Write an essay on the representation of the themes of Good and Evil in Bram Stoker's Dracula.
Dracula is a story about the perennial battle between good and evil involving Dracula as the antagonist. This war dates back as far as God versus the Devil or the Wicked Witch of the West and the Good Witch in Oz. It is black and white, right? But wait, wasn’t it God who drowned the entire human population at one point and killed every Egyptian firstborn son at another. Was Lucifer a revolutionary who spoke out against dictatorship and was cast down to Hell for it? The Wicked Witch’s name already spells out how we should view her but is it not well within her rights to inherit her dead sister’s shoes? Instead we see them on the feet of her murderer, does that make her Wicked? Why does The “Good” Witch leave out the fact the shoes are magic until after she allows the innocent Dorothy carry out the deed of murdering her rival? The maxim goes “There are two sides to every story” and I have to whole-heartedly agree with it. No human being is wholly good and neither are they completely evil. In this essay, I will examine the themes of good and evil and attempt to change the way you view Dracula, its characters and plot. Stoker introduces us to his characters through cleverly used diary and log entries allowing us to see their thoughts and feelings. So as we read through the novel we can track all of the characters and create a unique bond with them individually to the extent that we are willing them to avoid death. When I say all the characters I am mistaken of course, the eponymous character Dracula does not have the liberty of providing us with a diary. Why do you think this is the case? Why would Stoker name his novel “Dracula” and yet fail to provide him with a personal voice to the reader? Personally I feel this was a ploy in order to underpin the fact that Dracula is evil to the core. Had we been able to read Dracula’s thoughts and gain an insight into his mind would our opinions on him differ? This is the case with many when they see or read the play Hamlet. Originally, they are unsympathetic towards Claudius and wish for Hamlet to gain his revenge up until the famous Prayer Scene. In this scene Claudius is found kneeling in a church pouring his heart out asking for God’s forgiveness for the sins he has committed. This allows us to see beneath the superficial and callous veneer that he is without moral fibre and heart. This is how I view Dracula, as he is depicted through the black and white spectacles of each of the “good” characters. To begin with Dracula extends his welcome and invites Harker to his home as a guest in order to gain insight into English life. In Chapter 4 it is outlined to us that Dracula yearns for “London, with its teeming millions”. Many would take the cynical view that he hungers for the millions of human beings with blood coursing through their veins for him to feed on. I however do not agree with this and feel Dracula seeks a safe-haven from the prejudice and hate he has suffered. In Transylvania he is bound to his castle, detached from the community and isolated. This can be perceived in many ways. On the superficial level that he is a vampire and not able to function in a normal community, but on other more allegorical levels it could stand for homosexuality, disability or even necrophilia. Let us take homosexuality, which at the time of Stoker was a crime. He was good friends with Oscar Wilde who was imprisoned for being homosexual. How apt it is that Dracula is a man unable to go out in the light of day, shunned by society and unable to truly be himself around others? The tendencies that he exhibits while in Harker’s company mirror those of a repressed gay man. The lunge he makes towards Harker, a reflection of his inability to control himself around men in close quarters, the reason he cannot be in and around the community. Harker comments that “The castle is a veritable prison,...
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