Dracula: What or who is monstrous in Stoker’s narrative?

Now that you’ve read the novel and seen the BBC version of Dracula, in a posting of approximately 600 words, argue for who or what is the monster in EITHER the novel OR the movie.  Choose three or four reasons to support your point.  If you are writing about the movie, you’ll need to use quotations, just as you would the novel.  You are also encouraged to use a point from the Seed article, if you feel that it is relevant.  See the rubric for mark breakdown that I handed out in class.  This posting is due by Friday the 30th at 10:30 a.m.

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~ by Ms. Cox on November 25, 2012.

21 Responses to “Dracula: What or who is monstrous in Stoker’s narrative?”

  1. Anna Chandrakumar
    Ms. D. Cox
    ETS 4U1
    28 November 2012
    The ‘Monster’ in Dracula
    “There are mysteries which men can only guess at, which age by age they may solve only in part” (Stoker, 176).
    A monster generally refers to an evil entity with otherworldly powers, one which preys on the innocent populace. There is little consideration, however, for why these creatures are considered monstrosities to be feared and rejected. Fear is derived from that which is not understood; that which is inexplicable or supernatural in any sense is something that is automatically dreaded, and subsequently despised, for there is a very short distance between fear and hatred. Society is built upon the information which humanity has gleaned over time. That which is not known is perceived as a threat to the society that people are built around and what to do with a threat but destroy it? So it can be said that the monster is simply the unknown. In Bram Stoker’s Dracula and in Bill Eagles film adaptation of the same name, the unknown is what creates the semblance of a monster and that, which coaxes the ‘monster’ out of seemingly normal people.
    The ‘monster’ in Bram Stoker’s Dracula comes in the form of Dracula himself, not because he is a vampire, but simply because he is a mystery –he is the unknown personified. In the novel, Abraham Van Helsing is seen as a ray of hope for he is the sole person who knows anything about Dracula’s kind. Dracula is considered a monster, not because his bite is fatal, but because he is not understood. At one point, Dr. Seward says,
    “Do you not think that there are things which you cannot understand, and yet which are; that some people see things that others cannot? But there are things old and new, which must not be contemplated by men’s eyes, because they know -or think they know- some things which other men have told them. Ah, it is the fault of our science that it wants to explain all; and if it explain not, then it says there is nothing to explain” (Stoker, 163).
    In society, science attempts to explain everything and answer all questions but that is not always possible –this is something that Seward recognizes. Dracula is feared because the various characters of the play do not understand him, his ways or how to defeat him. Dracula is not a monster because of what he is. Rather, he is a monster because he is the unknown; he is inexplicable and it is the inexplicable that is feared. Dracula also brings out the ‘monster’ in Lucy. She is a seemingly innocent girl, but what she becomes is quite the opposite. One of Dracula’s limitations is that he must be invited in and that means that Lucy must have done this, making her less innocent that she previously was depicted. She turns into a female version of Dracula, coaxing away children and drinking their blood. The men –save Van Helsing- do not understand the transformation that she has undergone and this makes her a monster in their eyes. It is the unknown in Bram Stoker’s Dracula that is the monster and it is the unknown that brings out the monster in others.
    In the film, Dracula, it can be argued that the ‘monster’ was not so much the count, as it was Arthur Holmwood’s infection, namely syphilis. This disease is not fully understood, and consequently, there is no known cure for it. This enrages Arthur as he is to be wed and does not wish to pass on this disease to Lucy. As he attempts to find a cure for this, it brings out the worst, or the ‘monster’ in him. He becomes quick-tempered, brooding and rude. Syphilis is the ‘monster’ in Bill Eagles’ film as it is the unknown –it is something that neither the doctors nor the cult leaders can explain. Thus, he goes to a Mr. Alfred Singleton, the leader of a cult. In turn, this brings out the ‘monster’ in Arthur. He is a cause for fear for Lucy who does not understand why he is acting the way he is. He often lashes out at her and she begins to fear that it is something that she has done that has caused him to act as he does. A god-fearing man, Arthur is willing to do whatever it takes to be cured, but in his attempts to hide his illness and his unscrupulous actions, he does things that are quite unlike him and this makes Lucy worry. She talks to Mina about her fears concerning her marriage. Lucy says something to the effect of, “things are not always as they seem, much like men” (Eagles 2006). She is referring to her husband, Arthur. He has changed and she does not understand what is wrong with him. The unknown is the monster in Bill Eagles’ film and it brings out the monster in other characters.
    In both versions of Dracula –the book by Bram Stoker and the film by Bill Eagles- the ‘monster’ is the unknown elements and it is the unknown that brings out the ‘monster’ of sorts in the various characters. In the novel, Count Dracula is the unknown personified, as he is the element that is not fully comprehended in the other characters. He then brings out the monster in Lucy in making her a vampire as well. The monster in Eagles’ film adaptation of Dracula was syphilis as this is disease that is not understood by any of the characters. Syphilis also brought out the ‘monster’ in Arthur; he arguably became a different man when he found that he was infected with a disease that could not be cured through any known scientific means. In both cases, the characters go to great lengths to defeat that which they do not understand. Monsters in society boils down to the fact what is unknown is feared, what is feared is hated, and what is hated must inevitably be destroyed.
    “How good and thoughtful he is; the world seems full of good men –even if there are monsters in it” (Stoker, 192).

  2. Lucas Diiorio

    Dracula Response

    In the book Dracula there are many great evils wandering around Transylvania. However, in the novel the real evils are portrayed as the East. Everything that has to do with the East is considered evil, whether it be Dracula himself, The nature and atmosphere or the methodology of eastern superstition. All of these occur in the book and are all placed in the most terrifying light by the Western characters and as well by the reader.
    Whether Dracula is evil or misguided or lonely is a mystery to the reader, but to the western characters the Count is the epitome of evil. Jonathan Harker especially describes him with the utmost of devilish qualities. “With a red light of triumph in his eyes, and a smile that Judas in hell might be proud of.” (Stoker 42) Stoker really puts the clear emphasis of the devil on the Count, just to show that he is more than evil or monstrous. “The last glimpse I had was of the bloated face, blood-stained and fixed grin of malice which would’ve held it’s own in the nethermost hell.” (Stoker 44)
    Dracula being monstrous is very well associated with the land that he comes from, and many of the strange occurrences in Transylvania happen under the control of Dracula himself. “I must say they were not cheering to me, for amongst them were “Ordog”-Satan, “Polok”-hell, “Stregoica”-witch, “vrolok” and “vlkoslak”-both of which mean the same thing, one being Slovak and the other Servian for something that is either were-wolf or vampire.” (Stoker 5) The way that Stoker blends the citizens of Transylvania together with the belief of Dracula and being a vampire complete the ominous feeling that is set for Jon Harker before he actually meets Dracula. “But just then the moon, sailing through the black clouds, appeared behind the jagged crest of a beetling, pine-clad rock and by its light I saw around us a ring of wolves with white teeth and lolling red tongues, with long, sinewy limbs and shaggy hair.” (Stoker 11) Stoker brings in the element of the moon and how in the East the moon has some strange different effect on the creatures of the land. Stoker also compares the wolves as even being Eastern, describing them as being sort of dirty and vicious which holds Jon Harkers beliefs about the east to be true making him even more terrified.
    Another strong eastern influence that frightens the western men is the use of eastern methodology and of Van Helsing’s methods of problem solving. When the men need to slay the vampire induced Lucy he assures the men that the only way to kill her (after she has already died, which freaks the western men out) is to drive a wooden stake through her heart. “Brave lad! A moments courage and it is done, this stake must be driven through her, It will be a fearful ordeal-be not deceived in that-but it will be only a short time, and you will then rejoice more than your pain was great; from this grim tomb you will emerge as though you tread on air.” (Stoker 184) The western men are appalled that they would have to drive something as barbaric as a wooden stake through someone to kill them and it is just such a monstrous act, but they realise that they have to use eastern methods to kill eastern monsters.
    Overall it is very relevant that the true evil Bram Stoker’s Dracula is the use of the East and its weapons of fear.

