Good by Evil Essay

Good by Evil Essay

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Carol A. Senf uses a critical theory lens when she picks apart Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The majority of literary critics interpret this popular myth to be the opposition of good and evil, they turn a blind eye to the more specifically literary matters such as method of narration, characterization, and style. Carol Senf’s critical essay “Dracula: the Unseen Face in the Mirror” she believes that Stokers novel “revolves, not around the conquest of Evil by Good, but on the similarities between the two” (Senf 421). Her argument is as follows:
In Senf’s essay she points out that modern readers of Stokers novel are more likely to be surprised by this version of Dracula. In Stokers novel most of the action occurs in nineteenth-century London. Senf also shines a light on the fact that Stoker has made it so he cannot comment directly on his characters’ failures in judgment, or their lack of self knowledge with the type of narration selection he has chosen, Dracula as well is never allowed a voice in this novel.
Stoker chooses to lay some clues out for the readers in order to help them interpret Dracula. The distinct warning presented on the page before the introduction saying the narrators wrote to the best of their knowledge the facts that they witnessed. Next is the chapter where Jonathan Harker openly questions the group’s interpretations of the unsettling events that occur from meeting Dracula, and the sanity of the whole. Several characters could be considered emotionally unstable. Senf suggests that Stoker made the central normal characters hunting Dracula ill-equipped to judge the extraordinary events with which they were faced. The central characters were made two dimensional and had no distinguishing characteristics other then the...


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...evil and good, as Dracula and the narrators rather than the obvious differences. She points out that Stoker had created unreliable narrators to tell a tale, perhaps if he had done it all from the first perspective of Dracula the similarities would stand out more then the differences. Given that’s not the case, Senf has read in depth Dracula and makes the connections for those who cannot see them. She bathes Dracula in a more calm and civil light while showing how corrupt the central characters are by violating their own rules of thumb. She has given this reader a spot of knowledge with which to understand the misunderstood that is Dracula, and more so convinced to feel a bit of compassion for evil.



Works Cited

Stoker, Bram. Dracula. New York, London: W.W. Norton, 1997. Print.
---. Senf, Carol A. Dracula: The Unseen Face in the Mirror. Stoker 421-431. Print

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