In Technologies of Monstrosity

Topics: Vampire, Dracula, Gothic fiction Pages: 3 (1425 words) Published: October 24, 2014

Dracula: The Metaphor for
Late Victorian-Crisis
Jarae Comstock
Reinhardt University
This paper was prepared for IDS 306 for Dr. Little
Dracula: The Metaphor for Late Victorian-Crisis
Bram Stokers, Dracula, from the late-Victorian era, is one of the best stories of vampire folklore. Dracula was tall, dark, handsome, and mysterious with immense sexual character. His snow white teeth which outlined his rosy red lips made us fantasize of him and ultimately become obsessed. The overwhelming fascination of Stoker’s novel has created individuals to overlook the true metaphoric mechanism behind the story. “Technologies of Monstrosity: Bram Stoker’s “Dracula””, Judith Halberstam points out the metaphor in which Dracula was created. Halberstam argues how Dracula was created as a metaphor for anti-Semitic representations and stereotypical sanctions of the Jew. Halberstam validates her hypothesis by comparing Dracula to physical characteristics of the Jew. Furthermore, she expresses the relation of blood and gold, race and sex, sexuality and ethnicity that consequently relate to the Jew. On the other hand, Kathleen Spencer, “In Purity and Danger: Dracula, The Urban Gothic, and the Late Victorian Degeneracy Crisis”, tries to relate the unconscious and conscious sexuality of Stoker and cultural identities. Spencer focuses on the ‘fantastic’, the urban gothic, romantic revival, and Mary Douglass’s purity and danger to justify her hypothesis. Both these texts provide great examples for the metaphors and symbolism which is hidden in the text of Stoker’s novel. In order to understand Halberstam’s theory, one must know what monstrosity is in society and more importantly the Gothic in monstrosity. Monstrosity is seen as the other, an individual of impurities, uncleanliness, deviant behavior, and out of the norm of social constructs. Halberstam states (1993), “Gothic monsters in particularly produce monstrosity as never unitary, but always seen as monstrosity is seen...

References: Halberstam, Judith. (1993). Technologies of Monstrosity: Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”. Indiana University Press, 36, 333-352. Spencer, L. Kathleen. (1992). In Purity and Danger: Dracula, The Urban Gothic, and the Late Victorian Degeneracy Crisis. The John Hopkins University Press, 59, 197-225.
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