However, the originality of Stoker's Dracula is in doubt. By a similarity in the setting, characters and plot, in Bram Stoker’s Gothic work Dracula and the posthumously published short story “Dracula’s Guest,” Stoker is shown to have used Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s classic, Gothic, short story, “Carmilla”, as the basis and inspiration for Bram Stoker’s vampiric masterpiece, Dracula. In 1897, Abraham Stoker published Dracula, a classic Gothic novel which continues to capture the hearts and imaginations of readers after nearly a century. The novel is written as a collection of journals, which are kept in a wide array of methods, letters and newspaper clippings. Dracula opens in Eastern Europe with a young solisitor named Jonathan Harker traveling to Transylvanian castle.
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.
8 Oct. 2013 Rebecca Scott, “DRACULA: Novel by Bram Stoker, 1897,” in refrence Guide to English Literature, 2nd Ed., Edited by D.L. Kirkpatrick, Vol.3, St. James Press, 1991, pp. 1554-55 Ryan D. Poquette, Critical Essay on Dracula, In Novels for Students, Gale, 2003 Senf, Carol. DRACULA: Between Tradition and Modernism. New York: Ywayne, 1998.
The mere sound of Elena’s name even resembles that of Mina’s. Elena is a magnetic archetypal character and is constructed into what can be interpreted as an idealized version of Mina, with the justification that Stoker’s Dracula serves as a guideline for the narratives that gender roles have in vampiric stories. Stoker’s influential novel is the first Westernized construct of a literary vampiric story in Europe and ergo creates the first idea of what aspects a vampire story should have, including the construction of distinctive gender roles. Due to the diffusion of the influence of Dracula in pop culture, Mina becomes an idea of complexity and attraction to which the human and undead take great interest in. The relationship between Dracula and Mina is far from romantic and is further complicated by the underlying sexual nature of Dracula’s night visit to Mina.
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.
Thus, literature offered the Victorian patriarchy a psychological defense against this perceived cultural “threat;” unsurprisingly, male authors were the ones responsible for a good portion of these texts. While New Woman-like vampires are featured in many Victorian works, including Charles Baudelaire’s “The Vampire” (1857) and Julian Osgood Field’s “A Kiss of Judas” (1894), perhaps none capture, in metaphoric form, the anxiety about, and the alleged viciousness toward, the New Woman better than Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s novella Carmilla (1872) and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897). T... ... middle of paper ... ...hers, Inc., 2002. 120-129. Stoker, Bram.
Here are some testimonial lines taken from Christopher Frayling’s book Vampyres: Lord Byron to Count Dracula. In this book, Frayling writes:” Polidori transformed the vampire from a character in folklore into the form that is recognized today- an aristocratic fiend who preys among high society” (Frayling ) In this respect, Senf also writes:”Polidori’s work anticipates some of the ways that other writers will use the vampire as a social metaphor in realistic fiction” (Senf: 39). Based on the previous findings, it seems fair to suggest that Polidori’ s The Vampyre is not just a story of a monstrous figure of the vampire from folklore tradition waiting to be destroyed by a wooden stake through the heart, it is rather that kind of nineteenth century vampire whose literary presence is highly loaded with metaphorical connotations. For instance, Lord Ruthven’s presence in the story is but an attempt made by Polidori to tackle issues related to moral standards like vice and virtue. For a deeper understanding, we will rely on Jeremy L. Keffer’s research conducted to explore the ways in which thos... ... middle of paper ... ... victim.
With society’s fascination with the supernatural, and love of technology, Dracula’s many adaptations, film, stage, have ensured its survival through the passage of time. To date, the closest adaptation of the original novel is Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The basic overview of the story has the departure of Jonathan Harker from his fiancée Mina Murray in London, visiting Transylvania where he has an encounter with the evil Dracula. In England we are introduced to the characters of Lucy, a socialite, and her three suitors. Through terror Jonathan escapes back home, while Dracula arrives in London where he attacks Lucy, Mina’s friend, and Mina herself.
The male was perceived as the stronger of the sexes, and women were relegated to a voiceless and submissive role. He argues that Harker's eager anticipation of the incestuous vampire daughters is a direct parallel of the roles of men and women in Victorian society, but the roles are reversed "Harker awaits an erotic fulfillment ... ... middle of paper ... ... novel allows an outlet for natural, human biological necessities, no doubt many Victorian readers were similarly thrilled and repulsed by its deliberate depiction of them. WORKS CITED Auerbach, N. A. and Skal, D. J. Bram Stoker: Dracula: Authoritative Text, Contexts, Reviews and Reactions, Dramatic and Film Variations, Criticism. New York, W. W. Norton & Company, 1997. Carter, M. L.
Now that we have demonstrated the Gothic influence on the Brontes’ writings , now that we have identified the interest the Brontes had in the Gothic, it seems logical to assume then that the vampire motif has been exploited not only in Emily and Charlotte Brontes’ works, it is also exploited by Anne Bronte throughout her second work The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. The creation of traditional supernatural vampires has no rhyme or reason. It has been like the galloping horse with no horse rider to control the race. Nineteenth century vampires of Gothic literature, by contrast, are literary tools serving some particular purpose. Carol A. Senf in her book The Vampire in Nineteenth Century English Literature stresses the fact that nineteenth century writers make use of the vampire as a social metaphor in realistic fiction.