Dracula Analysis

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Dracula, written by Bram Stoker, presents readers to possibly the most infamous monster in all of literature. The fictional character Count Dracula, has come to symbolize the periphery between the majority and being an outsider to that group. Dracula’s appeal throughout the years and genres unquestionably stem from his sense of romanticism and monster. Readers no doubt are attracted to his monstrous sensibilities, which provide a sense of looking first at his appearance, personality, and behavior at the beginning of the novel. Readers can easily see Dracula’s blurred outsider status, as he occupies the boundaries of human and monster. Related to this is Dracula’s geographic sense of outsider. The creation of Frankenstein’s Monster experiences this in the Mary Shelley story of the same name, as both characters are truly unable to be defined outside of a physical description which frequently relies on the horrific. For all intents and purposes, Dracula is an immigrant to England, thus placing him further into the realm of outsider. To look at Bram Stoker’s Dracula as solely a monster in the most violent sense of his actions would to be look at a sole aspect of his character, and should be analyzed based on how he interacts with the outside world to genuinely understand him. The purpose of Dracula’s physical description is to place him against humanity and see how he appears. He has various features which obviously make him a vampire, such as a set of sharp teeth, but there are other peculiarities to his description which mark him as being an outsider. For instance, when Jonathon Harker, and by extension the reader, first meets Dracula, he describes him as being, “a tall old man, clean shaven save for a long white moustache, and clad in black from head to foot” (Stoker 15). At this point, he is a regular looking man, or at least normal enough that nothing elicits a reaction in Jonathon. Later, however, the aberrant constitution of Dracula comes to the forefront, as he is noted to have massive eyebrows, a cruel mouth, sharp teeth, and pointed ears (Stoker 17). These countenances of Dracula work in tandem to purge him from the human realm and into that of an outsider. These are attributes that one would not discover in a so-called “normal” human and as such we are able to immediately label him has something monstrous. The numerous references to Dracula’s monstrous physical attributions are the surface when it comes to Dracula’s demonic nature, but it is his vampiric abilities which truly place him as divergent from humanity. For instance, he holds the power of transformation, which in-and-of-itself is an indicator of his inhuman nature. He arrives in England, after maintaining himself upon the crew of the Demeter, in the shape of an, “immense dog, [which] sprang up on deck from below, as if shot up by the concussion” (Stoker 72). This removal from humanity is such that, if he so feels it, he does not even have to be in the form of a human. Dracula is at this point in time, indefinable, as one cannot truly explain what he is. As a result of this, Dracula casts his lot as a monster. In short, if we cannot adequately explain a phenomenon, we brand it as being something completely different, and likely to be feared. The largest feature of the vampire is ultimately what expunges Dracula’s entrance to the human world; the fact that he must gorge himself upon blood in order to survive. This abhorrent act is the anchor to Dracula’s monstrous persona, as it is simply something that, for the most part, humanity does not abide by. It is this quality of Dracula that ultimately spurs Van Helsing and company to put a stake to his chest and kill Dracula. The description of his feeding upon Wilhelmina Harker (who will later be referred to as “Mina” in the story), betrays his suave and sophisticated demeanor: The Count turned his face, and the hellish look that I had heard described seemed to leap into it. His eyes flamed red with devilish...
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