The Novel Dracula
Bram Stoker employs symbols in his novel Dracula to help the reader grasp some of the concepts. Animals and Christian motifs are some of the most popular symbols he employs. The first quotation uses animals as a metaphor for evil, with Van Helsing claiming that the vampire that lived among them could control rats, owls, bats, moths, foxes, and wolves, as well as grow larger or smaller and occasionally vanish and go unnoticed. Count Dracula uses animals, especially wild creatures, to help him fulfill his wicked plans and satisfy his needs.
These creatures represent unrestrained wants that are satisfied without disrupting morality. The protagonists are initially unconcerned by the bats. Still, as Lucy’s sleep problems worsen, they start to notice that there appears to be a giant bat at her pane; a bat appears to be able to calm Renfield when he is aggravated. Quincey Morris has prior knowledge of a horse whose blood was siphoned instantly by a vampire bat. It takes them all some time to realize that Dracula has the power to transform into a bat. They then come to understand that the bat can listen in.
Bats represent the evil that enters the psyche covertly at night and does significant harm. The participants are aware that wolves should be feared, unlike bats. In this tale, the wolves savagely carry out Dracula’s sinister plans to eliminate the parents of his captives so that he won’t have to worry about them getting in the way (2022). Jonathan is detained within the castle as well. Wolves symbolize a more overt kind of evil, making the narrative characters feel their greater acute terror of them. Renfield, a prisoner at the asylum, starts by consuming flies before progressing gradually to larger creatures. Renfield wants to kill flies, spiders, birds, and cats because they provide him with food. They serve as a metaphor for how sin may fester inside an individual. Small reasons at first, but sin feeds on itself and grows ravenous. The sinner is left with an unquenchable desire.
The author Bram Stoker’s intent to convey a strong feeling of reality becomes increasingly clear as the novel Dracula progresses. He accomplishes this by fusing realism with the book’s obvious fiction to frighten and astound everyone who opens its pages. By doing this, he thoughtfully engages the reader, who may conclude that the events in the tale happened. Stoker genuinely knows what happens during the story by using complex language and detailed descriptions. The reader has the impression that they are experiencing the scene as the characters. The conflict between Good and Evil is clearly understood as the book’s only failure.
Bram Stoker set out to write Dracula with that goal in mind. The pursuit of Dracula is motivated by their desire to defeat such a dreadful entity who terrorizes everyone he infects, despite the difficulty of their task. They should either kill or capture this creature in his den or sterilize the ground in a way that prevents him from looking for protection there again. Getting rid of a bad person is startlingly practical since we all want to get rid of those who cause us pain and unhappiness. Maintaining relationships with those who, like Count Dracula, derive satisfaction from the utter desperation of others is not necessary for life.
Additionally, sexually complex connotations of symbolism are used to observe reality. Lucy’s blood transfusions are perceived as being quite sexual, much like Dracula’s vampire activities. Despite being engaged to Arthur, a caring man, Lucy’s transfusion of male blood shows how much she enjoys being unfaithful.
Stoker alters the atmosphere with the help of the environment, particularly the impact of gloom. The Carpathians tale by Harker ends with a thundering setting that captures the gothic drama’s tension and constrained expectation (2019). Stoker’s portrayal of the scene abruptly changes, drastically altering the tone. Previously, the scene of the journey through the Carpathians was lovely and exotic, but when night falls, the reader is introduced to a frightening strain of the strange. The figures of the night started to crawl about us, writes Harker.
This demonstrates the unusual transition that happens as the day draws to a close. Harker’s mounting fear of the vast heaps of drabness and the bestrewed trees, which are described as peculiarly odd, is made clear to the reader by Stoker (2018). The dusk of the night is advancing and seems to melt into one grey mistiness of darkness in the meantime. Stoker creates brutality that appears to immerse the valley the carriage is going in, in a grey and grim dark. He does this by repeatedly using the fundamental concepts of the countryside at dusk. The surroundings have changed into a depressing backdrop with a feeling of imminent doom. The ghost-like clouds, followed by the dark, rumbling clouds, glide ceaselessly over the valleys, adding to the sense of confinement as they create a roof to enclose the already cramped environment.
