Texts Can Be Modified or Appropriated to Suit Different Audiences or Purposes, Yet Still Remain Firmly Within the Genre. Discuss Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ and at Least One of the Films You Have Studied.

Topics: Vampire, Dracula, Nosferatu Pages: 3 (1044 words) Published: February 1, 2013
Texts can be modified or appropriated to suit different audiences or purposes, yet still remain firmly within the genre. Discuss Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ and at least one of the films you have studied. FW Murnau’s 1921 film Nosferatu is an appropriation of Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula. Despite it being an appropriation, explicit gothic conventions remain evident, which explore societal fears and values. These fears and values differ from Dracula, due to distinct contextual influences of different time periods. Stoker’s novel Dracula, presents the fear of female promiscuity, for which vampirism is a metaphor. Such fear can be related to the time in which Dracula was written, where strict Victorian gender norms and sexual mores stipulated that women should be either both pure and chaste as a virgin, or a wife and mother. It is the fear of women surpassing these sexual boundaries, as prescribed by a patriarchal society, that Stoker explores through the reversal of gender roles. This is evident in the “seduction scene”, where Harker is shown to be passively subjugated by the female vampires he encounters in Dracula’s castle, “looking out from his eyelashes”. His passivity highlights the Gothic motif of duality, by reversing typical Victorian gender roles, whilst expressing the Victorian concern of female sexual proficiency threatening a man’s ability to reason and maintain control. This is further shown through the vampire’s primal sexuality; “licked her lips like an animal”. Such simile, depicting them as sexually aggressive predators, effectively allows Stoker to portray how their promiscuous behaviour is in direct opposition of what the Victorian ideal stipulates women should be. The Victorian values of a woman and her role in society are evident in Stoker’s portrayal of Lucy, after she is transformed into a vampire by Dracula. Not only is she depicted as a sexual predator, through her alluring and inviting voice, but one who possesses anti-maternal behaviour,...
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