  3. Shauna Wright
    Ms Cox
    ETS 4U1
    30 November 2012

    The Monster of Transylvania in Bram Stoker’s Dracula

    In Bram Stoker’s novel, Dracula, Transylvania is the monster. Transylvania is where the horror of this gothic novel truly begins. At the beginning of the novel, Jonathan Harker is a normal, working man in England. He is in love and is engaged to Mina Murray. When his adventure to Transylvania commences, Jonathan begins to experience and see strange things around him. The strange and unknown begins to consume Jonathan as he enters Count Dracula’s castle, located in the Carpathian Mountains on the border of Transylvania. Jonathan’s first encounter of the strange that demonstrates Transylvania as the monster takes place in chapter one. Jonathan stayed at the Golden Krone Hotel, and the landlord’s wife went to his room before he left for the castle to plead him not to go: Just before I was leaving, the old lady came up to my room and said in a very hysterical way: “Must you go? Oh! young Herr, must you go?” (Stoker 4). The old lady proceeded to warn Jonathan of St. George’s Day, when “all the evil things in the world will have full sway”. She gives Jonathan a crucifix to protect him from the evil that he may come into contact with. Jonathan states in his journal that the old lady’s gesture was ridiculous and that he did not feel uncomfortable, showing that Jonathan does not believe in superstition (Stoker 4). I believe that Stoker chose Jonathan to react to the old lady the way he did on purpose, so that when Jonathan first meets Dracula and is impressed by his courteous ways, it is obvious to the reader that Jonathan is not superstitious, and therefore mislead by the Count’s appearance, as well as his castle. Next, Mina writes about Transylvania as the monster in her journal. The beginning of Mina’s entry from 24 September reads: I hadn’t the heart to write last night, that terrible record of Jonathan’s upset me so. Poor dear! How he must have suffered, whether it be true or only imagination. I wonder if there is any truth in it at all. Did he get his brain fever, and then write all those terrible things, or had he some cause for it all? I suppose I shall never know, for I dare not open the subject to him. And yet that man we saw yesterday! He seemed quite certain of him, poor fellow! I suppose it was the funeral upset him and sent his mind back on some train of thought (Stoker 153). This shows Transylvania as the monster because Mina is describing the horrific events in which Jonathan experienced while in Transylvania. Jonathan’s struggle to live with what happened to him while at Dracula’s castle is described and the trauma that Jonathan acquired because of those events proves that Transylvania is the monster. Finally, colonialism is a significantly evident aspect that demonstrates Transylvania as the monster. Colonialism is the establishment, exploitation, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory (Wikipedia contributors, “Colonialism”). Stoker does not distinctly give Count Dracula’s background to the reader, but the reader becomes aware that the Count is proud of his boyar heritage (Stoker 17). It is evident that Count Dracula’s ancestors established themselves in the Transylvanian area and expanded themselves throughout the country. Since the Count is the last surviving member of his family, his goal was to expand his territory and his being, as a vampire, to other territories, such as London, the precise location in Stoker’s narrative. Ultimately, it is evident that the monster in Bram Stoker’s narrative, Dracula, is Transylvania. Transylvania is the monster because it is the location where evil first consumed Jonathan Harker. Transylvania as the monster is demonstrated in the novel firstly by the old lady who begs Jonathan not to go to Castle Dracula, then by Mina’s recollection of Jonathan’s time in Transylvania and the trauma he suffered because of the events he was involved in and finally represented through colonialism, as Count Dracula persisted upon expanding his kind, vampire, from Transylvania to London.

    Works Consulted:

    Wikipedia contributors. “Colonialism.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 19 Nov. 2012. Web. 29 Nov. 2012

  4. Bram Stokers Dracula; The Movie
    Who or what is the monster?
    Hannah Hughes

    Religion: a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/religion

    The monster portrayed in Francis Capolla’s 1992 rendition of Dracula is the character Dracula. The undead monster who takes the lives of the innocence to maintain his own ‘life’. Who tricks people into thinking they want to drink his blood, taking away the life that they live and condemning them to struggle with the undead hell, alone, and ever thirsty for the blood of the living.

    On the other hand…

    How could Dracula ever be considered the monster, he is just a step higher on the food chain. Dracula is the monster in the eyes of the people he prays on, and for the husbands whose wives he steals. Though how can Dracula be evil when he fought for good, he fought for religion and for love, for his country and for that he lost his wife. The movie Dracula directed by Capolla shows that four centuries before Harker ever encounters Dracula, Dracula fought for religion.

    Religion is suppose to unite people, giving a group of people something to believe in and share with the world, a set of moral codes giving people the guidance to be better people. Dracula fought for his religion, only to have it abandoned his wife, who died in the name of true love. ” Vengeful Turks shot an arrow into the castle carrying false news of Dracula’s death, Elizabethia believing him dead flung herself into the river”(Capolla, 1992). To be betrayed, by what you love is something cruel, Dracula’s wife killed herself, but to the church that was a sin, so she was cast from God’s eyes. Left to wander the earth a lost soul “She has taken her own life, Her soul cannot be saved, She is forever damned, it is God’s law”(Capolla, 1992). Dracula turned his back on the church renouncing God and thus swore to return and was, for this, in the eyes of the church a monster. Dracula can not be the monster when it was the church who betrayed him.

    The villagers of Transylvania follow religion, grouping together to unite against the evil that the church shows them. Dracula turns his back on the church renouncing God, and swearing that he shall return for his love whose soul is left to wander the earth. The villagers never give Dracula a chance, in their eyes he is evil, a monster who needs to be defeated. Although the villager believe this only because they believe in the church, who damned the true love of Dracula. It is evident that the villagers believe in God; when Harker goes to Transylvania he is approached by the villagers and begged in the eyes of God not to go to the castle. There is a woman who implores him to take a cross with him, promising him that the cross will protect him. Though Harker does not need protection with the church, it is the church who brought this upon Dracula. Using the cross as protection only frees the church from the eyes of the people as being a culprit in this sad tale.

    Dracula is only the monster to those who can see no further than what is clearly stated. But Dracula can not be the monster, he fought for his life, for the families and the lives of others, he fought for what he believed in. Dracula fought for the religion that betrayed him. Although in the end it was what he believed in that lead him to his horrible undead hell.

  5. In the film Dracula, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, Dracula’s character states that “There is much to be learned from beasts” (Coppola 1992). It is unclear as to who the beast really is, who the monster is. Is it Dracula, a hunter of humans, stalking around sucking blood and killing? Or perhaps it is another character, one seemingly innocent, that nobody would suspect? The true “monster” (for lack of a better word) in Dracula is in fact Mina Harker (nee Murray). Mina shows herself to be the monster through her relations with Dracula, her words to Dracula, and her dismissal of Dracula.
    A viewer may not primarily think of Mina as a monster. Mina is seemingly innocent, but clearly a very strong woman. From the moment that Count Dracula lays eyes on Mina he is instantly infatuated, for Mina is the reincarnation of his lost love. Does Mina do anything to spurn Dracula’s advances? No. Even after Dracula attacks her in an alley way, she goes back to him. Mina says of Dracula’s voice that, “It’s like a voice in a dream I cannot place, and it comforts me when I am alone” (Coppola 1992). This preceding quotation is merely one example of the luring things that Mina says towards Dracula. This film unequivocally proves that it is not Dracula that lures, it is the human.
    There are many discrepancies over the so called “powers” of Count Dracula. One that most can agree upon however is his ability to control the minds of his victims. It is disputable that Dracula does not have any real supernatural power, but rather charisma, something Mina does fall prey to but still feeds. Mina says, “I almost feel pity for something as hunted as the Count” (Coppola 1992). This quotation takes place after the incident of Dracula biting Mina, and suddenly she feels bad for him? The man she claims is a monster? Could it be perhaps that she is deflecting? Mina feeds Dracula lines, to make him believe that she loves him, and that she is interested in him, telling him “I want to be with you always” (Coppola 1992). Unfortunately for Dracula, he will believe anything that the woman he has professed his love for says.
    Mina’s dismissal of Dracula happens around the mid point of the film. When Mina finally hears from the Sis. Augustus that is taking care of Jonathon in Romania, her first thought is “My sweet prince, Jonathon must never know of us” (Coppola 1992). At this point it is clear that Dracula has been courting Mina, and she never refuses him. Then, suddenly, she gets this letter from Jonathon and is ready to reject Dracula, without even the decency to tell him face to face. Mina composes the following letter to Dracula: “My dearest prince, forgive me. I have received word from my fiance in Romania. I am en route to join him. We are to be married. I will never see you again. Mina” (Coppola 1992). Arguably, it is this letter and abrupt dismissal of Dracula that sends him “off the deep end”, creating the desire to kill in order to get what he wants.
    What is the monster in Dracula? A normal, innocent young lady is the monster. Who is the monster in Dracula? Mina Murray is the monster. This innocent lady and monster are one in the same, for the innocence is merely feigned. Through her relations to (be they slightly sexual or otherwise) Dracula, the way she speaks to Dracula, and her abrupt dismissal of Dracula, Mina shows herself to be the monster in the film Dracula. Marred only by Keanu Reeves acting, Dracula was still and excellent film, that brought to light a new way to interpret questions surrounding the novel by Bram Stoker. “No! I cannot let this be! You will be cursed as I am to walk in the shadow of death for all eternity! I – I love you too much to condemn you” (Coppola 1992). This previous quotation is the one that initially calls into the question the usual interpretation that Dracula is a monster. Can a man really be a monster, but be capable of such great love?

