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Dracula, Appropriate Halloween Icon? Examines The Theme Of Sexuality In Bram Stoker's "Dracula" And What It Implies About Stoker's View Of Sexuality.

872 words - 3 pages

Although the legend of the vampire has existed, in one form or another, for centuries, Bram Stoker's Dracula is credited with having exposed this legend to the masses. The novel has given rise to the stereotypical character that the world associates with gothic events - Halloween in the U.S. - due to its dark, supernatural characterization. However, as compared with Stoker's novel, an element of the character generally ignored contributes significantly to the symbolism of Dracula - his sexuality. This motif, however, is comprised of not simply the sexuality he exudes, but the sexuality common to all connected with him. This essential motif criticizes the advancement of sexuality at the time period of the authoring, and finds its way into the act of drinking blood, medical practice, even images of death.Initially, it is interesting to notice that throughout the novel vampire attacks are referred to as "kisses," and not "bites." Those attacks actually constitute one of the major elements in the book that convey strong sexual meaning. For example, Jonathan Harker's encounter with the three women vampires of Castle Dracula in chapter 3 is very evocative of an erotic experience, and although his life is supposed to be at stake, Jonathan clearly acquiesces to the woman's advances: "The fair girl went on her knees....waited with beating heart." (93) This account reveals the sexual aspect of the vampire attack, which is described as a voluptuous experience, 'both thrilling and repulsive'. Far from being afraid for his life, Harker seems to anticipate the kisses of the three vampire women. In consequence of Dracula's objection to the women's "kisses," however, the sensuous women must stay their urges, but do so with profound reluctance and difficulty. This vivid depiction of primitive sexuality is certainly not the only instance in the novel, but represents the rise of sexuality at the time in the most poignant fashion.Following this event, the sexual content of the book is no longer to be exclusively found in vampire attacks. The blood transfusions, initially meant to save Lucy's life, become a metaphor for sexual intercourse. Although promised to Arthur, Lucy also receives blood from Doctor Seward, Quincey Morris and Professor Van Helsing. thus indulging in adultery. This symbolic interpretation of the blood transfusion process is confirmed by Doctor Seward's account of it, which is not without evoking a first sexual experience : "No man knows till he experiences it, what it is to feel his own life-blood drawn away into the veins of the woman he loves." (96) Professor Van Helsing also clearly establishes the ambiguous nature...

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