Studies in Speculative Fiction 19. Ann Arbor: UMI, 1988. 231-45. Leatherdale, Clive. Dracula: The Novel and The Legend.
Bram’s novel is written in a gothic style sometimes referred to as a gothic romance (Garen 3). Bram’s use of the supernatural and the vampyric character as the main character. Dracula’s specific attributes underscore Dracula’s inhumanity. “[… After witnessing Dracula scale the castle wall like a lizard” (1). While Jonathan is struggling in the beginning, when he is trapped within the seemingly inescapability is typical of the Gothic style also the various settings including ghostly landscape of Transylvania, graveyards and Lucy’s tomb in London.
Her Life, her Fiction, her Monsters. Methuen. New York, London, 1988. Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus.
While both Stoker and Le Fanu create creatures that both hold power over there victims, Le Fanu effectively uses Carmilla’s beauty, to portray her victims as more willing. Therefore, readers’ are lead to believe that Carmilla depends more on the act of seduction, referring to the very strong lesbian undertones. By drawing on this, Dracula is predominately a more vicious attacker. This separates Carmilla from her male counterparts as Carmilla is seducing victims in a very literal sense, opposed to Dracula whose victims are just under his trance. Therefore, what has already been alluded to in Carmilla’s case, becomes explicit in Stoker’s Dracula.
The topic of anything sexual, in the late 19th century, was not a topic to be discussed openly. This explains why Stoker decodes all of his references. The late 19th century was the era of the American Renaissance so the novel includes many gothic and Poe-etic elements. In Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula, the author depicts women in a vulgar and promiscuous way to represent the weakness and dependency of women on men, includes many gothic and Poe-etic elements to relate the novel to American Renaissance and makes many sexual references to add some edge to the story to the delight of men but the horror to women. Women have been viewed as the weaker specimen for many centuries now.
In Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the reader witnesses how Lucy Westerna, Mina Murray, Jonathan Harker, and Count Dracula, individually, behave toward their secret sexual desires. Eric Kwan-Wai Yu states, “Whatever shapes or fear vampirism might evoke elsewhere, in this novel the dominant form has to do with sexual menace or the dreadful perception of sexual perversity” (147). Sexuality plays a critical role in Dracula, affecting each character in a unique manner. Lucy Westerna and Sexuality Lucy Westerna, probably the most sexual character in the novel, illustrates that losing control of your sexual desires will lead to inevitable consequences. Early in the novel, the reader draws a clear picture of how open Lucy is with her sexuality.
The presence of racial stereotypes and commentary on the interaction of different races is a cornerstone of the Dracula narrative. In Stoker’s novel, Count Dracula is representative of the growing European culture of xenophobia and anti-Semitism which would rise to near hysteria in the coming decades. The concept of race was not limited to skin color or nationality in the nineteenth century, and was a means of categorizing people by “cultural as well as physical attributes” (Warren 127). Dracula is described as being covetous of ancient gold and jewels, childlike and simple in his malice, and more animalistic than human, traits frequently attributed to the Jewish people by Christian society (Newman). His material appearance is distinguished by extremely pale skin, dark features, a nose with a “high bridge…and peculiarly arched nostrils,” and “bushy hair that seemed to curl of its own profusion.” Stoker’s audience would have recognized... ... middle of paper ... ...r. 2010.
Frankenstein: Creation and Monstrosity. NY: Reaktion Books, 1997. Print. Gigante, Denise. “Facing the Ugly: The Case of Frankenstein.” English Literary History 67.2 (2000): 565-87.
Gynophobia is so prevalent in the horror story that Count Dracula comes across as the main tyrant of fear, but only a naive reader would think this. The true terroristic element comes from the fear of sexual expression of women. There is substantial evidence supporting female repression, “In the coffin lay no longer the foul thing, her destruction was yielded as a privilege to the one best entitled go it, her face of unequalled sweetness and purity.” (Stoker 134) Starting with Lucy’s transformation of becoming a vampire, it awakens her sexuality thus exposing the men’s vulnerability. Attempting to demonstrate woman can’t handle power. She becomes a sex crazed feign the men must destroy, to k... ... middle of paper ... ... her life is spared in the end.