Good versus evil is one of Dracula’s central themes. Dracula is a representation of pure evil. In addition to being a monster in and of himself, he also forces other people to become monsters. In the book, Dracula stands in for all that is bad. In addition to being wicked in and of himself, he also infects certain people with his malign influence, turning them into clones of himself. In contrast, the members of the Crew of Light, an organization that hunts vampires, are morally upright by nature (2019). In this tale, even naturally nice people can turn evil because of Dracula’s capacity to contaminate others.
Lucy’s emergence as a vampire highlights the concept of good against evil. Like when she was alive, Lucy still has a lovely, alluring, and welcoming appearance in her deceased state. She doesn’t have the appearance of a terrifying monster. She even acts as though she loves Arthur, who is her fiancé. She may look innocent, but she is a violent creature eager to harm everyone approaching her. In the struggle between good and evil, Lucy shows how any side’s power may manifest itself in unpredictable ways. When they murder the vampire form of Lucy and release her soul, the guys are proven to be able to save her.
Stoker makes it quite apparent that although black magic and belief are harmful, Religion is good. When the locals start arming Jonathan with Christian emblems as soon as they find out he’s headed to the castle of Count Dracula, Jonathan ignores the caution. According to Jonathan, she wrapped the rosary around my neck and murmured that it was for her mother’s sake before leaving the room. The crucifix is still on my neck (2022). A cross with a picture of Jesus on it is called a crucifix. Holy wafers, often known as communion wine, and symbols are also employed across the novel to stave off the Un-Dead.
On the other hand, it is asserted that the condition was initially brought on by black magic. The Evil One Count interacted with the Dracula household. Dracula studied at Schoolman, an institution where black magic is studied, but it was dangerous to enroll since the devil considered himself to be entitled to the tenth student.
Stoker also associates innocence with good, whereas sexualized women and infidelity are associated with evil. Jonathan says that even though he knows that the three female vampires will not kiss him with their crimson lips when he awakens to discover them in his room. I felt nervous with them for some reason. Jonathan said we should be afraid of the gorgeous, evil ladies. Lucy embodies the exact opposite. She is kind and innocent and adores her mother and the elderly. Her three declarations of love in one day prove that men are smitten by her generosity and cannot help but fall in love. The purity was corrupted into sensual wantonness, and the tenderness was transformed into adamantine, soulless malice. The three guys who had formerly adored her discover that she no longer possesses anything admirable (2019). Along with other violent adjustments in her actions, she has become fetishized and is, therefore, evil, as per the duality of Dracula.
Bram Stoker’s 1897 Count Dracula was not the seductive, enigmatic, or dapper aristocrat that Dracula is frequently associated with today. There are a lot of ideas regarding how Stoker created Dracula’s appearance; some have said that the Irish author based him on Walt Whitman, who was his particular idol. In a personal letter, Stoker once said that Whitman might be his father, brother, and soul mate. According to Stoker, Dracula had a stubbly beard, a broad nose, and white hair that grew freely everywhere but sparsely around the eyes. See where the Whitman accusations came from. He characterizes the Count as having an extraordinarily pallid appearance in general.
The Gothic genre, which served as the setting for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, was developed when the traditional passion for its love of the eerie and mysterious combined with the accurate depiction of historical events that characterized English writing in the 18th and 19th centuries. Since Dracula was the ideal vehicle for the generation’s anxieties and ambitions, it eventually rose to the top of Classic horror fiction. Dracula represented all that was menacing, strong, seductive, and vicious as an evil intrusive who disturbed innocent people. Dracula’s model was Vlad the Avenger. In truth, these purported ties to the well-known book underpin a large portion of the region’s tourist sector.
Hermans, Johan, et al. “Dracula–at home and in captivity.” (2019).
Cotti-Lowell, Alison Fanous. “Evangelical Gothic: The English Novel and the Religious War on Virtue from Wesley to Dracula, by Herbert, Christopher.” Religion and the Arts 26.1-2 (2022): 209-214.
Moreno, Jesus Alejandro. Trusting God’s Path: an Account of the Preparation and Performance of Jonathan Harker in Dracula, by Bram Stoker, Adapted for the Stage by William McNulty. Diss. Regent University, 2021.
Marks, Laura Helen. Alice in Portland: Hardcore Encounters with the Victorian Gothic. University of Illinois Press, 2018.
Police, Tobias, et al. “Dracula orchids exploit guilds of fungus visiting flies: new perspectives on a mushroom mimic.” Ecological Entomology 44.4 (2019): 457-470.