Bram Stoker's Dracula is highly acclaimed and has received many different interpretations which deal with complex symbolisms and metaphors. These interpretations often require a great deal of knowledge in psychology, political science, anthropology, and other non-literary disciplines. These interpretations may be valid, as they are related to the disciplines on which their arguments are based, but the true power of the novel is due to a very simple theme that lies beneath the other, more convoluted interpretations. This theme is the universal concept of identity: us versus them. This criticism sets aside outside disciplines and focuses on the literary motif of identity. John Allen Stevenson gives an in-depth criticism of this work based mostly on anthropological ideas, but he states that Dracula is a representation of "fears that are more universal than a specific focus on the Victorian background would allow" (141). He brings up the concept of "universal" ideas but fails to pursue them on a universal scale. The truly universal theme involves the perception that Dracula is a monster. But Dracula is not a monster - he is simply a persecuted outsider.
In this interpretation, it is important to seperate the actions of the characters from what those actions represent in relation to the theme of identity. Count Dracula is shown to be a vampire - a monster who engages in horrific, violent acts, but these acts of violence are merely Stoker's vehicle for presenting the difference between the Count and the other characters. His vampirish actions are not to be taken literally. "Dracula" is not a work of fantasy - it is primarily a realistic novel with one fantastic charact...
... middle of paper ...
...safe once Dracula left, but the pursuit and slaying of him represents society's wish to remove him entirely from their minds. The killing of Dracula is not literal--he is only dead to society because they refuse to acknowledge his right to be different. Thus, Dracula is the victim of this story, not the ones society felt he victimized.
Arata, Stephen D. "The Occidental Tourist: Dracula and the Anxiety of Reverse Colonization." Victorian Studies 33.4 (Sum. 1990) : 621-45.
Stevenson, John Allen. "A Vampire in the Mirror: The Sexuality of Dracula." PMLA 103 (1988) : 139-49.
Stoker, Bram. Dracula. 1897. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1992.
Wasson, Richard. "The Politics of Dracula." English Literature in Transition 9 (1966) : 24-27.
Zanger, Jules. "A Sympathetic Vibration: Dracula and the Jews." English Literature in Transition 34 (1991) : 33-44.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Vampires have long been an icon that challenges the idea of ‘myth’ while also being a perfect example of the term itself. Long before Bram Stokers Dracula, there was Carmella, the lesbian vampire. Before this there were the ancient Greek tales of the Lamia, who are best described by Lawson "....the chief characteristics of the Lamiae, apart from their thirst for blood, are their uncleanliness, their gluttony, and their stupidity" (LAWSON) that would suck the life essence of children. The difference with the vampire, however, is that while other monstrosities of literature and entertainment are considered mostly a natural evil, that is, in and of themselves capable of harm to general human i... [tags: Dracula, Vampire, Bram Stoker, Dracula]
1665 words (4.8 pages)
- The novel Dracula was written by Bram Stoker and is one of the most popular novels among gothic literature. In any piece of gothic literature there are also gothic motifs which set the mood and tone of the story. A motif is a general theme, idea, or even a dominant symbol that plays a major role in any novel. A gothic motif is the same concept that is seen mostly in gothic literature. In Dracula, the audience will read about many different motifs such as cemeteries, revenants, entrapment, and an unreliable narrator just to name a few.... [tags: Dracula, Bram Stoker, Dracula, Abraham Van Helsing]
1661 words (4.7 pages)
- Dracula is a popular novel published in 1897. It is a well-known piece of literature and resembles a great deal of characteristics associated with gothic literature. Dracula, by Bram Stoker, and my short story, The Crow, share many characteristics that make them a gothic tale. Three main components of gothic literature used in Dracula, as well as my short story, The Crow, are forces of nature, the supernatural, and isolation. Forces of nature are used throughout Dracula. In Dracula, the wolves share an important role when it comes to forces of nature.... [tags: Gothic fiction, Dracula, Bram Stoker, Novel]
703 words (2 pages)
- 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.... [tags: Bram Stoker, Dracula]
1065 words (3 pages)
- C. Thesis Statement: Bram Stoker’s novel, Dracula, is filled to the brim with gothic elements which gives the reader an atmosphere of mystery and horror. II. BP1/Topic Sentence: Bram Stoker’s novel, Dracula, contains many elements of gothic literature pertaining to the setting. A. According to the report written by David De Vore, Anne Domenic, Alexandra Kwan, and Nicole Reidy at UC Davis, “The setting is greatly influential in Gothic novels. It not only evokes the atmosphere of horror and dread, but also portrays the deterioration of its world” (Vore, Domenic, Kwan, and Reidy).... [tags: Dracula, Gothic fiction, Bram Stoker, Dracula]
1177 words (3.4 pages)
- Bram Stoker's Dracula is Anti-Christian There are many ways that Bram Stoker's Dracula can be considered Anti- Christian by showing of Anti-Christian values and perversions of the Christian religion. In chapter one as Jonathan Harker is traveling to Castle Dracula he is met by several people. When he meets these people and tells them where he is going they cross themselves along with doing several other superstiscious actions. One of the women he meets gives him a crucifix to protect him on his journey.... [tags: Bram Stoker Dracula Essays]
1507 words (4.3 pages)
- Gender in Bram Stoker's Dracula During the Victorian Era, women struggled to attain gender equality by challenging the traditional roles that defined them. These women no longer wanted to remain passive and obey the demands of their husbands nor be domestic and the caretakers of their children. They strived to attain the role of a 'New Woman', an intelligent, liberated individual who was able to openly express her ideas (Eltis 452). Whereas some women were successful in attaining this new role, others were still dominated by their male counterparts.... [tags: Bram Stoker Dracula Essays]
2702 words (7.7 pages)
- Evil never conquers because good always overcomes it. A good example of this is the book Dracula by Bram Stoker because the author expresses the nature of good vs. evil. Dracula wants to come to London because he wants to turn everyone into vampires. The basic background of the book Dracula is when Jonathan Harker, a realtor who is sent to Transylvania to complete a transaction with Dracula so he can come to England. What Harker does not know is that Dracula has a plan for world domination.... [tags: Dracula Bram Stoker Essays]
1720 words (4.9 pages)
- Bram Stoker's Dracula In act 2 scene 6 and act 3 scene 6 of the play ‘Dracula’, the playwrite creates impressive tension by using spine-chilling, ghostly settings, and slyly showing us situations in which characters such as vampires, prey on vulnerable characters such as Mina. Also, he uses soliloquies to give the opposing character no power. Also, by using soliloquies in these scenes he gives the point of view from the weak characters’ eyes. Firstly, the playwrite creates impressive tension by using shadowy, ghostly settings.... [tags: Bram Stoker Dracula Essays]
649 words (1.9 pages)
- Bram Stoker's Dracula Bram Stoker's Dracula is one of the most renowned British novels of all time. It has left its marks on many aspects of literature and film. Many thematic elements are present throughout the story and have been interpreted in many ways. Stoker uses his characters to manifest the themes that he wishes to imply. Three themes that present themselves throughout the book are the theme of Christian Redemption, science and technology, and sexual expression. Christian Redemption is shown in many ways throughout the book.... [tags: Dracular Bram Stoker]
1686 words (4.8 pages)
- The Narrator's Metamorphosis in Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man
- Katherine Anne Porter's The Jilting of Granny Weatherall
- Marcus Brutus as the Tragic Hero in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar
- Lear's Character Development in Shakespeare's King Lear
- Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales: Exploring Injustice in the Knight's Tale
- The Evolution of Grant in Ernest J. Gaines' A Lesson Before Dying