Lust: the Moral Sucking Bite on Society

Topics: Dracula, Dashiell Hammett, Red Harvest Pages: 4 (1602 words) Published: April 10, 2006
Obsessive, unlawful, greedy, and unnatural sexual desire establish the core of lust, one of the seven deadly sins. Consuming in its very essence, it rots away at anything that was once considered pure or moral. Dashiell Hammett's "Red Harvest" and Bram Stoker's "Dracula" are stories that effectively demonstrate the disastrous and catastrophic effects on society by the unbridled greed, ambition and lust of its inhabitants. Most importantly, both the characters of Dracula and Dinah Brand use sexuality and lust as a launching pad for their blind greed. Their decisions to follow their ravenousness hunger for personal gain, either financially or substantially, throw their respective societies into a nightmarish world where terror and horror rules. The disastrous and sinful mix of ambition, greed and lust is quite apparent through both novels, as is the use of this mix on and by female characters that are supposed to be traditionally pure. These very factors prove to be too much for both Personville and Whitby, disintegrating the core that was once was seen as a functioning society.

Both Hammett and Stoker's characters use lust and sexuality in order to get what they want, effectively demonstrating its destructive effects on those targeted by these ‘weapons.' In Red Harvest, Dinah Brand is one of those characters. Described as a "soiled dove", "de luxe hustler" and "a big league gold-digger" (Hammett, 22), she uses her sexuality and the natural lustful animal instincts of men for her own purpose. She charms them, essentially trapping them into falling in love (or lust) with her. In order to keep her happy, the men spend frivolous amounts of money, which is the object and goal of her somewhat self-employment. Yet her lustful actions, fueled by greed, are responsible for the harm and deaths of some of her suitors. These very actions are responsible for the continuous disintegration of Personville, never allowing the town a chance to cleanse itself due to...

Bibliography: Hammett, Dashiel. Red Harvest. New York: Vintage Books, 1992.
Stoker, Bram. Dracula. New York: W.W.Norton & Company, 1997.
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