  6. The Evil Within

    The novel Dracula by Bram Stoker has a clearly defined villain; Dracula. This character wreaks havoc in London, causing women to be victimized and fall subject to Dracula sucking blood from their necks. This is an overlying evil in the novel. However, by looking more internally at the novel it seems that the evil is the selfishness to use others and consume them.

    The beginning of the novel introduces the audience to a solicitor named Jonathan Harker who has been sent by his boss to deal with a transaction by Count Dracula. While travelling to Transylvania, Harker receives a letter from the Count saying, I trust that you will enjoy your stay in my beautiful land” (Stoker 3). It is apparent that when one has guests over, they may say, ‘Welcome to my house’, but rarely would they go so far as to say, ‘my land’. From the first time the audience is introduced to the Count, it is evident that he has a possessive quality over things that are his own. Dracula feels as though he is above Harker, which on the food chain, one might agree. As Dracula would in fact feed on a human, he is above Harker and does not shy away from making it known.

    Further along in the novel, Dr. Seward who has diagnosed a patient named Renfield as a lunatic begins to question this lunatic’s eating habits. After Renfield eats a blow-fly, Dr. Seward gets angry at him, and Renfield explains, “That it was life, strong life, and gave life to him” (Stoker 59).Renfield lets his spiders eat his flies before eating the spider himself so that there is maximum life within. Clearly Renfield is using these animals to gain more for himself. Renfield also lets his selfishness for life get the best of him when he invites Count Dracula into the asylum. By inviting Dracula in, Mina Harker is given to the Count, which was not the full intention of Renfield’s plan. All he wanted were the animals that Count Dracula promised to give him, however Renfield notices that, “she didn’t look the same. I began to think, and it made me mad to know that He had been taking the life out of her” (Stoker 240). Renfield neglected to think about the consequences of his choice to let the Count in. He believed that he would get the animals that the Count promised him, but ultimately by doing this Renfield created a mess with his selfishness.

    Once Dr. Seward, Van Helsing, Quincey Morris, Arthur Holmwood, and Jonathan and Mina Harker have compiled their stories of Dracula together, the group of men decide that Mina should be left out of the physical operation to take down Dracula. They express that, “after to-night she must not have to do with this so terrible affair. It is not good that she run a risk so great. We men are determined-nay, are we not pledged? – to destroy this monster, but it is no part for a woman” (Stoker 201). It is selfish and sexist of the men to assume that they must be in control of this part of the operation, despite the fact that Mina has been helping with everything up until that point. With their selfishness to keep Mina out of harm’s way, they have in fact helped Dracula to get closer to Mina.

    Throughout the novel it is evident that the character Dracula is not the only evil which lies within the novel. The deeper evil which exists is the greediness to use others and consume them. Jonathan Harker falls heavy for this when he is on his way to Transylvania. Renfield battles with this selfishness in the eating of his animals, and allowing the Count to come into the asylum; and the men’s selfishness allows Mina to fall into the hands of Dracula. This selfishness which exists in the novel is seen in our society every day. When one looks at successful people, it is apparent that many of them have used others along the way to get what they want. Ultimately, this is an evil that exists in reality, and whether or not it will ever disappear is up to society.

  7. Throughout the course of Dracula, each man has taken a turn in reducing Mina to the idealistic Victorian woman, and this kind of stereotype has forced her to believe their prejudices. Such a monstrous force of opinons being launched at Mina does not allow her to believe that women could be equal to their husbands, or any men for that matter.

    This trend is started by her own husband, John Harker, when he compares Mina to the seductive vampire women. “I am alone in the castle with those awful women. Faugh! Mina is a woman, and there is nought in common” (Stoker 45). Harker has decisively stated that Mina is the opposite of the devil-woman, which thereby means that she follows the common Victorian womanly values by not being too sultry and allowing the man to initiate intercourse. Harker’s belief in Mina being the perfect woman for him is encouraged by her submission. Mina allows Jonathan to inflate his sense of masculinity and male dominance by conforming to societal expectations of a woman. Living in an unequal marriage where her very husband is encourages the fact that she is not the imitator in the relationship dampens any desire Mina might have to be unleashed from the burden of constantly trying to please others.

    The minimization of Mina’s character to a faithful stereotype continues by the hand of Abraham Van Helsing, who represents the all-knowing portion of society, when he describes Mina as “one of God’s women, fashioned by His own hand to show us men and other women that there is a heaven where we can enter, and that its light can be here on earth. So true, so sweet, so noble, so little an egoist – and that, let me tell you, is much in this age, so sceptical and selfish” (Stoker 161). Van Helsing states the same things that Harker had said, but he goes further by adding that such a woman in indeed rare and so perfect that she should not change. Van Helsing’s insistence that her sweet nature is a hot commodity limits Mina, and any other Victorian woman for that matter, from their desires to satisfy themselves. It discourages the basic human characteristic of ensuring one is happy and having the right to demand what one wishes. To be bombarded as Mina is, even from a character that represents a society that is well-instructed and knowledgeable, is a confounding assault which leaves no room for compromise.

    Due to the need to conform to society’s cookie cutter image of a good, virtuous woman Mina has unfortunately accepted her fate and even makes a sarcastic remark about the New Woman. “But I suppose the New Woman won’t condescend in future to accept; she will do the proposing herself. And a nice job she will make of it, too! There’s some consolation in that” (Stoker 77). The mere fact that the pressure to obey the socials norms has convinced Mina to cave in and to follow what society expects of her is a horrific example of how brain-washing the opinion of others can be when applied from every possible angle. Mina’s need to reject the idea of a woman who can take charge romantically is stemmed from the many voices that have told her since birth that a true lady should be noble and sweet, without the desire to be in charge. It is rather ironic that Mina persistently denial of the New Woman forces her to speak with sarcasm, a trait which no true lady would ever give in to.

    The true monster in the novel Dracula is not the vampire, but it is the pressure put on women by their spouses, society and even themselves to relinquish their freedom by forever aiming to please others.

  8. Vampires have always been a monstrous fictional character in our culture through literature and film; it is only recent that they have become a new fad in North American culture due to the Twilight franchise and popular TV series like The Vampire Diaries and True Blood. Although many might not know the initial creation of the “vampire” monster is credited to Bram Stocker and his depiction in the novel Dracula. Dracula is an intelligent, well-mannered character that has hidden diabolic intentions and a malevolent state of mind. He is essentially a monster because he is an evil individual with inhuman abilities and a sinister objective. He regularly attacks his victims who are only women by sucking their blood and ultimately sucking the human life out of them in order to add to his line of vampirism. Dracula’s human-form is misleading due to the fact that he has the ability to transform himself from a human to a bat and a wolf. This aspect of his existence is abnormal, unnatural and terrifying. One of the first apparent instances of the Count’s transformation is when Jonathan Harker catches a glimpse of him outside his window. “I saw the whole man slowly emerge from the window and begin to crawl down the castle wall over the dreadful abyss, face down with his cloak spreading out around him like great wings.” (Stoker 58) What also classifies Dracula as a monster is that he lets greed and corruption take control of his life. He traps Jonathan Harker in his castle like a prisoner and forces him to write three farewell letters. The Count gives his three wives an innocent and sacred child for “dinner”. This is by far one of Dracula’s most repulsive acts because it is now evident that children are not spared. Murdering a child is a despicable act commonly seen, as something only a monster is capable of, and not claiming Dracula to be just that would be beyond contempt. Another supernatural capability the Count has is his ability to control minds. He compels his victims to lie, to cheat and to go against their own will. Even though mind controls are not necessarily monstrous they do have intent for evil and gain of personal supremacy. It begins to be more evident that Dracula is a very dangerous and selfish character as the reader submerges deeper into the novel. “My revenge is just begun! I spread it over centuries, and time is on my side. Your girls that you all love are mine already. And through them you and others shall yet be mine, my creatures, to do my bidding and to be my jackals when I want to feed. Bah!” (Stoker 304) This ultimately makes Count Dracula monstrous in the relation to terrorism. Threatening to expose self-subverting characteristics on a global scale, terrorism becomes a monstrous evil. Dracula wants to invade England and feels no hesitation. He clearly lacks respect for human life and would go to great lengths to add to his line of vampirism.
    With his utter disrespect for the human race, his disgusting behavior toward humanity, and his intended conquest of England, calling him anything less than a monster would be absurd.

