Frankenstein And Dracula


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Frankenstein And Dracula

  1. 1. Frankenstein and Dracula <br /> Generative Monsters and Myths of Modern Age<br />
  2. 2. Common Features<br />Frankenstein’s monster and Dracula the Vampire are<br />Created together in a rainy night by a Swiss lake in 1816 <br />Guarding the opposite temporal gates of the Victorian Age (1818 -1897) <br />Dynamic totalizing monsters<br />Living metaphors of inner fears<br />Brilliant embodiment of middle class fears and threats<br />Prototypes of endless clones throughout 20th and 21st century<br />Lacking a unique and authoritative point of view on narrative events <br />Narrated by multiple narrators through a complex narrative technique<br />Fought by mediocre, nationalistic , stupid, philistine antagonists<br />Famous works by otherwise not so famous writers<br />
  3. 3. MainDifferences<br />As soon as they were created Frankenstein’s monster and Dracula the Vampire split and lose track of each other<br />Frankenstein is a forerunner of a dreaded progress<br />Dracula is a relic of a feared past<br />Frankenstein is written in the past <br />Dracula is narrated in the present<br />Frankenstein wants to convince readers<br />Dracula scares readers out of their wits<br />In Frankenstein there’s a distance between action and reader s<br />In Dracula readers have clues but see no causes and are at the mercy of suspence<br />Frankenstein is authored by a young, sensitive, unhappy woman<br />Dracula is the brain child of a do-it-all theatre employee who needed extra money<br />
  4. 4. Though Frankenstein and Dracula rarely appear together, they are the two horrible sides of Victorian society<br />the disfigured wretch and the ruthless proprietor - worker and capital<br />Frankenstein and Dracula are totalizing monsters. They threaten to live for ever, so they have to be killed<br />Fear arises from the terror of a split, conflicting society and from the wish to heal it so…<br />….monsters help to displace social conflict and horror outside society<br />Horror and Fear<br />
  5. 5. Frankenstein - the scaryproletarian<br />Frankenstein’s monster doesn’t have a name: he is a collective, artificial creature, not found in nature but built<br />He immediately threatens his creator who wants to kill him<br />He is disfigured because so were workers in the first decades of the industrial revolution<br />He is a good metaphor of capitalism which forms by deforming, civilizes by barbarizing, enriches by impoverishing<br />He shows how hard it was for the ruling class to accept the idea that all human beings are equal<br />
  6. 6. “How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavoured to form? His limbs were in proportion, and I had selected his features as beautiful. Beautiful!--Great God! His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness; but these luxuriances only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost of the same colour as the dun white sockets in which they were set, his shrivelled complexion and straight black lips. “<br />Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, Chapter 5<br />
  7. 7. Walton - the narrator<br />The main narrative voice in the story is that of Walton a scientist who<br />renounces his exploration to the North Pole <br /> gets a dominant function in the narrative structure<br />He begins the story and ends it. His narrative contains and subordinates Frankenstein’s narrative which contains the monster’s <br />He has the broadest, most comprehensive viewpoint<br />This narrative structure makes the story fable-like. it proceeds orally: <br />Frankenstein speaks to Walton <br />the monster speaks to Frankenstein<br /> Frankenstein speaks to Walton <br />Walton finally writes<br />The main element in the story is not the splitting of society into two opposing poles, but its symbolic reunification in the Walton family<br />
