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Both Mary Shelley's ‘Frankenstein' and Bram Stoker's ‘Dracula' Are Co

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  • October 11, 2000
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"Both Mary Shelley's ‘Frankenstein' and Bram Stoker's ‘Dracula' are concerned with representations of "evil"". Which creation/character do you find most frightening and why?

Evil features in both ‘Dracula' and ‘Frankenstein' but the personification of this evil is different in both novels. A feeling of menace and doom pervades ‘Dracula' because of his supernatural powers. One feels that he has control of the evil and he has the power to manipulate the environment and people for his own ends. ‘Frankenstein' centres on the creation of a monster made from parts of dead bodies and the fear created by the monster due to circumstance and the ignorance of society. Also, one feels a certain amount of apprehension that the monster is deserted by his creator and loses control without his support and guidance.

The novels were written in the 19th century, ‘Frankenstein' was first published in 1818 and ‘Dracula' was first published in 1897. In this century there was a fanaticism with Gothic horror stories and these novels reflect this. In the last century, a wide audience would have appreciated these novels, although they are not great literary accomplishments, people of that period enjoyed reading this type of story, filled with horror, suspense and intrigue. The very idea that such an evil and frightening creature could exist shocked and aroused the curiosity of many people at this time. Society in the last century was extremely corrupt and immoral, the novel ‘Frankenstein' reflects this, in which an innocent creature is shunned by society because of it's abnormal and somewhat shocking appearance. Nowadays, people are still enticed by fear, they have a curiosity for the supernatural, evil and frightening. Although modern day society is supposedly politically correct, we are still an immoral society and many of us would treat a creature like Frankenstein's creation or a vampire like Dracula like a monster. In this way, the novels still have social significance.

The...