Dracula, Culture And Values From Mediums

Dracula, Culture And Values From Mediums

Length: 1505 words (4.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Hollywood in known for making literary adaptations, and such adaptations will exploit context. Movies bring literary properties to the public that otherwise would not bother to read them. However the "marriage" of literature and film holds their own separate qualities.
It is precisely the point that Hollywood distorts and corrupts serious literature for the entertainment pleasures of a mass audience. In the task of comparing and contrasting the novel of "Dracula" to film extracts of "Bram Stoker’s Dracula", values, meaning and context discovered lie between discrepancy and similarity. The change from differing mediums, novel and film, reveal characteristics and possibilities of narratives. Through the advancement of technology, modern writers have gained a cinematic approach to their writing. However Dracula, written in 1987 by Abraham Stoker, where the introduction of technology was gradual, forging inventions such as the typewriter and phonograph, made reference to in the novel, had no anticipation of what technology would have an effect on such writings. With society’s fascination with the supernatural, and love of technology, Dracula’s many adaptations, film, stage, have ensured its survival through the passage of time.

To date, the closest adaptation of the original novel is Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The basic overview of the story has the departure of Jonathan Harker from his fiancée Mina Murray in London, visiting Transylvania where he has an encounter with the evil Dracula. In England we are introduced to the characters of Lucy, a socialite, and her three suitors. Through terror Jonathan escapes back home, while Dracula arrives in London where he attacks Lucy, Mina’s friend, and Mina herself. Dr. Van Helsing arrives as help with the unknown, and in the end a climatic battle in the Transylvanian Castle Dracula takes place. Dracula is an epistolary novel that consists of journal entries, letters, telegram, phonographic recordings of Dr. Seward, and excerpts from newspaper articles, meaning it was written from a number of perspectives. The film has done its best to this and is witnessed through a variety of viewpoints.

Four key film extracts will be discussed. The introduction of Mina, starting of with a medium long shot of her in the Westenra house, which allows the audience to pay more attention to what is happening in the background, the mise-en-scene being a large decorated room of the Victorian era, including plants, chairs. The setting of the whole room is surrounded by glass, which has the ability to allow natural light.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Dracula, Culture And Values From Mediums." 123HelpMe.com. 21 Feb 2019

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Culture Values, Culture, And Culture Essay

- ... I was making my own assumption that the environment was not conducive for kid’s learning. The teaching in the middle of an open field seemed more of a distraction to me in addition to cattle’s grazing at a distance. This reinforced my cultural awareness that assumptions are wrong and that vulnerable population will use the available resources and lack of classroom did not halt the kid’s education and learning. The exciting thing about the culture is their simple wedding and ceremony. I realized that their culture do not emphasize on planning the wedding, the honeymoon, the decorations, and the food....   [tags: Culture, Anthropology, The Culture, Sociology]

Research Papers
705 words (2 pages)

Essay on Culture Values And Cultural Values

- After watching the movie, I was very surprised to see the culture values men than women, for example, the husband cared more about the gender than the mother and the baby’s well being. The husband portrays his disappointment after finding the baby is a girl “enough girls now. We need a boy.” (2:58 Winnie Mandela, 2012). I believe that everyone is valuable in the community and should have a voice and an opportunity, but as I become more aware of cultural differences, I learn to acknowledge their beliefs and traditions....   [tags: Culture, The Culture, Sociology, Anthropology]

Research Papers
1304 words (3.7 pages)

Values, Culture, And Values Essay

- With a world of 7.3 billion people, it is easy to imagine the billions of different cultures that we have all evolved from. No one culture is the same as another which is what Kohls touches on in his piece The Values Americans Live By. The thirteen values that seem to be the “core” values of Americans are completely opposite compared to the “core” values of other cultures. On one hand, Americans value things like materialism and change while other culture’s value things like spiritualism and tradition (Kohls 1984)....   [tags: Culture, Sociology, Family, Value]

Research Papers
1232 words (3.5 pages)

Essay about Dimensions Of Culture, Values

- Abstract We live in a world of changing global requirements. We have the ability to converse with people thousands of miles away at the blink of an eye. Although this seems and is, to most, an awesome power to be relished, it can be for some a world of confusion and frustration seeded by their own perceptions and beliefs. These barriers to cultural diversity exist because of the ways in which different cultures facilitate perceptions and beliefs regarding others and themselves. Dimensions of Culture, Values and Communication Our text describes culture as " the structure through which communication is formulated and interpreted....   [tags: Culture Diversity Values]

Free Essays
966 words (2.8 pages)