    ~Sydney Blackmore

  9. What or who is monstrous in Dracula?

    What is it that defines a monstrous act, or being a monster? As seen time and time again, no monster or monstrous act is without an explanation and background of its own. It is apparent in most movies and stories, that every monster has an angle. It could be hideousness, that in monstrous. Being ugly, deformed, and other such things may be cause for people to treat you as a monster. It could just as well be murder, which defines what a monstrous act is. This and much more is present in Bram Stoker’s book, Dracula, as well as in Francis Ford Coppola’s movie rendition of this story.
    Bram Stoker’s story leaves little sympathy for the man known as Count Dracula. In contrast, Francis’ movie leaves the impression that evil is not always so black and white. War, is a disgusting, monstrous thing. It can change even the most honest and good man into a horrible shadow of what he used to be. There is no victor, in war, and no matter the outcome, something is still lost. It is war and religion that brought upon monstrosity in Francis’ movie. Stricken with grief that his wife has committed suicide in the belief that he had fallen in battle, Dracula renounces God forever. And prior to this, the priest informs him that his wife “has taken her own life, and cannot be saved” (Coppola 1992). War and religion work hand in hand to transform Dracula into to monster he becomes. Religion promises much, but, receiving nothing in return for what he has done, the Count turns against it.
    War and religion have always been tied together. Whether in a story, or in our modern day life, battles are constantly being fought about who is right, and who is wrong. And may the better religion triumph over the other. Some follow religion so blindly, and do anything in the name of God, even if it means going to a terrible and bloody war and doing unthinkable tasks. Religion is an on-going battle, which will never end until only one single belief stands alone. And at the time period, Francis gives the church the appearance of a cult. One must obey, and do that entire God and his disciples demand. Failure to do as God commands will result in the expulsion of the church and the promises of a wonderful after life. So who filled Dracula’s head with promises, hopes, and dreams? After fighting for religion, what does he receive? His wife has died, and he can no longer find her in the afterlife because she has renounced God by killing herself. So it is monstrous, that a man who has done and sacrificed so much should be punished so. There are no victories in war, and in Dracula’s eyes, no victory in serving the Lord.
    So a once noble man has changed into a hideous monster, and all thanks to war and religion. And is it really so unbelievable that someone who commit such vile acts and show no remorse, after all that has happened. A monster is defined as “an imaginary creature that is typically large, ugly, and frightening” (Online Dictionary, 1). But is there really another truth behind those words that people fail to perceive? What is it that makes a monster, and what does it take to create one. People are quick to deal out evil and good, and can easily draw a line between the two. But as previously said things are not always as black and white as they may seem. Religion is defined as: “The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or Gods” (Online Dictionary, 1). So, in essence, are not monstrosity and religion closely related in this sense? An imaginary superhuman being with powers, that is not too far from one another. Change a few words, and the two can work hand in hand.

  10. Madelaine Legault
    Ms. Deborah Cox
    ETS4U1-01
    November 30th 2012

    Out with the Old and in with the New: Tradition as the Monster in Dracula

    Who/what is the monster? Bram Stoker had written Dracula in 1897, amass with social commentary on the changing roles in the society of the time (such as heterosexual and homosexual relationships, first wave feminists and the immigrant class). The epistolary novel is laden with underlying motifs and symbols, as discussed in class, and this thoughtfulness on Stoker’s part cannot be ignored. A common theme of the novel is that of the monster, in both literal and figurative senses of the word. Dracula himself had been the most horrifying of monsters at the time of publication, and yet he had also been the most intriguing. He is old money, estranged, alluring in his distance and effeminate. He is not the common man, the hero to save the day; he is not rugged or righteous, nor hard-working and wholesome. Dracula is the most obvious answer to the question of the monster, but who lies in the embedded social commentary of Stoker’s narrative? I have reason to believe this true monster of the story is actually the notion of tradition and superstition, rather than the literal creature.
    What makes it monstrous? The traditional had no place in the budding nineteenth century; it was a time of change and modern concepts. David Seed’s article on the narrative method of Dracula, describes the Count’s villainy through reference to another writer, “as David Punter rightly notes, ‘the vampire in English culture, in Polidori, in Bram Stoker and elsewhere, is a fundamentally anti-bourgeois figure. He is elegant, well dressed, a master of seduction, a cynic, a person exempt from prevailing socio-moral codes.’6 In short, he is a combination of the Gothic villain, Regency rake, and monster” (Seed 62). Dracula himself is only monstrous because of his ancient nature, laden with the superstitions of the East and the traditional characteristics of wealth. He resides in moderate peace in his Transylvanian castle, with dusty gold goblets and cobwebs in the corners of the rooms, but when he moves to the Carfax establishment, in London, he is placing himself in the centre of a modern world wherein he is despised. It is when contrasted with the notion of the Western good that Dracula becomes monstrous. Another traditional character of the novel who meets their doom through clashing with the modern is Lucy Westenra. She is the best friend of Mina Harker (nee Murray), who very much constitutes the “New Woman” of whom she often speaks, and it is when she begins to try and become her that she becomes a monster. She writes in her first journal entry, “I must imitate Mina, and keep writing things down,” but she can never become the New Woman while she is so deeply traditional (Stoker 94). Not only is she of a wealthy family, she is naive, dependent, innocent-yet-sexually-exploited and vulnerable. She becomes the monster not when Dracula “baptizes” her with his blood, but when Mina comes to stay with her in Whitby.
    Who/what is the hero? It is evident then that the hero of the narrative is the opposite of tradition: the fresh, new, modern, avant-garde and Western. The power and building prominence of “good” can be seen in the ratio of traditionally monstrous characters to heroes in the dramatis personae. Among other minor characters, the main grouping of heroes includes: the Harkers, Dr. Seward, Arthur Holmwood (his aristocratic personality creates a constant wavering favour between the undesirable tradition and the wholesome male character), Abraham van Helsing (considered hero because of his scientific qualities; without them, would he have been trusted?), and the ultimate hero, the American gentleman, Quincey P. Morris.
    What makes it heroic? Morris is the one to finally kill Dracula, and this narrative element was not included for nought. He is the only American, and therefore is the ultimate wholesome, honest and good man. “If America can go on breeding men like that, she will be a power in the world indeed” (Stoker 149). He is a martyr for the cause, and is commemorated by the Harkers in the epilogue, wherein their son of the same name is described as having his best qualities; in fact, both he and Mina are described as ‘gallant’ in the last descriptions of them (pages 325 and 326).
    Dracula and Morris may be compared, as well as Lucy and Mina. While Dracula is deeply rooted in European heritage, the American is without previous ties and stands as a new, proud character. Dracula is mysterious and deceitful, and Quincey is always regarded as an honest and courageous man. Lucy is the traditional courtship love, the property of the relationship, and Mina is evidently more of a caretaker and outstanding female. Mina is the New Woman, and Lucy is what the former fights to stray away from. The novel is ultimately a battle between the old and new.

