Blood in Dracula Essay

1966 WordsDec 1, 20088 Pages
Bram Stoker’s Dracula is undoubtedly one of the most influential horror novels in western culture. One is left to wonder what gives the novel its staying power. Throughout the ages, authors have created influential writing that has eventually gathered its dust, been placed under some uneven coffee table, and inevitably fallen out of the realm of lasting literature. So what is it about Stoker’s Dracula that has resonated so powerfully with western civilization and inspired countless adaptations of vampire horror since? Why does vampirism captivate our culture? Within this novel, blood, the ultimate focus of vampirism, surfaces in a mirage of opposing ideas that range from sexual promiscuity to Christian doctrine. There can be no doubt that this theme of blood is the most captivating and disturbing aspect of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and it is this theme that has since highly influenced both western culture and the horror genre. Blood not only demonizes a vampire, but it humanizes one. It establishes something the reader can identify with, for blood is life to humans just as it is to vampires. Blood is the tie that both binds and divides Dracula’s world from the rest of humanity. It quite literally, and figuratively, gives Dracula his staying power. From the very beginning of the novel, Dracula presents two worlds that are completely foreign to one another. England juxtaposes Transylvania in almost every way. While England ushers in a new age of technology and advancement, Transylvanian members continue to live in peasantry. While English men like Mr. Swales have no patience for the ideas of superstition, Transylvanian members ritualistically guard against evil. This opposing nature between Dracula’s world and the rest of the characters’ sets the stage for further contrast. Essentially innate aspects of Dracula’s nature are in sharp conflict against western

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