Money - The True Force Behind Braham Stoker's Dracula

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Money - The True Force Behind Dracula

In Dracula (1897), Bram Stoker explores the "wonderful power of money" (Stoker 341). Through the actions of Van Helsing and the "Army of Light" Stoker ponders "What can it not do when it is properly applied; and what it might do when basely used!" (341) through Dracula's machinations. Though one does not usually associate a vampire with a bank statement, Dracula utilizes the power of money as well as his abilities to turn into dust and bats. By granting Dracula the same influence of the "blessed buck" that the Army of Light uses to acquire information, Stoker augments the Count's threat to British society and allows him to function as not only a creature of the night but as a person of the day.

Through interactions of various characters, Stoker establishes a way of functioning in British society, specifically in dealing with members of a lower class. In the clipping of the interview with the zookeeper whose wolf escaped, the reporter writing the story includes several quotations which indicate that the zookeeper only agreed to the interview because he received monetary recompense. When first approached, the caretaker frankly told the reporter "to go to 'ell" (133), but he acquiesced when offered money because "...the 'arf quid made that all right" (133). Not only does the reporter use money to initiate the conversation, he also offers the zookeeper more money during the interview saying that he will "..consider that first half-sovereign worked off, and this brother of his is waiting to be claimed..." (135) after the zookeeper dispenses more information.

Harker, Seward, Van Helsing and the others who try to foil Dracula's plot als...

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... uses his wealth to bribe people much like the Army of Light does when searching for the Count's boxes of earth. The Count pays Immanuel Hildesheim to pick up his box early enough to avoid customs and Petrof Skinsky to receive and send it down the river.

Without his money, Dracula would not have posed as great a threat to society in general. He would not have the resources to transport his operation to England and spread across London, nor would he almost elude the Army of Light's pursuit. While money allows Van Helsing and the others to initiate the chase across Europe, Dracula possesses equal access of means via his money. Ultimately Dracula's ability to pay for his traveling expenses almost saves him from Harker and Quincey Morris, not his vampiric powers.

Work Cited

Stoker, Bram. Dracula. New York: The Modern Library, 2001.
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