Degenerate Characters of Dracula
In the novel, Dracula, Bram Stoker puts together a variety of characters with several characteristics that are unique and somewhat alike in many ways. One way that some of the characters are similar is that they show signs of being a degenerate. A degenerate is a person who has sunk below a former or normal condition and lost normal or higher qualities. These people most likely have mentally and sometimes physically become deteriorated to the point where they no longer can think and function as a normal person would. Two characters in the novel that stand out as degenerates are Dracula and Renfield. Both are degenerates in their own ways and also have characteristics that are in some ways the same. They follow most of the traits that degenerates contain and portray it throughout the novel.
The best way to imagine a degenerate person would be to think of people on death roe in prison. The ones that aren’t remorseful for what they did, and could care less about what others think. They do not know what is right from wrong, and even if one tried to explain it to them, they couldn’t figure it out. Degenerates have no common sense, let alone a functioning brain. They are most definitely missing a few screws in there heads. These two characters of Dracula and Renfield both have a lot of these traits that degenerates consist of.
Dracula most definitely contains degenerate characteristics throughout the novel. He has a lack of compassion for people’s well being, and has signs of selfishness. Vampires fit under the degenerate theme very well. How he became a vampire we are not sure, although Van Helsing calls him King-Vampire, because of his consistency and power driven obsessions towards his cravings. His powers include a wide range of abilities in which some are beyond the powers of the other vampires or immortal people in the novel. Degenerates are predestined to crime and don’t know why it is wrong. Van Helsing wrote of Dracula by saying, "The Count is a criminal and of criminal type. Nordau and Lombroso would so classify him, and qua criminal he is of imperfectly formed mind" (Stoker chapter 28). With all his killings and bites he proceeds on people, Dracula fights the degenerate theme.
Renfield as well has qualities and characteristics of degenerates throughout the novel. Renfield was taken under the care of Dr.