Caholicism In Dracula

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In the 16th chapter of Dracula by Bram Stoker, the count has made his first victim in England, Lucy having been transformed into a vampire. Van Helsing, Dr. Seward, Arthur, and Quincey Morris investigate on the situation and decide to get rid of her, or rather of it...Indeed the young women has become monstruous and has started to attack children for their blood. The passage we have to analyse is the ritual the men have to perform to eliminate the creature, described through Seward's point of view. Many traditional characteristics of vampires are, like in the whole book, present in the text: blood, sharp teeth, stakes and garlic...Different recurrent themes of Stoker's work can also be found in this passage, and we will try to identify them and analyse their meaning.…show more content…
Bram Stoker being Irish, is indeed a Catholic, and his religion plays an important part in the plot. In the extract, the four men are exorcizing the monster living in Lucy's body, and Van Helsing clearly plays the role of a priest in the ritual. "Van Helsing opened his missal and began to read" : he is the one who reads prayers while Arthur is burying the stake into his fiancée's body. Then, after the ritual, the roles are changed, and Van Helsing looks like he is confessing to Arthur who now plays the role of the priest: "And now, Arthur my friend, dear lad, am I not forgiven? [...] Forgiven! God bless you". In the final paragraph of the passage, Van Helsing speaks and endorses once again the role of the clergyman, with a strong reference to marriage "And now, my child, you may kiss her". Here, like many elements in Dracula , the proper order of things is changed: Arthur has symbolically consumed his marriage even before being allowed to kiss the bride. This shows that vampires overturn everything in the Victorian society, altering every concept and values to make them
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