The Characterisation Of Count Dracula And Professor Van Helser In 'Dracula'

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Throughout ‘Dracula’, Stoker presents the idea of ‘foreigner’ through the characterisation of Count Dracula and Professor Van Helsing, who are the two main outsiders in the novel. Dracula, being a supernatural creature, is of Transylvanian descent which makes him such a poignant character. On the other hand, Van Helsing is a Roman Catholic, and is of a Dutch background, which also highlights him as a foreigner within ‘Dracula.’ In this essay I will explore how these two characters are represented and the intention behind the idea of ‘foreigner.’

Firstly, Stoker describes Dracula’s physical appearance in Chapter two, ‘a tall old man, clean shaven save for a long white moustache, and clad in black from head to foot, without a single speck
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For example, when Harker greets Dracula in Chapter 2, he becomes uncomfortable when shaking the Count’s hand, ‘more like the hand of a dead than a living man.’ This shows that Dracula has a deathly aura about him, represented as an inhuman character. Stoker enhances that Harker’s experience of meeting Dracula for the first time is all very strange to him, introducing an unfamiliarity within the element of ‘foreigner’ in the novel. In addition to this, as the characterisation of Professor Van Helsing develops, the reader soon learns that he carries out strange and unexplainable behaviour, ‘his actions were certainly odd.’ This is effective because it provokes an inquisitive response in the reader. More importantly, this quote creates a sense of the unknown and highlights that not all is what it is seems. It could be argued that Stoker may have applied these mysterious attributes to both characters to reflect the widespread fear of the unknown in Victorian society at the time. Conclusively, the threat of invasion of the British Empire may have had a significant influence on the representation of foreigners within the

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