society and the dangers of playing God with science. Frankenstein was responsible for the creature and as soon as he showed signs of life, instead of deserting him due to fear and embarrassment because of the ugliness of the creature, he should have taught the creature right from wrong and accepted him as a person, not a monster. Any brutality in ‘Frankenstein’ was due to Victor Frankenstein himself and not his monster.

‘Dracula’ is a novel that probes deeply into people’s superstitions, fears and beliefs of the supernatural. The creature Dracula is an evil being with no concern for others, he kills for his own ends and cannot be stopped, and this is what makes ‘Dracula’ truly frightening.

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