  11. Elisa Toner
    Ms. Cox
    ETS 4U1
    November 30 2012

    Deceit

    “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death”. (Revelation 21:8)

    The world is built upon many layers of lies. In fact, when one considers this for a moment, it is not difficult to see that almost everything that appears to be true is actually false. However, most people do not often lie outwardly, as it is more of an internal struggle. In attempt to create a false sense of comfort, or to alter the course of events, everyone will eventually lie to themselves. Of course, not all people are pathological liars, and most are not so ridiculous to convince themselves of something that does not exist. Despite the observations of modern society, Bram Stoker’s Dracula demonstrates many incidences where characters lie; and while most are subconscious falsehoods in order to ease their own mind, it is evident that it is the lie which embodies the true monster that frequently present in Dracula. At the start of the novel, when Jonathan Harker arrives at Dracula’s castle, he expresses feelings of unease at being inside of the building, but is sometimes swayed into feeling more relaxed. However, when he goes to bed the first night, he beings to “…think strange things, which I dare not confess to my own soul” (Stoker 14). The reader does not know what Harker’s suspicions toward the Count are, simply because Jonathan is lying to himself. He seems to believe that if he pretends to feel at ease, and suppresses eerie thoughts, whatever emotion that has come over him will cease to be. This is not the case, as Harker frequently tries to justify the strange events around him. It is ironic that Jonathan refuses to write down the truth about what he feels, and instead attempts to ignore the facts in order to create a false atmosphere. The viewer is given a sense of dread from this, as Harker’s constant reassurance is an indication that he knows something more, or at least suspects something, but refuses to acknowledge his instincts. He chooses to mask his true opinions with petty observations. Upon wandering about the castle, Harker wakes up back in his own room, and immediately thinks that “…the Count must have carried me here…my clothes were folded and laid by in a manner which was not my habit. My watch was still unwound, and I am rigorously accustomed to wind it…but these things are no proof” (Stoker 34). It is obvious that Jonathan realizes that he has not been dreaming, and that he was indeed carried by the Count. However, he still attempts to justify reality by claiming it to be untrue, and therefore lies to himself. As Harker’s time at the castle progresses, this mechanism of lying only creates an inner desperation for something to be normal, when it cannot be so. Despite the “reason” behind it, one can interpret this as lying, and many facts are left out in order to effectively portray this. Harker does not fully describe what happened with him and the three vampire women who attacked him, and the true story is never revealed. It is as if Harker’s attempt to erase any sort of bizarre event is to block it out completely and ignore it. In fact, Jonathan’s wife, Mina, uses this same technique when she encounters her own problems, and does not benefit in the slightest. While the men are out searching for evidence of Dracula, Mina is left at home and experiences a strange fog in her bedroom, and feels increasingly anxious about it. However, instead of telling her husband, she simply chooses to tell herself “I must be careful of such dreams, for they would unseat one’s reason if there were too much of them” (Stoker 222). At this point, whether she states it outwardly or not, Mina is fully aware that something is not right, and yet she refuses to believe it. Instead, she tells herself that everything that is strange is a dream, and although she tells know one because “I fear to alarm them”(Stoker 222) it is ultimately her decision to carry on the facade that nearly results in her own demise. Although lying may appear to grant comfort to those who are untruthful, it is ironic that Mina is portrayed as one of “God’s” women, when in reality, she can actually be seen as sinful for concealing the truth from those around her. Despite the subtle way in which the characters lie, it is ultimately their secrets and concealed facts that create the monstrosity in Dracula. It is only when the characters attempt to conceal things from one another that he is the most dangerous, although the journals give the illusion of brutally honest characters. In the novel, it is impossible to tell what is the absolute truth, and what details each narrator has excluded in order to portray sincerity. Each character is part of the monster, and their fears evoke an urge to lie about their suspicions; and after a while, one finds it difficult to separate truth from lie, and dreams from reality. In reference to the Revelation quote, it summarizes the novel in a few words, and it is leaves one pondering over whether Dracula is forced to suffer a second death because of past lies; and yet it is a history that one shall never fully understand. Each character has committed some sort of a sin, whether it be Jonathan Harker and Arthur Holmwood for not believing in the power of the supernatural, or Lucy with her three proposals and her secret longing to be promiscuous . Thus, each individual suffers a loss as a result of the burden they have carried, the monster that is the lie.

  12. Jonathon Sawatzky
    D. Cox
    ETS 4U1
    Nov. 30, 2012
    Who is the real monster?
    In the movie Bram Stoker’s Dracula there is a little bit of a plot twist that differs from the original book Dracula. At the beginning of the movie they have a scene showing us that long ago The Count (played by Gar Oldman) was a warlord who had a wife (Winona Ryder) and while The Count was at battle his wife committed suicide. Upon returning from battle he Count hears of his wife’s death he stabs the sacred cross and it begins to bleed, signifying that he has now become the vampire that we all know as Count Dracula. Based on the fact that with this being added to the movie and differs from the book I would have to say that The Count is not the monster I originally thought him to be. Upon learning that Jonathan Harker was engaged to his beloved wife, all The Count wants to do is find her so they can be together once again. It is out of love that he does all the horrid things like: hold Jonathan hostage, and kill Lucy. He does not do it just for the sake of doing it and for pure enjoyment he does it with a purpose. In my mind that does not make him a monster it just makes him someone who is willing to do whatever it takes to be with the one he loves. With The Count not being the monster that would have to leave someone else to take the place of the monster. In my mind it would have to be Mina that was monstrous. With everything that the count did in trying to get Mina to love him again she totally disregarded anything that Jonathan, Van Helsing, and Arthur were trying to do to keep her safe. The Count is not a monster but the way he goes about things, with him being a vampire and all differs from what a human would do. This put Mina in danger. All Jonathan wanted to do was keep Mina safe and to stay with him as his wife. But Mina abandoned Jonathan and went to be with The Count in the end of it all. She is a monster for destroying the relationship with someone who loves her very much, and clearly would do anything for her no matter the consequences. In this case it is clear that Mina does not have any clue what or who she is hurting to get what she wants. She is hurting people with the knowledge that she is hurting them, and continues to do it with little or no regard for the outcome. Whereas The Count is hurting people without fully realizing that he is doing so. A monster to me is someone who is committing wrong doings and being fully aware they are doing so, and in the case of Mina and The Count, Mina is the one who is wrong and The Count is. Whatever is to be done for love is done, but you must still keep in mind the well being of others around you. If doing something for love will or could hurt someone else who is close to you, is it really worth it? In my mind it is not. To get that special someone who you love dearly you must do things right, which means you must look for a way that would not hurt other at all. In all that was done The Count was perceived as the monster because he did things differently than a human would and inadvertently hurt people therefor he is not a monster. The real monster is the one who hurts intentionally to get what he or she wants. Mina is the biggest monster of all.

  13. Fear Creating The True Monster

    In the movie version of Dracula directed by, Francis Ford Coppola, there are many different ways to view evil. The most obvious and clear form of evil for viewers while watching a film like, Dracula, is to immediately think of the vampire as the evil being, how it has always been, but is that truly the case here, is Dracula the real monster or is he just seen in that light?

    When most people think of Dracula, they think, blood sucking vampire/monster, but what makes him so monstrous? Blood sucking is a part of his life style, it’s not like he is a human doing this to other humans, he is a different kind of creature, so he has different ways of living and surviving. During this movie, Dracula, states that, “I am the monster that breathing men would kill. I am Dracula.” (Coppola, 1992). Most people would take that as he is the monster because he just stated it, but in the true lightness of the quotation, Dracula is stating that he is a monster in the eyes of man because he is different and a threat to them, making him a “monster”. In the eyes of the main characters of this film, Dracula is viewed as monstrous because he does things differently than they would, exactly like in the real world with the world on gays, because someone does something differently than someone, they are viewed as a threat, evil and a monster, but is it fair to assume something without getting to know them first, like Dracula? No, the men just start to assume the worst when things look a little strange.

    Another thing that is not really seen as a factor as to why he is doing what he is doing, is that he is doing it all for love. The second he sees Jonathan Harker’s photo of Mina you see a little vision of the resemblance he finds in her from his old love, showing the reason why he left Harker alone at the castle to go seek her out. Dracula even states to Mina when he finds her that, “I have crossed oceans of time to find you.” (Coppola, 1992). This tells the viewers that he didn’t just cross the ocean to go find people to suck the blood of and kill like Lucy, he was on a mission to find love again, with Mina. A lot of viewers still would see this as monstrous seeing how he sacrificed “poor innocent Lucy” a long the way, but what is the difference between him killing for true love and a human man doing anything it takes for love, he just does it a bit differently, does that still mean he was in the wrong? No he was fighting for the thing he wanted, he wanted to feel that rush of love once again now that he had actually found someone he gets that connection with like his old lover.

    Dracula has always been viewed as this monstrous, larger than life, super human beast, but never exactly given a reason aside from the obvious that he sucks peoples blood. We as humans only view Dracula as a monster that must be destroyed because we are so use to being the top of the food chain, and now that we as a species know there is something that trumps us on the food chain, we get scared and immediately think the worst of something. Dracula is immediately seen as the monster because he is above us now on the food chain, that scares people so he must be destroyed so that things may go back to normal where we go to the top and everything remains below us. Never right but we do it anyway.

