'his Bundle Of Names Links All Our Little Band Of Men Together': How One Man Relates To Another In The Novel Of "Dracula"

1900 words - 8 pages

In the last note of "Dracula", Jonathan Harker describes his son as the union of the men who defeated the horrible vampire. Is this union an amicable one, merely taking in consideration the adventures they had together; or did Stoker refer to some other meaning of bond when writing this sentence, and many other utterances as well? In order to give a satisfactory answer to this question; the importance of having some knowledge about Stoker's life, in particular the possible involvement in a homoerotic lifestyle and the resemblance with one of his acquaintances, Oscar Wilde, is not to be underestimated. Departing from this information, a lot of events that occur between Dracula and Jonathan at the beginning of the novel can be connected to the homosexual affinity of Stoker with Wilde. As the story continues, four other men join Harker in his struggle against the vampire. Some of their actions too give evidence of the homoerotic aspect that is continuously present in this narrative.The year 1895, in which Wilde was found guilty of 'committing acts of gross indecency with other male persons'(1) , was a crucial moment for Stoker. The two authors had known each other for years and followed the same path of social life in London. Because of this and also because of Stoker's own questionable sexuality - for just as Wilde was believed to live a double life, so too was Stoker sometimes thought of as a man with two faces - 'he had difficulties in hiding his regrets about Wilde's trial, which swam to the surface as the return of the repressed'(2) . Men or women with homosexual tendencies were seen as a disgrace disturbing social order, so they had to be punished. To Stoker, the imprisonment of his friend was a challenge to write down his own considerations on the matter in a language so subtle that nobody questioned the weird scenes in Dracula, for the simple reason that they were inherent characteristics of this kind of novel.Indeed, this very clever use of speech allowed the author to talk in plain terms, for he was the only one really familiar with the deeper meaning of the events. The reason he chose a vampire to represent his ambiguous sensations may be due to the fact that vampires are neither dead nor alive. They do not really belong somewhere, just as homosexuals are neither male nor female. Dracula thus stands for the homosexual side and Jonathan represents the innocent, dutiful and well-mannered citizen. Nevertheless, the refined solicitor also gives evidence of uncontrolled emotions sometimes:All three had brilliant white teeth, that shone like pearls against the ruby of their voluptuous lips. There was somethingabout them that made me uneasy, some longing and at the same time some deadly fear. I felt in my heart a wicked,burning desire that they would kiss me with those red lips. (D 37)'The erotic energy of the female vampires is somehow the count's creation' , so the sinking of their teeth into a human's throat symbolizes the masculine...

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