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Bram Stokers "Dracula" Essay

1397 words - 6 pages

Many people are familiar with the novel Dracula, by Bram Stoker. It is typically referred to as a horror story sure to give a good scare. However, Bram Stoker was not merely out to give his Victorian audience a thrill ride. Many symbols and themes, particularly those of the main antagonist Dracula, were brought into the novel to teach a lesson. Oddly enough, Dracula resembles other forces of evil in other religions as well. A strong comparison exists between Dracula, Satan, and Hindu demons. Of course these parallels are not fully drawn across the entire novel. Some differences do exist, but the parallels that are apparent bring attention to a cultures idea of a monster or threatening force to order.
Dracula is the perfect symbol of otherness for the Victorian age. He comes from Transylvania in the East, an area full of superstitions and strange beliefs. Although the Romanians are based in Christianity, the Christians of the Victorian era do not view this as a modern form of the religion, but rather, as a more primitive structure. In the novel, Dracula’s English is not perfect, and Dracula himself admits to this flaw and fears being recognized as a stranger. Even the character’s physical features are far from the accepted form in England. This symbolism of otherness is a threat of change, and therefore a threat of order. This symbol of otherness can also be applied to the characters of Satan and Ravana.
Ravana, although not a symbol of religious otherness, is an odd combination of forces. His mother a demon and father a saint, Ravana was born a monster with ten heads and twenty arms. He is different in comparison to others around him, but his being symbolizes a threat to order, like Dracula. Many depictions of Satan suggest otherness, in how Satan resembles figures such as Pan and Jews.
As a threat to order, the characters Dracula, Ravana, and Satan must desire to create chaos. Dracula’s quest puts at risk the established religion of London and the purity of their women. Dracula’s plan in the novel is to set up base in London, take as many women to the undead side as possible, and once he has the women, the men will then too be conquered. This is a representation of an invasion on humanity. He serves not only as a threat to the local community, but also to the entire world.
The demonization of Satan also suggests all of Satan’s intentions are aimed at destructing the order of religion and the followers of Christ in the New Testament. Satan’s entire mission seems to be focused of obstructing the path of Jesus to his fate and Jesus’ followers to their enlightment. This, like Stoker’s evil character, also may affect all of humanity.
It is questionable to label Ravana as a chaos monster, although he does create a good amount of local chaos among his community. Ravana has an established kingdom where all his people are happy. Ravana also participates in the sanction of marriage. The character Dracula hits to marriage of Mina being his bride,...

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