  8. 8. WALTON, _in continuation_ _August 26th, 17--._ <br /> You have read this strange and terrific story, Margaret; and do you not feel your blood congeal with horror like that which even now curdles mine? <br /> His tale is connected, and told with an appearance of the simplest truth; yet I own to you that the letters of Felix and Safie, which he showed me, and the apparition of the monster seen from our ship, brought to me a greater conviction of the truth of his narrative than his asseverations, however earnest and connected. Such a monster has then really existence! I cannot doubt it; yet I am lost in surprise and admiration. Sometimes I endeavoured to gain from Frankenstein the particulars of his creature&apos;s formation: but on this point he was impenetrable. <br />_Septmber 12th._ <br /> It is past; I am returning to England. I have lost my hopes of utility and glory;--I have lost my friend. But I will endeavour to detail these bitter circumstances to you, my dear sister; and while I am wafted towards England, and towards you, I will not despond. <br />Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, Chapter 24<br />
  9. 9. Dracula - the not so aristocraticaristocrat<br />Count Dracula isn’t a real aristocrat, he doesn’t <br />have servants<br />drink or make love <br />like showy clothes<br />go to the theatre or hunting<br />hold receptions or build stately homes<br />His aim is not to destroy the lives of others but to use them <br />Dracula is an ascetic follower of the Protestant ethic<br />he has no body—or rather no shadow<br />he is ‘incorporeal’ like money<br />He is ‘impossible as a physical fact’ like Frankenstein’s Monster<br />
  10. 10. Within, stood a tall old man, clean shaven save for a long white moustache, and clad in black from head to foot, without a single speck of colour about him anywhere.<br /> The old man motioned me in with his right hand with a courtly gesture, saying in excellent English, but with a strange intonation. <br /> &quot;Welcome to my house! Enter freely and of your own free will!&quot; He made no motion of stepping to meet me, but stood like a statue, as though his gesture of welcome had fixed him into stone. The instant, however, that I had stepped over the threshold, he moved impulsively forward, and holding out his hand grasped mine with a strength which made me wince, an effect which was not lessened by the fact that it seemed cold as ice, more like the hand of a dead than a living man. <br />Bram stoke, Dracula, Chapter 2<br />
  11. 11. Dracula the capitalist<br />Capital like vampires lives by sucking living labour: the more labour it sucks the more it lives<br />Dracula like capital is forced to expand his domain<br />His curse compels him to make more and more victims<br /> just as the capitalist is compelled to accumulate<br />His nature forces him to struggle to submit the whole society <br />Dracula aims at creating a ‘new order of beings’ . Where better than England, the birth-placeofmoderncapitalism?<br />For this reason the vampire has to be killed<br />
  12. 12. LETTER, SAMUEL F. BILLINGTON & SON, SOLICITORS WHITBY, TO MESSRS. CARTER, PATERSON & CO., LONDON. <br /> 17 August <br /> &quot;Dear Sirs,--Herewith please receive invoice of goods sent by Great Northern Railway. Same are to be delivered at Carfax, near Purfleet, immediately on receipt at goods station King&apos;s Cross. The house is at present empty, but enclosed please find keys, all of which are labelled. <br /> &quot;You will please deposit the boxes, fifty in number, which form the consignment, in the partially ruined building forming part of the house and marked &apos;A&apos; on rough diagrams enclosed. Your agent will easily recognize the locality, as it is the ancient chapel of the mansion. The goods leave by the train at 9:30 tonight, and will be due at King&apos;s Cross at 4:30 tomorrow afternoon. As our client wishes the delivery made as soon as possible, we shall be obliged by your having teams ready at King&apos;s Cross at the time named and forthwith conveying the goods to destination. […]<br /> “We are, dear Sirs, Faithfully yours, SAMUEL F. BILLINGTON & SON<br />Bram stoke, Dracula, Chapter 8<br />
  13. 13. Dracula – narrative technique<br />There is no omniscient narrator, only individual points of view through letters, diaries, notes, telegrams, notices, phonograph recordings and articles<br />Stoker integrates different points of view achieving a Victorian compromise in the field of narrative technique<br />He unifies the interests and paradigms of the ruling class (law, commerce, the land, science) under the common good<br />The description and ordering of events is reserved for the British who give them form and meaning<br />The Victorian culture threatened by the vampire triumphs in the end<br />Convention wins over exception, present over future, standard British English over linguistic transgression<br />
