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Dracula: The Contemporary Dissolution Of His Purpose

1718 words - 7 pages

In Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Dracula is representative of the superhuman ideal that man is striving to achieve. Dracula is a strong willed, powerful, brilliant masculine figure, and through these characteristics he appeals to the contemporary reader. The 1992 production of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, highlights the contemporary appeasement in satanic creatures, through the justification of Dracula and the corruption that follows, reducing if not entirely diminishing the malice of in Dracula’s character. By the late 20th and early 21st century, the representation of the demonic creatures as transformed to present endless happiness and immortality on earth as a morally neutral possibility. Instead of viewing the Faustian dream of endless self-gratification and fulfillment as potentially evil, popular culture depicts these satanic creatures as justified, and often good.
Stoker’s Dracula is an aristocratic, well mannered, highly educated gentleman to portray “humanistic touches to make Dracula appear noble and vulnerable” (Senf 424). The initial information of Dracula’s stature presents him as a modern man, who is hospitable, educated and capable of aging. Dracula is a strong, older man with “astonishing vitality” for his presumed age and impeccable manners, caring for his “guest” when his “people are not available”, though there is no actual servants in the castle (Stoker 22-3). Dracula’s intelligence and education is also a large portion of his stature and his image as a modernistic man. Jonathan Harker finds a library, with books “of the most varied kind – history, geography, politics, political economy, botany, geology, law – all relating to England and English life and customs and manners,” that has been in extensive use by Dracula in order to adapt to life in England (25). He is also keen on gaining knowledge of England from Mr. Harker, asking him “a myriad questions” (28). The “extraordinary evidences of wealth” (25) that Mr. Harker is an audience to illuminate to not only to Dracula as a “boyar” but the amount of wealth Dracula has, questioning why there is no evidence of servants on the premises (26). His knowledge of culture, of “the story of his race,” also highlights his modernity; Dracula is an educated, cultured man who would have been thought to in turn be moral. Dracula’s aristocratic heritage, wealth, and aspiration for knowledge make him quite the modern man, however Harker’s discovery to his imprisonment causes the reader to question Dracula’s image and realize the earlier cues and clues.
The illumination of cues and clues regarding Dracula begin following Harker’s declaration: “I am a prisoner!” (32). Firstly, the question of Dracula’s curious actions and presence is prevalent. According to Harker, he has “not seen the Count eat or drink” during his entire stay (31). This is particular, and when tied in with Dracula’s “demoniac fury” and the fact here was “no reflection of him in the mirror” when...

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