In Anne McWhir’s essay titled “Pollution and Redemption in Dracula” she examines the theme of the stark contrasts between pure and unclean. Pollution in the sense the writer was going for does not mean landfills and gas guzzlers, but when the unclean taints the pure. Going beyond the surface definition, the book Dracula has many instances of contrasting values surrounding the thoughts of purity. The ideas of good and evil, life and death, new and old, and civilization and savagery are examined throughout the novel. Dracula as a whole is a story of the characters quest to purify the world of the evil and uncleanliness that is Count Dracula. The novelty of Dracula is that often these lines can and have to be blurred in order for the characters to succeed. The book portrays the main three men of the novel as heroic hunters going out to find and kill Dracula. Is this heroism, or have they reverted back to an animalistic blood thirst, not unlike the animal they are hunting. The ideas of science and superstitious ritual also come into conflict throughout the novel. The further and further you read into the novel the more muddled these lines become, and the more the characters of the book must cross them in order to defeat Dracula. One big blurry area in the novel is the notion of blood. Blood in Dracula has multiple powers. It has the power to heal, or it can cause great pollution. It can be used to show undying love, or it can be used as the most violent attack. The removal of the pollution that has infected their world will require violence and savagery in the name of purity. In fact the ones most vulnerable to pollution in the novel are the ones unwilling to cross those lines and are ignorant of them even. The great paradox in Dracula is the ability to be one thing while being something else simultaneously. So the goal of the book is trying to separate these paradoxes and redefine all that the characters are used to. Only the death of Dracula can...
Cited: Stoker, Bram. Bram Stoker 's Dracula. Candlewick, 2004.
McWhir, Anne. Pollution and Redemption in “Dracula”. Modern Language Studies, 1987
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