  14. 14. THE WESTMINSTER GAZETTE, 25 SEPTEMBER EXTRA SPECIAL <br /> THE HAMPSTEAD HORROR <br />ANOTHER CHILD INJURED <br /> THE &quot;BLOOFER LADY&quot; <br /> We have just received intelligence that another child, missed last night, was only discovered late in the morning under a furze bush at the Shooter&apos;s Hill side of Hampstead Heath, which is perhaps, less frequented than the other parts. It has the same tiny wound in the throat as has been noticed in other cases. It was terribly weak, and looked quite emaciated. It too, when partially restored, had the common story to tell of being lured away by the &quot;bloofer lady&quot;. <br />Bram stoke, Dracula, Chapter 13<br />
  15. 15. Repressed Victorian libido <br />Dracula can be seen as the great submerged force of Victorian libido breaking out to punish the repressive society imprisoning it<br />He liberates and exalts sexual desire that attractsand frightens at the same time<br />Vampirism is an excellent example of the identity of desire and fear <br />Fear coincides with the return of the repressed libido, the perturbing element within people’s minds<br />People produce the monsters they fear but horror stories teach them they need not fear their repressions <br />They should be afraid of the monster instead<br />Dracula is the nineteenth-century mind not to recognize itself.<br />
  16. 16. When Lucy, I call the thing that was before us Lucy because it bore her shape, saw us she drew back with an angry snarl, such as a cat gives when taken unawares, then her eyes ranged over us. Lucy&apos;s eyes in form and colour, but Lucy&apos;s eyes unclean and full of hell fire, instead of the pure, gentle orbs we knew. At that moment the remnant of my love passed into hate and loathing. […] When she advanced to him with outstretched arms and a wanton smile he fell back and hid his face in his hands. <br /> She still advanced, however, and with a languorous, voluptuous grace, said, &quot;Come to me, Arthur. Leave these others and come to me. My arms are hungry for you. Come, and we can rest together. Come, my husband, come!&quot; <br /> There was something diabolically sweet in her tones, something of the tinkling of glass when struck, which rang through the brains even of us who heard the words addressed to another. <br />Bram stoke, Dracula, Chapter 13<br />
  17. 17. Living Metaphors<br />The monster-vampire makes unacceptable, repressed desires and fears bearable to the readers’ conscious mind<br />It has a double function<br />expressing the unconscious content <br />hiding it so that it is unrecognizable<br />In horror stories metaphors are live characters who originate endless clones, thus terror literature itself<br />
  18. 18. DifferentkindsoFear - Frankestein<br />Frankenstein wants to convince readers they are threatened by hidden forces<br />Readers are encouraged to reflect upon key ethic issues<br />Development of science <br />Family ties<br />Respect for Tradition<br />Fear does not reach readers, It is confined within the story<br />by narrating events in the past, so that chance is replaced by order, and shock by reflection<br />by avoiding suspense and mystery; readers know everything about the monster; they see Frankenstein assemble him<br />The monster is threatening because he is alive and big, not because he is beyond rational comprehension, likeDracula<br />
  19. 19. The story is always in the present <br />Narration does not establish causal connections<br />Readers have only clues: they see the effects without know ing their causes <br />This generates suspense <br />Between text and readers there is no distance<br />They are dragged into the text;<br />The characters’ fear becomes theirs<br />Dracula does not want thinking readers but a frightened ones who consent to conservative ideological values<br />DifferentkindsoFear - Dracula<br />
  20. 20. Functionoffear<br />Fear is not an end in itself: it is a means to obtain consensus<br />The bond between terror stories and reader s is a paradoxical one<br />The more a story frightens, the more it edifies<br />The more it humiliates, the more it uplifts<br />The more it hides, the more it gives the illusion of revealing<br />We need this sort of fear: it’s the price we pay to come to terms with anirrational, threatening social order<br />
  21. 21. References<br />The presentation is loosely based upon the following:<br />Franco Moretti, The Dialectic of Fear, New Left Review I/136, November-December 1982 <br />Ken Gelder, The Horror Reader, Routledge , 2000<br />John G. Cawelti, Adventure, mystery, and romance: formula stories as art and popular culture‎, The University of Chicago Press, 1977<br />