Dracula: A Simple Tale of Good vs. Evil Essay

- Batman beats the Joker. Spiderman banishes the Green Goblin. For centuries story tellers have used the basic idea of good beats bad to guide their tales. Stories of blood sucking, human possessions and other tales have been passed down generations and vary between cultures. Among the creators of the famous protagonists is, Bram Stoker, the creator of Dracula. This fictional character was soon to be famous, and modified for years to come into movie characters or even into cereal commercials. But the original will never be forgotten; a story of a group of friends all with the same mission, to destroy Dracula....   [tags: dracula]

Research Papers
1486 words (4.2 pages)

Comparing Dracula And The Devil Essays

- ... The Valerious family includes only a brother and sister left who names were Velkin and Anna (Grant 2004). The start of the movie introduces how horrific Dracula sustains with his murders and gruesome ideas. A huge concept behind the scenes of Dracula in Van Helsing included the key to Frankenstein’s creators machine. The machine primarily was responsible for creating Dracula’s young and sustaining their life. Ultimately, the machine gave life to Dracula’s unborn creatures. Trying to find the key remained difficult because a key did not accomplish the machine....   [tags: Vampire, Dracula, Count Dracula, Dracula]

Research Papers
1547 words (4.4 pages)

Essay on The Novel ' Dracula ' By Bram Stoker

- ... Much like Dracula, he is depicted as an obscure yet intriguing character. Although Van Helsing is the only other non-native speaker in the novel, it could be interpreted that Stoker may have presented him in this way to show that he is more familiar to other characters such as Dr. Seward compared to Dracula. It is important to note that Stoker highlights that he is one of the ‘most advanced scientists of his day.’ At the time Dracula was written, to be knowledgeable on science and technology was a favourable characteristic....   [tags: Abraham Van Helsing, Dracula, Dracula]

Research Papers
829 words (2.4 pages)

Essay on Hypnotism’s Influence on Bram Stoker and Dracula

- The use of hypnotism is extensive throughout the last few chapters of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Van Helsing places Mina in a hypnotic state or trance numerous times in order to locate Dracula and to learn about his premeditated actions. Stoker’s great use of hypnotism is what leads to Dracula’s destruction in the end. However, what influences Stoker to use hypnotherapy in order to kill off the most important character in his book. Taking a New Historical approach can help a reader understand how Stoker was influenced by his culture to incorporate hypnosis into Dracula and why he chose it as a method for destroying Dracula, while healing Mina....   [tags: Character Analysis, Dracula]

Research Papers
2905 words (8.3 pages)

Family Values, Personal Values Essay

- Family Values and Unity There are so many various types of people with different ethnic backgrounds, culture and manner of living that are the cause of distinct values in a family. These families have poor, mediocre or virtuous family values, however what one may consider as a mediocre family value may seem poor to someone else and vice-versa. These family values differ from family to family world-wide. The most significant values are family unity, honesty and education. Family unity, is a family being together in blissful harmony on holidays....   [tags: Ethnicity Culture Families Values Beliefs Essays]

Research Papers
886 words (2.5 pages)

Essay about Importance of the Setting for Dracula

- Importance of the Setting for Dracula    With castles, hidden streets, waterways, recurring rainy weather, interesting European architecture, and mystique, London is the perfect location for Bram Stoker's Dracula. London: The capital of Great Britain, and the center of attention in the nineteenth century, due to the many incidents that were going on at the time. The novel includes many daunting scenes, such as when Dracula heaves a sack withholding a deceased child before three female vampires....   [tags: Dracula Essays]

Research Papers
1255 words (3.6 pages)

This shot slowly zooms in to the sound of the typewriter and turns into a reverse shot that is a close up on the face of Mina Murray. Her diligent use of the typewriter allows the background noise of chirping birds add to the innocence of her character. Lucy then enters the shot, which goes back to a medium long shot. Lucy and Mina are contrasted; Lucy represents threatening sexuality, whilst Mina represents socially accepted sexuality. Lucy before being vamped contains personality characteristics that are classified as unacceptable in Victorian society. In the film extract, the significance of Arabian Nights reveals Mina’s sexual inquisitiveness in contrast to Lucy’s fantastical application. The neat brown hair and conservative green dress of Mina in comparison to Lucy’s wavy red hair and flowing white dress, emphasize, from Coppola’s deliberate use, the wild passions of Lucy and steadiness of Mina.
This flows on to the evening meeting of Lucy’s three, very different suitors.
The scene mentioned, was adapted from the diary entries of Mina, and letter correspondence between the two ladies, the change from medium has kept Mina’s perspective, however not presented in the style.
Lucy’s three suitors are stereotyped in Coppola’s film by the actors clever use of characterisation, where Quincey P. Morris plays the self assured, loud mouthed Texan; Dr. John Seward is the stumbling doctor with a soft heart; Arthur Holmwood her eventual chosen suitor, the man with money.

