Bram Stoker's Dracula

Topics: Dracula, Abraham Van Helsing, Quincey Morris Pages: 5 (2106 words) Published: February 11, 2014
Why do humans always become disappointed when their favorite novels become films? It is because adaptations of films tend to sway from the truth of the novels. The same common belief may be illustrated in both the film and the novel, but major alterations are made in the film to make it more exciting, attention grasping, and addicting. Dracula by Bram Stoker is just another novel made into the film Bram Stoker’s Dracula by Francis Ford Coppola. Distinct changes take place from the novel on paper to the film on the screen. The characters of Dracula, Lucy, and Mina tend to share some of the same characteristics in both the film and novel, but the movie changes aspects of the characters to be more sensational and dramatic. Just as the characters are changed and reshaped, the plot has tweaks of its own. The novel and the film have similarities, but the differences are clearly visible. Count Dracula is portrayed as animal and beast-like in both Dracula and Bram Stoker’s Dracula; he also displays aspects of humanity. Within Dracula, Count Dracula survives by quenching his thirst for blood. He is driven by this yearning for blood and nothing seems to get in his way. He has the attributes of a lion in search of its prey and feeding off of it; he cannot control it, nor does he want to stop. Killing does not disturb him in the least, and he is in search of power. He displays the characteristics of a beast through his continual vicious, grueling slaughtering of his prey- humans. He feels no remorse for his process of survival and life; he is a savage beast. However, the Count appears to be human and has human qualities; he can walk, talk, and breathe just like the average human.

Count Dracula also controls a ferocious animal named the wolf within Dracula. The wolf comes at his call and does his bidding. The Count uses the wolf to destroy threats made towards him or to kill someone or something that stands in his way. As Jonathan Harker, Dracula’s prisoner, depicts in his journal, “I heard the voice of the Count calling in his harsh, metallic whisper. His call seemed to be answered from a far and wide by the howling of wolves. Before many minutes had passed a pack of them poured… into the courtyard. Before long they streamed away singly, licking their lips” (48- 49). The Count deliberately uses the wolves as a mechanism to enforce his wishes upon things or people. Lucy frantically writes in her journal, “in the aperture of the broken panes there was the head of a great, gaunt gray wolf” (131). The Count, again, uses the wolves for his advantage. His bidder, the wolf, does what he cannot do; he can not break the glass to get into Lucy Westenra’s room, so he had the wolf do it for him. Count Dracula manipulates the wolves with his cunning, beast-like ways to perform what he cannot.

In Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Count Dracula is again portrayed and depicted animal or beast-like, but retains little of a human appearance. He can, again, call upon the wolf; however within the film, Dracula never uses the wolf to perform tasks. He, instead, stops the wolf from harming Mina Murray. As the wolf advances upon Mina, the Count commands the wolf to stop and calls him back to him. He has the power over the wolf, but he never uses this power for his own bidding throughout the film. The Count also appears as an actual beast within the film. While hunching over Lucy, sucking her blood, he takes on the form of a beast; he snarls, is covered in hair, and breathes heavily just as a beast does. This shows his strong desire and thirst for blood. He cannot live without blood because of its powerful draw; it defines his existence.

In contrast to Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula has contact with the character of Mina Murray. Mina, fortunately, is not aware of who she spends time with. They attend a festival together, dine together, and dance together. Mina actually falls in love with Dracula despite being engaged to Jonathan...
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