Dracula Chapter 16 Analysis

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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. First, we will focus on the obvious sexual dimension of the extract, then we will examine its religious aspects, and finally we will see how this scene can be an illustration of the position of women during the Victorian era. In Dracula , Stoker created a strong link between vampires and sexuality. Indeed, the three female vampires Jonathan meets in the castle have the same sexual appetite than the vampirized Lucy. Sexuality was a taboo at Stoker's time, especially about women, and by making these female vampires nymphomaniac, the author drew a parallel between vampirism and female sexuality, both linked to perversity and vice. Interestingly, the way Lucy is defeated by the men is also linked to sexuality. The ritual, and the way it is described by Seward's journal, is extremely connoted. To destroy the vampire, Arthur has to bury a stake into Lucy's heart. Strangely Arthur is given the task whereas he is Lucy's fiancée; Van Helsing could have chosen someone else who would have been more detached, but it looks like the act of driving the stake is considered as being intimate, and consequently

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