Dracula: Barrier of Sanity vs. Insanity

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  • Topic: Dracula, John Seward, Renfield
  • Pages : 5 (1750 words )
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  • Published : January 19, 2013
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Dracula Essay Rough Copy
The setting of Bram Stoker’s Dracula is in the late nineteenth-century London, where the flourishing of technology is replacing people’s belief of the old superstitious ways. The characters in this novel experience contacts with the supernatural beings that is unable to be proven even by the most advanced technology at the time, which leads them to doubt their own sanity. However, the progression of the novel proves that peace is restored into the characters’ lives after their doubts and confusions about what is reality and who is really mad. Ultimately, the categorization of the sane against the mad is unnecessary since the distinguishing factors shown in the novel are ambiguous. Subsequently, no characters can truly be justified with being labelled as one type over the other. While certain characters in the novel, most notably Renfield, are placed in mental asylums for displaying mad or unstable behaviours, it does not qualify them to be categorized as mad since the non-institutionalized characters undergoes irregular and unstable behaviours as well. These characters must go through their own forms of insanity to access the entirety of the truth that Dracula brings upon them, and thus they behave in ways similar to what is considered to be insane. The alternative reality Dracula brings into the logical and civilized London society can only be accessed by the characters through their own forms of insanity. Insanity is a psychological state of the mind being deranged and arousing irregular thoughts or actions (Barber 505). Sleepwalking is a form of psychological disorder resulting from troubled thoughts (Anitei). It is also thought to be a method of interacting with spirits from other realms (Anitei). During Lucy’s sleepwalking experiences, “her intention…disappears…for as soon as her will [thwarts] in any physical way” (Stoker 93). This shows that she only expresses her intention of meeting Dracula through an unnatural method. Similarly, when Jonathan “has had some fearful shock...” (Stoker 108) from his experience in the castle with Dracula, he can only speak about it through nonsensical and insane ways to the sisters that took him in because not all of reality can be understood with logic and reasoning. Even Mina, whom “the good God fashioned” (Stoker 253) himself, still only connects with Dracula through abnormal behaviours shown by the quote: “She [has] risen, as if impulsively...and [raises] both hands, palms upwards, as if lifting a weight” (Stoker 374). All these characters acknowledge the existence to vampirism and Dracula’s powers through irregular behaviours, which shows that it is within human nature to use insanity as a form of psychological relief from the difficult reality. Asides from accepting the threats that Dracula presents, the characters continue to behave in characteristic commonly deemed as insane such as being emotionally unstable, and odd. Quincy Morris, who is known for his logical leadership skills, for he “has always been the one to arrange the plan of action” (Stoker 331), expresses passionate outbreaks when his mind is unable to tolerate the displeasing reality. He loses self-control and cries to his companions that “[He] shall not wait for any opportunity. When [he] see that box [of dirt he] shall destroy the monster, though...[he] is to be wiped out for the next moment (Stoker 356). Jonathan shows similar behaviour when he pities himself for living such an unfortunate fate of having a wife that is contaminated with “the vampire’s baptism of blood” (Stoker 350). He loses his pride in front of his friends and “[flings] himself on his knees beside her...and [hides] his face in the folds of her dress” (Stoker 355). He even openly admits that “[his] emotion [is] too great for even the relief of tears” (Stoker 355). Being unable to contain emotion is equivalent to admitting defeat to manhood and dignity, which men place at high values at the time. The fact alone that...
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