Dracula As An Outsider Essay

1924 words - 8 pages

Dracula, as it was written by Bram Stoker, presents to us possibly the most infamous monster in all of literature. Count Dracula, as a fictional character, has come to symbolize the periphery between the majority and being an outsider to that group. Dracula’s appeal throughout the years and genres no doubt stems from his sense of romanticism and monster. Reader’s no doubt are attracted to his “bad-boy” sensibilities, which provide an attraction into the novel. Looking first at his appearance, personality, and behaviour at the beginning of the novel, we can easily see Dracula’s blurred outsider status, as he occupies the boundaries of human and monster. Related to this is Dracula’s geographic sense of outsider. For all intents and purposes, Dracula is an immigrant to England, thus placing him further into the realm of outsider. To look at Bram Stoker’s Dracula as solely a monster in the most violent sense of his actions would to be look at a sole aspect of his character, and so we must look at how he interacts with the outside world to genuinely understand him.
The purpose of Dracula’s physical description is to place him against humanity and see how he stacks up. He has various features which obviously make him a vampire, such as a set of sharp teeth. But there are other peculiarities to his description which mark him as being an outsider. For instance, when Jonathon Harker, and by extension the reader, first meets Dracula, he describes him as being “a tall old man, clean shaven save for a long white moustache, and clad in black from head to foot” (Stoker 15). At this point, he is a regular looking man, or at least normal enough that nothing elicits a reaction in Jonathon. Later, however, the aberrant constitution of Dracula come to the forefront, as he is noted to have massive eyebrows, a cruel mouth, sharp teeth, and pointed ears (Stoker 17). These countenances of Dracula work in tandem to purge him from the human realm and into that of an outsider. These are attributes that one would not discover in a so-called “normal” human and as such we are able to immediately label him has something monstrous.
The numerous references to Dracula’s monstrous physical attributions are the surface when it comes to Dracula’s demonic nature. But it is his vampiric abilities which truly place him as divergent from humanity. For instance, he holds the power of transformation, which in-and-of-itself is an indicator of his inhuman nature. He arrives in England, after sustaining himself upon the crew of the Demeter, in the shape of an “immense dog, [which] sprang up on deck from below, as if shot up by the concussion” (Stoker 72). This removal from humanity is such that, if he so feels it, he does not even have to be in the form of a human. Dracula is at this point in time is indefinable, as one cannot truly explain what he is. As a result of this, Dracula casts his lot as a monster. In short, if we cannot adequately explain a phenomenon, we brand it as being...

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