    Just because Dracula is different and does things weirdly and nonhuman like, we see him as the monster, but the real monster in this film is not Dracula, it is society and man as a whole being scared and feeling as if they must destroying that something that freaks them out so much to feel safe once again.

  14. The question of who the true monster in Dracula is; seems to be a simple question, but in the very unique interpretation by the BBC there seems more than one monstrous character in the film, because without the other two, one mans actions could have never caused such destruction and death.
    The three monsters in this film are Arthur Holmwood, Mr. Singleton and Dracula. Arthur is one of the monsters in this film because of his selfishness which leads to the deaths of many others. Arthur learns he has syphilis and takes drastic measures to cure himself and to keep it hidden from everyone. After Arthur and Mr. Singleton team up they have Jonathan sent to Transylvania, from which he never returns, and then they summon Dracula to come to London. Arthur becomes controlling of everyone and expects them to do everything he wants and says “.. And when I am cured I want him sent back to whatever hole he crawled out of and you gentlemen will never contact me again.” (Eagles, 2006). Arthur believes that after Dracula comes and cures him, that these men will leave him alone and everything will be the same as it was before. But what Arthur didn’t know was that Mr. Singleton was also working for Dracula.
    Mr. Singleton should also be considered a monster, he sends Jonathan to Transylvania and made sure he wouldn’t return and kills Mr. Hawkins, this was done without Arthurs knowledge and says tries to rationalize it and says “It was essential for both our sakes that all trails that could lead back to the brotherhood were eliminated” (Eagles, 2006). Mr. Singleton doesn’t care who dies as long as he doesn’t have to take responsibility for his own actions. Mr. Singleton is meant to be helping Arthur but he is really just serving Dracula to become immortal as well. Singleton says to Dracula “Master, we have done all you asked; London is open. We, your servants Master, come humbly before you to take our allotted place at your right hand” (Eagles, 2006). Singleton saying this to Dracula just results in his death, which is quite humorous because Dracula used Singleton for his own benefit just like Singleton used Arthur.
    The obvious monster of the three is Dracula, though he may be the least monstrous of the three. In this film Dracula isn’t a monster just because he isn’t human, Dracula is a monster because killed Lucy to get revenge on Arthur for trying to control him, he picks up Arthur and slams him against a wall and says “You think you can control me? You think I am your slave? You watch as I take all you love, your country, your God and then it is you who will die” (Eagles, 2006). Dracula could have killed anyone to ‘feed’ but he chose Lucy because of Arthur.
    All of Dracula’s actions were made possible because of Mr. Singleton and Arthur; if Arthur hadn’t been so selfish and hidden his disease from everyone and gotten Mr. Singleton to summon Dracula to London, he never would have indirectly had Jonathan Harker, Mr. Hawkins, Lucy and himself killed. One man could not be monstrous without the other, but one will notice that everything leads back to Arthur Holmwood, so he is the most monstrous character in film Dracula.

  15. Laura Jany
    Ms. Cox
    29 November 2012
    ETS 4U1

    Dracula: An Issue of Conflicting Cultures, Not Morality

    “Transylvia is not England. Our ways are not your ways. And to you there shall be many strange things” (Coppola 1992).

    In the Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Stoker indicates that Count Dracula is the evil from the east while Lucy, Mina, Jonathan Harker, Seward, Van Helsing, Quincey and Arthur are the good; displaying the ideals of western culture. But does this mean that that Dracula is a truly evil being? Given the style of the novel, what is not written becomes almost as important as what is written. The gaps between the journal entries, the letters and the telegrams; the style in which the story is told, and the lack of any material told from Dracula’s perspective are all indicators that there is more than to the narrative than what meets the eye. As The Narrative Method of Dracula states, referring to the letters that make up a large portion of the novel “The transmission of these letters not only reassures the correspondents as to their mutual dependability but also agonizingly reminds them of how much may be taking place in the gaps between those letters.” (Seed 69) The epistolary style of the novel leaves many holes for the reader to fill in themselves.

    This is where the 1992 movie Bram Stoker’s Dracula does an adequate job in filling the blanks. James V. Hart’s screenwrite of Bram Stoker’s Dracula gives the character of Dracula more depth and complexity, while questioning the purity of the westerners, particularly Lucy. Count Dracula’s tragic story of his lover’s suicide leading him to revoke his faith and thus become a vampire makes him a character more worthy of sympathy. The added backstory and sense of betrayal Dracula carries with him in the movie show he is capable of emotion and not a merciless sociopath. Count Dracula leads a sad existence alone in the world as a member of the undead, unable to move on and having to live with his lover’s death for eternity. With a film one can also physically see that the Count is not human through his transformation of appearance, immortality and various other abilities. Over the years, the Count has changed into an entirely different species that requires drinking human blood to survive, which makes it illogical to consider him a human being. As Dracula states “The blood is the life – and it shall be mine.” (Coppola 1992). Dracula drinking blood to stay alive is no different than any predator consuming its prey, the issue is that he is an intellectual being that sits above humanity on the food chain, which is unbeknownst and terrifying to mankind. Dracula is unfairly labelled the monster because he is a mystery to humanity and we are his prey.

    The question now raised is who or what is the evil in Dracula, if it is not the Count? There may not be a simple answer, as humanity is in many ways more complex than the black and white notion of good and evil. What creates this illusion of good and evil is the clashing of two different ideologies; Dracula representing the aristocratic east or the old world versus England representing the rational and civil new world. Evidently a book written from the perspective of the West by an English author is going to favour western ideals, but Stoker manages to convey that man must embrace the rational as well as well as the irrational by placing the English characters in a conflict with the Count, who cannot be explained through Western logic. Van Helsing serves as the midpoint between the two worlds, using old superstition to help destroy Dracula. Ultimately Bram Stoker’s Dracula is not a story of morality but a story of conflicting culture. Stoker’s message is that in order to succeed humanity needs to keep an open mind and embrace ideals from both the present and the past.

  16. Olivia Amu
    ETS 4U1
    Ms. D. Cox

    At first glimpse, in both the novel and the film, it would seem as it it was Dracula himself who was monstrous and evil. However, looking deeper, it becomes apparent that there are many other things that can lead to the conclusion that it is really Victorian views, ignorance, and temptation that is monstrous in the novel.
    Since the novel is set in 1897, it takes on the Victorian views of it’s time. What is considered proper and improper has a profound effect on the overall plot of the novel. Any mention from a woman pertaining to sexual pleasure or actions, is deemed improper and impure. This being the case, when Lucy meets Dracula, whether it’s before or after the start of her sleepwalking, the aggressive and improper way that he would have offered to touch Lucy was exciting and new to her. It was something that she as a young woman wanted, but was ashamed of. Count Dracula tempted Lucy with new experiences and feelings without the trouble of the daytime courtship. Lucy was weak to temptation, and invited Dracula in, effectively securing his hold on her. Dracula can only go where invited, and whether that is the same with his act of drinking blood is hard to determine, because a proper Victorian woman would never admit to have succumbed to bodily temptation and become impure. However at the first mention of Lucy’s sleepwalking, several pages before she was discovered in the churchyard, Mina mentions that, “Lucy frets at the postponement of seeing him [Arthur], but it does not touch her looks; she is a trifle stouter, and her cheeks are a lovely rose pink. She has lost that anemic look which she had. I pray it will last (63)”. The novel later goes to state that Lucy was in no way anemic, “I could easily see that she is somewhat bloodless, but i could not see the usual anemic signs (96)”. This points to the conclusion that Lucy did in fact leave out the information that she had met Dracula previously, and her long trail of suitors makes it clear that Lucy craves men’s affections, with little thought to the dangers that this man brought to her.
    Dracula himself is a vampire, and therefore his means of survival are different from that of a human being. That in itself does not make him monstrous, because if it did, all humans would be monsters simply from eating meat of other animals, one of our dietary staples. Dracula is also damned to a life of endless wandering and immortality. It can not be seen as monstrous for him to want to have others of his kind to relate to. It is difficult to see a vampire as lonely, but as Bram Stoker never included a diary from Dracula’s perspective on the events that were occurring, it is a possibility that he feels emotions in a similar way as humans. In Francis Coppola’s adaptation of Dracula, Coppola felt the need to include a feeling of loneliness and love in Dracula, perhaps to give him more human qualities. The only clue readers have of Dracula’s feelings from Stoker’s novel is at the end when Dracula is killed, and Mina states, “I shall be glad as long as I live that even in the moment of final dissolution, there was in the face a look of peace, such as I never could have imagined might have rested there (Stoker 324)”.
    What’s monstrous in this novel,are the Victorian views, where people find it necessary to live so secretly, and to deny their own feelings because they will knowingly be judged by others. The people were closed minded and set in their way that they could not even allow themselves to acknowledge the danger that was around them. Dracula is a vampire, and therefore cannot be contained by the intensely valued social etiquette of the Victorians, and because of that, was cause for fear. Anything that was different from what the Victorians believed was frightening to them, and therefore something that could not exist. Other than the fear of becoming undead, the characters in this novel also had a fear of giving in to temptation and relinquishing control to a power that promised to introduce them to the unknown and forbidden. If the characters had been less secretive when it came to ‘forbidden things’, they would not have been so tempted by Dracula, and therefore would have fought him easier. Dracula is not the monster in this novel, he is just another being. Just because he is different and dangerous, does not make him a monster.

