Dracula -by Bram Stoker Essay

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In what way is cultural and national identity a major concern in this extract? How does Stoker’s text display the notion of the ‘abhuman’ in relation to this major concern?

The extract makes constant references to cultural and national identity through the style of the text, the imagery of the clothing and appearances of people. There is also indication to context through the beliefs of people in the places that Jonathan visits and their rejection towards him. Bram Stoker uses this cultural and national identity to contrast the one of that Jonathan possesses. Throughout the text, there is extensive description on the appearances of the people and sometimes architecture of the differences places the protagonist visits, depicting the differences of culture and national identity. “They wore high boots, with their trousers tucked into them, and had long black hair and heavy black moustaches... very picturesque, but do not look prepossessing.” These descriptions give clues to their context and when the appearance shifts rapidly, there is a clear understanding that the protagonist is travelling to new places quickly. This travelling is another clue to his context, with the existence of travel writing and trains. The culture and national identity of the different places that Jonathan travels to is an indication that he is no longer in his modern society but travelling deeper and deeper into a culture that almost lives in the past. This is shown by the imagery of the people in the different towns, “...with short jackets, and round hats, and home-made trousers.” These people are highly superstitious and this is conveyed by the landlady’s concern for Jonathan as he is leaving on the 4th of May. In her culture, there is superstition upon the next day as it believed to be the day where “all the evil things in the world will have full sway”. The crucifix and rosary are symbols of her culture and nationality and are used to wear away the abhuman. This “old” way of life...
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