The Derivation Of Incest And Pedophilia As A Repressed Societal Fear In Dracula

1457 words - 6 pages

The Derivation of Incest and Pedophilia as a Repressed Societal Fear in Dracula

Franco Moretti provides a cogent argument for a particular understanding of societal fears existing in the Britain mind of the Victorian Era manifest in the gothic novel, Dracula. In his reading of Dracula, he chooses to extrapolate these fears along the lines of Marxist and psychoanalytic interpretative frameworks. Though Moretti admits that “it is hard to unite them harmoniously” (Moretti 104), he does not suppose these two frameworks to be mutually exclusive. In both cases, terror serves a dual function. It simultaneously expresses and hides the unconscious content of society. Dracula serves a metaphor for this content in two capacities. On the one hand, he symbolizes the uncontrollable individual pursuit of capital outside any moral boundaries. On the other, he symbolizes the liberator of sexual desire, the element which draws the trope of lust and passion into explicit social discourse. The repressive element in relation to this symbol is established solely in how it compromises the integrity of the Victorian notion of the woman. When Moretti notes that “[f]ear and attraction are one and the same… (Stoker 99)”, he is addressing the dynamic between a man and a woman. “Vampirism is an excellent example of the identity of desire and fear: let us therefore put it at the center of analysis. (100)” Though his concern throughout the article seems to be caught up in deriving the real fear in British society, by thematizing the male-female portion of the transgressive sexuality spectrum, he overlooks what appears to be, through further textual analysis, an equally prevalent hidden fear in British society: pedophilia.

Moretti establishes the family, not marriage, as “one of the institutions most threatened by the monsters is the family. (Moretti 98)” If it were the case that the threatened marriage held primacy among British fears, then the reclamation of Mina’s purity would have served to illustrate the re-establishment of social integrity. However, the domestic sphere is not complete without offspring, which serves to unify and continue the cohesive national British identity. Whereas Mina’s purity serves a glaring illustrative point, the relevance of the question of purity lies in how it compromises the continuation and propriety of the hereditary line. The characters in Dracula seem innately aware of the priorities in line with this supposition, that not only must the line continue, but it must retain its integrity. Dr. Seward knows it might become “necessary to take certain steps. (Stoker 377)” and fully condones the use of euthanasia. Mina fully accepts “that there have been times when brave men have killed their wives and their womenkind… (372)”

In this regard, Mina’s position distinctly resembles that of Lucy. Once it became clear that Lucy had become a fully realized sexual being, she became useless to society. Accordingly, she “died” in the eyes of the...

Find Another Essay On The Derivation of Incest and Pedophilia as a Repressed Societal Fear in Dracula

Pedophilia and the Nature-Nurture Controversy Essay

969 words - 4 pages categorically distinct form of sexual offenders, as their crimes are geared toward children. Also, they are considered to be sexual deviants. Pedophilia itself is defined as “a sexual perversion in which children are the preferred sexual object.” There has been many cases in the news about pedophiles and pedophilia. In Canada, there was Cecilia Zhang, who was kidnapped and murdered by Min Chen, a Chinese national who was in the country as a student

The Theme of Incest in The Duchess of Malfi

922 words - 4 pages , other than the ideological purpose that incest serves in the play, as argued above ,it also adds to Webster’s description of the corrupt and regressive society of Jacobean England. Incestuous relations are to be read as regressive because they aim at negating at the multiplicity of the society by aiming at closing ranks. Thus, the theme of incest also works as a cultural critique in the play. Whigham also states that staging incest often

Justifiying Abortion in Cases of Rape and Incest

1871 words - 7 pages Justifiying Abortion in Cases of Rape and Incest Abortion:" the expulsion or removal of a human foetus from the uterus before the foetus is capable of independent survival" (Heinemann English dictionary). "…In these tragic cases the great value of the mental health of a woman who becomes pregnant as a result of rape or incest can best be safe-guarded by abortion. It is also said that a pregnancy caused by rape

Fear as a theme in MacBeth.