The “new” woman, sexual woman, posed a threat to Victorian society. This new breed was seen through Lucy Westenra. In this extract she goes “sleepwalking”, suggesting prostitution, for in the film she wears a glamorous red night dress and her movements are smooth and seductive. The layers of sound, including thunder and howling wolves, lighting being the lightning, foreshadow Lucy’s diabolic end. The deliberate use of colour in the night dress worn by Mina, white reflects her purity as the ideal woman, compared to Lucy’s passionate, desiring red.
From the beginning, Lucy is portrayed as a temptress, prone to promiscuity as she wishes to marry three men; however only after Dracula bit her, her sexuality heightened. In this extract, Lucy, in a way, gets what she desired through a blood transfusion. Blood represents the struggle for sexual ownership. Lucy writes that “”Arthur feels very, very close to me. I seem to feel his presence warm about me”, after receiving her first blood transfusion from her fiancé Holmwood. The Christian ideals of marriage being a sacred union between two becomes troublesome for Lucy receives further transfusions from Quincey and Seward. Such an act threatens the pious sacred image of marriage, which was maintained in Victorian England; rather Lucy’s desire of promiscuity is achieved.

The use of voiceovers reflects perspective of characters, seen from the Captain of the Demeter, and Van Helsing. The three newspapers work as introductory film titles that stay true to the text.

The final excerpt is the killing of Lucy Westenra, which makes a powerful reinstatement of male sexual dominance in the late 19th century. Lucy poses a threat to the Victorian ideology by exposing herself as a danger to sexual propriety. She remarks about wanting to have more than one husband, which displays promiscuity, “Why can’t they let a girl marry three men or as many as want her?” this statement works as a threat which comes to fruition after Lucy is bitten. Once infected by Dracula, Lucy becomes sexually overt and aggressive; and is portrayed as a monster and a social outcast. She transforms into a fiend and feeds on children making her the maternal antithesis as well as a child molester. Coppola mimics the book onto the film with a degree of exactitude in the staking scene. In which the entrance of the tomb has a spooky minor tune is played to add another layer of horror to the gothic setting of the tomb. As the men open Lucy’s coffin, an aerial shot notifies the empty contents and a reverse angle shot is used of the dominant figure of Arthur looking into the coffin. The viewpoint of this shot highlights the submissiveness of women and dominance of their partners in Victorian England. A supernatural force was surrounded by Lucy when she, herself, entered the tomb, this, Coppola’s addition of candelabras instantaneously lighting themselves when Lucy draws nearer, highlighting her supposed fantastical powers.
A high pitched suspenseful tune is played, suggesting a climatic point, adding a bolder layer because Arthur takes charge of staking Lucy. In this order to rectify Lucy’s damned condition, where she has been seen as sexually overpowered by her fiancée, Arthur; he penetrates her to death with a stake through the heart, such a staking can be viewed as overtly sexual, quoting from the book “the thing in the coffin writhed; and a hideous, blood-curdling screech came from the opened red lips. The body shook and quivered and twisted in wild contortions; the sharp white teeth champed together till the lips were cut, and the mouth was smeared with a crimson foam… He looked like a figure of Thor as his untrembling arm rose and fell, driving deeper and deeper the mercy bearing stake” This sexual innuendo restores the Victorian balance of sexual penetration from the female domain back its accepted station within the male domain.
In the film the final task of severing the head is completed with ease and is in juxtaposition to the roast beef in the next scene.

Such a story as Dracula has been taken out of its 19th century context and into that of the late 20th, early 21st century, where gender roles are more equal and hetero and homo sexual behaviours are open, not taboo to society.
From Dracula’s beginning as a literary prototype, “vampirism” has always been used for coded articulations of desire and sexuality, as a way of writing about sex but without writing about sex. This is in comparison to Coppola, who add plenty of viewable violence, sex and gore to his film, that is not seen in the book. The likely explanation for this is the need to appeal to a modern audience as opposed to an audience from 1897. The reason for this is the fact that movies are a main source for information in modern day society, and hence shaping context in the 21st century. Stories of vampires have and will be passed down from one medium to the other as long as we show an interest in them.
Return to 123HelpMe.com