  17. Throughout the novel, and BBC version of Dracula, the way in which others reacted to the unknown proved to be the main source of monstrosity in the story. Blinded by the fear of something different, people can become cruel and act on their emotions rather than thinking things through. Both Arthur’s greed in the BBC version, as well as a lack of communication in the novel, all work to create a monstrous element. The death of Lucy is the main result of their monstrosity throughout the story. If the humans would have acted more rationally with the knowledge of something that they had thought to be nonexistent, lives could have been saved.

    In the BBC version of Dracula, Arthur’s greed is the main source of monstrosity. He is driven mad with the idea of marrying Lucy and being able to consummate their marriage, so he agrees to help a strange man cross over to England. His obsession with Dracula soon takes over his life, and as a result causes the death of his wife and many others. He shows his descent into monstrosity when he holds a gun up to Seward’s head and says, “Do the transfusion or I’ll shoot you,” (Eagle 2006). Arthur is willing to turn on one of his best friends because he is so consumed with emotion. Making a series of bad choices including paying for the Count to come over, helping him pay for his new property, and turning on his friends all prove that Arthur himself was the monstrous character in this novel. Driven by his greed, he caused many deaths, which could have been prevented if he had stopped to think logically.

    The lack if communication throughout the novel also proved that Dracula himself was not necessarily a monstrous force. The humans let their fear and anger get the best of them, putting them off guard. There were a few times when the humans could not work together properly, the major one being when they were trying to protect Lucy. Their lack of communication is shown when Van Helsing says, “Then it was you, and just arrived. How is she? Are we too late? Did you not get my telegram?” (Stoker 125). The men failed to protect Lucy due to a lack of communication. This was the beginning of the end for Lucy, and could have been prevented if they had made plans in advance. As a result of their emotions running high and concrete plans not being made, Lucy dies and becomes a vampire. With the guilt of her transformation on their minds, they become vengeful instead of mournful and set out to destroy Dracula for turning her. They also kill Lucy, not waiting to see if there is any hope for the girl they all knew and loved. If they would have kept watch over Lucy properly then she would still likely be human instead of becoming the misunderstood creature she was.

    Throughout both the novel and the BBC version of Dracula, the way in which characters reacted to the unknown was the real monstrosity The death of Lucy is the main result of monstrosity by the humans in this story. They cause her to fall prey to Dracula, fail to protect her, and turn on her the instant they get the chance to. They hold no doubt that the girl they knew is dead and a monster has taken her place. However, we never truly find out if Lucy is as evil as they think she is. If there had been less irrational thinking based off of their emotions as well as better communication, lives, including Lucy’s, could have been saved. The monstrosity they created throughout the story all lead to death of one of their close friends.

  18. Allie Osman
    Ms. Cox
    ETS 4U1
    Friday November 30th, 20212

    Dracula: What or who is monstrous?

    As you read and watch the movie Dracula, you automatically think Dracula is the monster. Vampires have always been perceived as the monster, the bad guy. They take the lives of people, as they suck the blood of living humans and demonize them. Dracula is considered to be evil and nothing could change that perspective since everything he does is to contribute to these evil ways. But what is truly the definition of evil? What defines a monster or a monstrous act? Can it change with the different cultures and species throughout the world?
    Bram Stoker’s Dracula doesn’t give sympathy to Dracula and does justify the acts he partakes in. The book consists of only all the horrific deeds he was involved but while watching Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula, you see a glimpse of the Dracula’s past and how he became the “monster” everyone knows him as.
    Religion has been an ongoing battle throughout history that creates wars inside people with a constant battle to continue believing or to give up all together. The real monster that evidentially is how Dracula becomes the “monster” he is, is the religion he believes in. When someone puts all his or her faith into something and it doesn’t turn out how it was supposed to be, his or her world falls apart. Everything that was believed and was thought has now changed and then they’re stuck in a place of not knowing what to do next. Dracula believed in his religion, had faith and then his wife died and his world fell apart. He was now left there confused in what to believe. The church told him his wife wouldn’t go to heaven and he would never see her again but what kind of faith does that gives a person? The church was the one who put hopes; dreams and promises yet then the church preaches that God has renounced his wife and unless he goes to hell, he would never see her again. This results into him stabbing the almighty cross in the church and as his drinks the blood that flows out of it he now believes that “The blood is life, and it shall be mine” (Coppola). As he chants that and drinks more, he has now turned from a human to immortal and will no longer be the same. Because of religion, everything he had been told and everything he believed in has now changed which resulted in him having to change, acting out in sadness and heartbroken from love. Is it not right for Dracula to be upset and act rationally in the moment of bare brokenness? He had been deceived, left in loneliness and needed more. Since he had changed from human, to a vampire is what he does wrong? Draining the blood from humans, consuming them and haunting them all because he had been hurt and deceived. He is now above humans, a whole different species and because he now doesn’t believe or have the same values as humans does what he does make it wrong? He had been left in the dirt, from a human act that people follow so blindly that resulted in him turning into a “monster”. Just because Dracula is different does not mean he is evil or a monster and that is a monster in itself as well. In day-to-day lives, people struggle with being different, weather it be believing something different, looking another way or acting strangely in other peoples eyes. People will alienate people who seem to be different and make remarks about them but because they are different from your view does not make it right.
    Dracula is in no way a monster he is just different. He has been changed into a “monster” due the human act of religion and the perception and judgment of people, which is truly the monster in itself. While looking at the contributing factors that resulted into him being different, calling him a monster is in no way different than calling someone else from a different culture an alien or a monster. In reality, people need to change they’re way of thinking before jumping to conclusions and not just believe in the dictionary definition of things that has been stuck in their heads since they were children.

