An Eternal Struggle in Literature
One question has puzzled men who try to answer it since the beginning of human existence, this question being which of the two is stronger, good or evil. The question has been addressed throughout history in many cultures and in many different ways. It is seen often in literature and can be presented through many techniques. In Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the eternal struggle between good and evil is played out between two characters who are sharp contrasts to one another, Count Dracula and Abraham Van Helsing. These foil characters are used by the author to illuminate an important theme of the novel, the power struggle between good and evil. Upon the reader’s first introduction to the Dutch doctor Van Helsing, it is unquestionable that he represents everything good and pure in Victorian England. In this introduction, his extensive knowledge sets up how he is perceived throughout the rest of the novel. Called upon by his former student, Dr. Seward, Van Helsing quickly diagnoses young Lucy’s illness and attempts to cure her. Dr. Seward is very close to the doctor and informs Arthur Holmwood that “he knows what he is talking about better than anyone else. He is a philosopher and a metaphysician, and one of the most advanced scientists of his day…” (148). His intelligence plays a crucial role in the main characters’ efforts to defeat Count Dracula. Without Van Helsing, the men would not have understood the strange creatures that are vampires, and how they can be destroyed. Not only does he portray good in his expertise, but he is also seen throughout the novel as being very kind and willing to sacrifice anything for someone he cared for. While continuing to take care of Lucy Westenra, Van Helsing becomes greatly attached to her and her situation, stopping at nothing to see that she is healed. He also develops a fatherly affection for Arthur, which likely stems from the death of his own daughter, whom Arthur reminded him of. Stoker also...
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