Bram Stoker’s:By: Naomi AguileraCourse: ENG 4UDate: January 15 2012
Bram Stoker’s Dracula, published in 1897 can easily be considered as one of the founding books in the vampire phenomenon that has swept North America today. Authors like Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire) and Stephenie Meyer (Twilight Series) have gotten inspiration from one the first famous books about vampires.
Bram Stoker is best known for his Gothic novel (a book that falls under the genre of both horror and romance) Dracula. Written in Victorian times where England had a society were people lived by appearances and Jack the Ripper was the notorious criminal in London during the time. Today many people think Stoker used Dracula the cold-hearted killer who was also mysterious to people, as a comparison to Jack the Ripper. Born in Ireland and raised as an Irish Protestant he was a firm believer of the Liberal Party. He did see himself as a great writer but primarily a business man. Stoker originally was a business man, who was the manager of Lyceum Theatre in London for 27 Years. Although some people may think due to Dracula Stoker invented the idea of vampire he did but instead created the idea and stereotypes of how people picture vampires today. (e.g. Villainous, pale, cannot be seen in sunlight etc). Stoker did not receive immediate interest on Dracula during Victorian times. Dracula was a book enjoyed more by modern readers. Stoker wrote the novel in epistolary (meaning: a book that is written as a series of documents, letters, diary entries, newspaper clippings format).
Most people affiliate Stoker’s Dracula as a scary novel but it also falls under “invasion literature”. Meaning literature that has to do with monsters invading the British Empire. The book is based on how Jonathan Harker, a young lawyer set out to Transylvania to meet with Dracula who wants to purchase an estate in England. At first Harker is impressed by how rich and lavish Dracula appears to be but then gets scared of Dracula and realizes he is a victim to Dracula. While in England his fiancé Mina is spending time with her friend Lucy who then one day gets mysteriously ill and loses a lot of blood. Van Helsing is called not only is he a doctor but a strong believer in the super natural world and realizes a vampire is involved with Lucy’s situation. Johan than and Mina finally get in touch since Jonathans departure and they get married at convent in Budapest and then return back to England. Once back in England Van Helsing, Harker and a few other men try to get rid of Dracula once and for all. After a long chase they go back to Transylvania to kill Dracula.
“I was afraid to raise my eyelids, but looked out and saw perfectly under the lashes. The girl went on her knees, and bent over me, simply gloating. There was a deliberate voluptuousness which was both thrilling and repulsive, and as she arched her neck, she actually licked her lips like an animal. . . . Lower and lower went her head as the lips went below the range of my mouth and chin and seemed about to fasten on my throat. . . . I closed my eyes in a languorous ecstasy and waited—waited with beating heart.”
This quote shows how looks are deceiving and how not everything is as it seems. Similar to Victorian society where people were only seen by their wealth and status. Although these women appear to be beautiful they are obviously not and should be avoided. In today’s age sex and vampires go hand in hand. Many people are fascinated and find the concept of vampires “sexy”. These women go after Jonathan in a very sexual and seductive manner but at the same time are completely deadly to him. Temptation is displayed clearly here for Jonathan because if he falls for these women he is ultimately digging his own grave, or coffin. This passage demonstrated how easy it is to fall under a vampire’s trap due to how they appear so unique and typically blind people from seeing their deadly harm.
The most obvious recommendation is Dracula should be read by vampire fans. This is the first best selling novel on vampires so reading a book where the vampire phenomenon all began is a good choice. This book is also recommended if you enjoy classic literature set in Victorian society, because most of the books themes is based around how Victorian society functioned (e.g appearances, Christian salvation, role of women etc). This book is also recommended for readers who like to read novels that focus on two major genres.