  19. Jade Bedesky
    Ms Cox
    ETS4U-01
    November 30th, 2012

    The Dracula in All of Us

    When taken literally, Bram Stoker’s Dracula is the frightful and disturbing tale of a creature of the night that feeds on the blood of unknowing people. There is much more to gain from the story, however, when reading between the lines and delving deeper into the meaning behind the words. Monstrosity is a key theme in the novel, and where the evil truly comes from is easily debatable. Many claim that Dracula is the personification of evil and that the band of people fighting against him are to be considered pure and good, but I believe there is much to consider before passing out any labels.
    As the novel progresses, there are more and more instances of characters giving into temptation and allowing it to rule over reason. Lucy’s sleepwalking is a major factor in the story, and is described in one of Mina’s diary entries, “Strangely enough, Lucy did not wake; but she got up twice and dressed herself. Fortunately, each time I awoke in time and managed to undress her without waking her, and got her back to bed” (Stoker 74). Vampires cannot prey on someone unless that person invites them in and considers them trustworthy. Lucy may not have known about Dracula being a vampire, and she is ultimately a victim of his actions, but at one point she must have trusted him as it’s the only way he could manipulate her into sleep walking. Her uncontrollable habit reveals that Dracula, if considered evil, now has a grasp over Lucy, technically considered good, and her mind. Goodness is attracted to evil and vice versa, and the temptation to dabble in either never diminishes. Lucy’s trust in Dracula is metaphorical for the primal instinct taking over from the civilized one, which shows a reverse in sociological development and societal advancement. The fear of once more becoming savage and unwillingly having to depend on nature instead of what’s provided for people in society cause the main characters to lash out against the Count after he preys on Lucy, believing he is the epitome of evil.
    The unknown is another aspect of the novel which constantly causes threat to all of the main characters of the story. Dracula is at first considered some sort of ultra-powerful force that any individual character doesn’t stand a chance against, and there seems to be no way to combat his attacks. However, once the men and Mina join together, Dracula is now dealing with the unknown as he has never had worthy opponents and must find new ways to defend himself. Professor Van Helsing is the only character who does not seem to fear the unknown, and he becomes a leader to the others when he says, “My friends, we are going into a terrible danger, and we need arms of many kinds. Our enemy is not merely spiritual” (Stoker 214). He recognizes that the enemy is not the subconscious or any irrational fear, but a humanoid creature that feeds on the life force of other humans. On the other hand, Dracula ends up fearing Van Helsing, the Harkers, Morris, and Seward when he tries to flee back to his castle, and it is clear that he does not know what will happen and he can only trust others to safely transport him home. The main characters consider Dracula to be devolved, and they fear the same will happen to them if they do not get rid of the source of the problem, which is Dracula himself. Whether Dracula actually is devolved, or a form of evolved human, he has a right to fear the people hunting him down simply for needing to feed.
    Both sides, the humans being one and Dracula being the other, can be considered evil or monstrous. The humans are threatened by the power that Dracula holds over them and they try to protect themselves and their loved ones, which is only natural, but they do so at the cost of someone who is arguably helpless to his own needs. It is not Dracula’s fault that he must feed on blood from people, but he does have the power to control who he feeds on. He could chose criminals or people who are harmful to society and become, to an extent, his own kind of vigilante, but he instead feeds on anyone he can, including children. While Mina is the only character to act as a bridge between the two sides, Lucy is the only character to completely change sides. Even though it is not her fault, and she cannot control her newly found urges as a vampire, the human men now see her as a Thing that needs to be killed before it causes any harm. Arthur, Lucy’s fiancé, is even the one who murders her as he “looked like a figure of Thor as his untrembling arm rose and fell, driving deeper and deeper the mercy-bearing stake, whilst the blood from the pierced heart welled and spurted around it” (Stoker 185). Not only does he kill her, but he does so confidently nd almost seems to enjoy it. Neither side seems to show much remorse for the other, and all of the characters see good and evil as being black and white, with no middle ground.
    There is no single character in Dracula that can be considered evil, as each person, dead or un-dead, has the capacity to be just as monstrous as anyone else. While certain individuals may not find specific actions to be wrong, a larger group or even most of society might, in which case the person considered to be guilty is condemned for being different. Everybody has a monster within, and everybody has moments where that monster cannot be controlled.

  20. Who or What is the Monster in Dracula?
    Daimen Tokiwa

    Eagles’ loosely based, 2006 adaptation of Stoker’s Dracula, seems to portray some monstrous and dark characters. All of these characters, in some form, perform ruthless acts of evil. One could argue that Dracula, the fabled vampire of Transylvania is the terrifying monster, as he sucks the blood of humans for vitality. Or Holmwood, as he not only funds for the vampire to come to London, but also held a gun to Seward’s head and was prepared to take his life. Lucy was also at fault as she invited Dracula in to her home and sucked his blood. None of these characters are entirely innocent and each could be depicted as evil. However, what truly makes a character monstrous is not necessarily the act of evil but the motive and purpose. Dracula was merely trying to survive, as most animals feed on other animals. Holmwood was desperately trying to find a cure for his disease and acted out of desperation. Lucy was unaware and potentially hypnotized. The only character who is truly monstrous, is a secondary character, one who acts only out of the motive of power, money and the suffering of others. The only character who can be rightfully called a monster is Singleton, the sinister and spiritual leader of the brotherhood.

    Singleton, first appears in the film as a kind hearted character as he has come to the aid of Holmwood. This is obviously just a deceptive ploy for “Further contribution to [His] church” (Eagles 2006). Singleton simply uses Holmwood for his wealth and power as a noble, to simply ferry Dracula from Transylvania to London. All while having no real intention of curing his disease.

    He also murders Hawkins, as clearly stated from Holmwood “Mr. Singleton! Who gave you the right to take Hawkins’ life and snuff it out? That was murder!”(Eagles 2006). Hawkins is a kind and benevolent character (Judging by his short conversation with Harker), and Singleton wrongfully took his life solely for the purpose that “all tracks that could lead back to the brotherhood were eliminated” (Eagles 2006). Furthermore, Singleton continues on to send Harker to Transylvania as an offering to Dracula. Holmwood technically funded his journey but the only character aware of Harker’s fate in Transylvania was Singleton. “Do you think [Harker] will be coming back my lord?” (Eagles 2006). This also leads to Dracula’s voyage on the Demeter where Dracula kills the whole crew. It was Singleton who devised this whole ordeal and so his deviant actions led up to the death and indirect killing of “14 souls on the Demeter” (Eagles 2006).

    In his final scene, Singleton’s motive for all of his cunning and unforgivable actions is revealed. Singleton and his companion kneel before Dracula, saying “Master, we have done all you asked, London is open. We your servants, master, come humble before you to take our allotted place at your right hand” (Eagles 2006). After all of the death and suffering, Singleton’s true reason for all of this chaos was simply because of his desire to become a vampire himself. He also willingly sacrifices London to Dracula’s wrath, potentially killing thousands of people, just to become a vampire.

    It is true that Dracula is a vampire, a creature that feeds on humans. However, the film never explains how Dracula became a vampire and if he underwent the transformation willingly. This is what differentiates Dracula from Singleton. Singleton desires to feed off the pain and suffering of innocent humans. Singleton is the definitive, evil entity of dishonour, a true monster in human skin.

  21. Gabrielle Doak
    ETS4U-1
    Ms. Cox
    December 4th 2012
    The monstrous unknown
    In the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker, there is a very strong sense of right and wrong, a distinct line between good and evil. The monster is presented in the form of an ancient immortal vampire, whose life is restored only by human blood. It seems as though the monster is obvious, but is it really? What is monstrous to us is the unknown.
    Jonathan Harker is the first to introduce Count Dracula, the friendly but mysterious man living in a castle in Transylvania. There is the immediate sense that something about the Count is not normal. First the Count introduces Jonathan with a type of warning “Once again… welcome to my house. Come freely. Go safely; and leave something of the happiness you bring” (Stoker 12). This warning from the Count is the first hint to Jonathan that perhaps he should not want to enter the castle because something might happen to him. Jonathan dismisses the warning, almost as if it had never happened. Seed mentions that in Jonathan Harker’s journal “the novel dramatizes the gradual break-down of rational explanation before mystery” (Seed, 2012). The reason Jonathan dismisses all the small clues, and even the larger ones such as the three vampire women or the sight of Dracula climbing down the wall, is because Jonathan is trying to rationalize. He is trying to convince himself that all of it is normal, because he fears the unknown, which is precisely what Count Dracula embodies.
    Count Dracula may be the unknown entity in this novel, but what if the perspectives were changed? If the novel were written through the Count’s journal, the unknown would be something or someone entirely different. The group of heroes might then become the unknown monster of the story. Perhaps the Count has good reason behind all of his decisions. If it is true that a vampire requires human blood to live, then he may only be trying to stay alive. It is possible that the Count did not intend for such madness to occur. Because we cannot see the Counts perspective, it is impossible to know his intentions, and whether they are truly bad or if they are good. If the perspective of the story were different, then the unknown would change, creating an entirely different monster.
    During the fight to save Lucy’s soul, Dr. Van Helsing proves that he knows more about the “monster” then the rest do. While entering Lucy’s tomb, Arthur and Dr. Seward fear for their lives, but it is Van Helsing who is brave. The reason for this is that what Lucy has become is not so unknown the Van Helsing. Throughout the novel the men and women show a lot of fear toward the unknown entity that threatens their safety, but Dr. Van Helsing remains the calmest. Throughout the novel, the characters develop their knowledge of vampires, and even as the information is shocking, they become less and less fearful and more determined. To discover the power of a vampire should be horrific and terrifying, but the fear of the men does not last long. It seems that the strongest fears were left in their questions, and once those questions were answered, a large part of what they feared had disappeared. Even with a truth as scary as it was, the characters fear the unknown more.

    Throughout the novel the characters face a lot of questions about the Count, and his kind. Their need to rationalize leads them into a path of denials, but when the truth is accepted they are able to gain courage. The fear of the characters lay in the unknown. If the novel had been written in a different perspective, perhaps the monster would have changed because the most monstrous thing is the unknown.

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