Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Other Gothic Text Analysis
Xinnocence as well as the outsider and the vampires’ experience of sadomasochism. The enduring captivation of these dark notions allows us to account and assess the literary techniques, the context and how the idea of the glamorous but wicked outsider meets the different values within our ever-changing society. Then, we can finally grasp an understanding of how the vampiric legend has continually lingered in our mainstream consciousness.
Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” deals with the notion of vampirism, lodging in our collective consciousness a demonic monster who overturns the pillars of society by seducing innocent women, thrill-seeking and threatening the status quo. Was it because Dracula symbolises the forbidden and the anti-Christ, thus engaging readers, especially during the repressed Victorian era? Or is it because we have a certain fascination for the occult and, by extension, for things we don’t fully comprehend?
Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Other Gothic Text Analysis Essay Example
Stoker deliberately utilises stereotypes such as the damsel in distress (Mina and Lucy), masculine heroes and of course a villain, the dastardly Count, to underscore the gothic theme whereby Dracula is portrayed as the satanic foreigner and the instigator of conflict. This is exemplified with a Carpathian woman crossing herself shouting in defiance, “Monster give me back my child! ” However, Dracula reflects the refined demeanour of a nineteenth century British gentleman when amongst our society, enabling him to conceal his blood lust and integrate with the mortal world.
The Count immediately welcomes Jonathan Harker with the typical social etiquette of the Victorian Era, “Welcome to my house. Come freely…leave something of the happiness you bring! ” Yet, the very fact that Dracula subverts “clean” women to one known for their voluptuousness goes against middle class Victorian conduct therefore tantalizing readers with a taste of the darker, and prohibited way of life. Furthermore, Stoker labels Dracula as a “Count” thereby signifying his wealth and aristocracy which clearly bestows him a degree of social authority, usually a trademark for vampires.
Indeed, a more intense representation of the concept Dracula is rendered in the adapted comic cover, “The Tomb of Dracula. ” Gene Colan presents a confronting pose of Dracula’s violent seduction at its most erotic, yet fiendish state –seducing a “damsel in distress. ” Depicted with the iconic cape in smoky blue hues, Dracula seems to blend with the all-consuming sky, a daunting figure much like Stoker’s creation. Symbols for gothic conventions pervade this artwork, for instance, the tilted tombstones in the fore and background as well as the imposing obelisk against an oversized full moon casting its silhouette across the graveyard.
These symbols and the gothic motif of “the tomb” (as used in Stoker’s Dracula) instill us with the typical gloomy and foreboding atmosphere suggesting the crude and mad happenings of the night. Colan also inserts a slanted coffin and specks of bats looming in the background which are symbolic of death and rebirth. That is, representing the challenge to liberate from the old ways and create the new which parallels with the underlying theme of erotic and vascular transformations.
Moreover, the dash of reds starkly contrasts the black highlighting the words, “essential” and especially “Of Dracula” which is formed in the outline of a bat. With horror comics at its zenith in the 1970s the promotion of the Dracula legend was easily accessible for the public. Comparably, in the film “Interview with the Vampire”, Neil Jordan’s adaptation reinvents the vampire notion which profoundly depicts the modern vampire attempting to find the roots of its identity whilst showing its internal state.
Jordan reveals the enigmatic life of Louis du Lac through the vampire’s perspective whereby he reminisces on his past revealing his shortcomings, his doubts, his fears, such as immortality. At his emotional nadir, he is confronted by Lestat, a charismatic and powerful vampire who chooses Louis to be his fledgling. The sombre tone of Louis’s voice-over in the ending, “My invitation was open to anyone, sailors, whores, thieves. But it was a vampire that accepted… imbues the scene with a sense of pathos whilst projecting the modern-day vampire as possessing more human-like qualities unlike the conventional deranged monster. Through the use of subtle special effects, such as the glaring eyes of the biblical statues in the graveyard satisfies the modern “high-tech” audience. With urbane dialogue, classy costume designs, and realistic acting against urban backdrops such as the Golden Gate Bridge we come to terms with the vampiric archetype and even feel a sense of pity for this prince of darkness.
Yet, Neil adds a tint of slight humour by inserting, Rolling Stones, “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” with Lestat driving into the sunset. But it is the casting of suave, popular actors of the time such as Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt which truly pulls in the throng of watchers for horror fiction, especially female fans. We are all at some point drawn in to the gore, the explicitly sexual and dark allusions of the concept of Dracula. Overtime society has become enamoured to the smooth criminal who constantly crosses the fine line between good and evil rather than the ghoulish lord of the flies.
It is the thrill of the supernatural world which we find captivating with a being so human-like in appearance, yet still an enigma. The vampire, especially Lestat, needs to be surrounded by female innocents not only for survival, but for a sense of a motherly figure which draws an affinity with the Freudian Oedipal complex which shows his hostility to authority, (symbolic of a fatherly figure) while expressing his joy with the freedom to exercise his own power.