Essay about Homosocial Friendships in Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Essay about Homosocial Friendships in Bram Stoker’s Dracula

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Bram Stoker was born into a lower-class Irish family in late 1847. He grew up with six siblings, at least four of which were brothers. Throughout his childhood, Stoker was an invalid, sickened with an unknown disease. Many days were spent listening to his mother tell stories of Ireland. It is thought that her stories played a large role in his writing (Stoker 5). Perhaps due to Stoker’s childhood illness and relationship with his brothers, his writing in Dracula exhibited a great deal of homosociality, the idea of same-sex relationships on a social level, rather than romantically. In the novel, Stoker introduces the idea of homosociality by creating a friendship and camaraderie between the main male characters.
Dracula begins with a diary entry from Jonathan Harker, a real estate agent from England. Mr. Harker is traveling to Transylvania, where he is to confirm a business deal between Count Dracula and his mentor Peter Hawkins. En route to Transylvania, Jonathan comes across many people who caution him about his trip and his host. They cower at the thought of him going into the land, and give him gifts of garlic and a crucifix. At the time, Mr. Harker is unaware of the severity of his troubles. Although these people are friendly and reach out to help Jonathan, it is not considered homosociality, since they do not form the tight, same-sex friendship that is required of the term. For Jonathan, these early helpers are simply companions on a train.
Once Jonathan arrives at the castle, he is met by the mysterious Count Dracula, a man described as strong and pale, with bright ruby lips and sharp white teeth. Although Jonathan is unaware of what Dracula truly is, he can already sense that something is amiss, and he gets worr...


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...or party. The men are going out together to accomplish something without a female presence. Fighting is the ultimate male bonding, a real-life definition of homosociality.
Over the course of the novel, there were many instances of the male characters bonding together to accomplish a variety of tasks. In the beginning, Dracula attempts to befriend Jonathan Harker as a way to allay his fears. Further along, we find the relationship between Quincey, Arthur and Jack Seward to be friendly and close. Van Helsing and Jonathan add to that mix to create the ultimate male friendship; the group of men who go out to fight battles together and achieve a victory. Although there are many other themes in the novel, homosociality is the most prominent and well evidenced by the words and actions of the characters.



Works Cited

Stoker, Bram. Dracula. Boston: Bedford, 2002. Print.

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