953 words - 4 pages Macduff refuses to accept Macbeth as king and flees to England to join Malcom. And also the witches tell him to beware of Macduff, which angers Macbeth and drives him to kill Macduff's family. More fear of losing the impending battle with England, makes Macbeth start doing anything that will give him an edge in the final battle. Macbeth's fear is starting to consume him, he can no longer sleep and is ravaged by guilt over what he's done.As well

Coppola's Interpretation of Dracula as a Love Story

1453 words - 6 pages Coppola's Interpretation of Dracula as a Love Story       The protagonist and story of Bram Stoker's novel Dracula have been widely interpreted and adapted in films throughout many years. Despite almost a century of time since the initial publication, Dracula has maintained its ability to frighten and mesmerize readers. Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula; however, utilizes the erotic romance of the original novel in order to

Repressed memory should not be used as evidence in court

1909 words - 8 pages Since the 1980's till today, one of the most controversial in law and psychology has been the validity of repressed memory. Repressed memory refers to a memory of experience, especially a traumatic one that is recalled after an often lengthy period of time. In this essay it is argued that repressed memory should not be used as evidence in court. Four main arguments are presented against the validity of repressed memory used as evidence in court

A comparison of Buffy and Dracula.

2065 words - 8 pages . And I can't do it ... without you. I need your help. (pause) I need you to be my Watcher again (Buffy vs. Dracula...Season 5) These series of events show that Buffy is never truly empowered as the need for a patriarchal figure and male dominance is omnipresent. The risks of Buffy not submitting herself to Giles' authority are eminently portrayed in the figures of Willow and Faith, the "bad" Slayer, accidentally called when Buffy dies for the first

An Additional Facet of the Incest Taboo: a Protection of the Mating-strategy Template

6152 words - 25 pages critique of any or all of the previous theories or theorists. We suggest that this article be viewed as a complement to, rather than a competitor of, other explanations of the origin and maintenance of the adult-child incest taboo. We attempt herein to demonstrate how cultural forces can operate to reinforce, expand, and build on earlier (bio)cultural dynamics and histories. A Protection of the Mating Strategy Template In discussing the

Society Wasn’t Built In a Day: Societal Structure in The Age of Innocence

2069 words - 9 pages has a very peculiarly set up home that does not conform with the “societal code” so that whenever she has guests over, “[They are] startled and fascinated by the foreignness of this arrangement, which recalled scenes in French fiction and architectural incentives to immorality such as the simple American had never dreamed of. That was how women with lovers lived in the wicked old societies”(Wharton 23). The people are so startled for a couple

Society Wasn’t Built In a Day: Societal Structure in The Age of Innocence.

1874 words - 8 pages of old New York society”(Hutchinson 435). Mr. Hutchinson is arguing that those people who were seen as preferring foreign items and customs were deemed to be “not [conforming] to the architectural and behavioral standards of [society]”, and thus a bit alienated in this American society. However, it is not solely fashion that defines culture in New York’s high society; the structure is also captured by the extreme etiquette shown in the novel

Societal Views of Women in the Victorian Era in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House

898 words - 4 pages Societal Views of Women in the Victorian Era in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House A Doll’s House, by Henrik Ibsen, creates a peephole into the lives of a family in the Victorian Era. The play portrays a female viewpoint in a male-dominated society. The values of the society are described using the actions of a woman, Nora, who rebels against the injustices inflicted upon her gender. Women’s equality with men was not recognized by society in the

Similar Essays

The Appearance Of Incest In Gothic Fiction

804 words - 3 pages The Law of the Father: The Appearance of Incest in Gothic Fiction In her book Deadly Secrets Anne Williams says that "gothic escape fictions provide a virtual reality, and experimental world in which the repressed -- especially the female in all its guises -- might be realized" (96). Society in the eighteenth century operated under staunch patriarchal control which has been dubbed by critics like Lacan as "The Law of the Father". The Law of

Symbolism And The Theme Of Incest In &Quot;The Fall Of The House Of Usher&Quot;

776 words - 3 pages bond. We also see that the siblings themselves are not normal in all the aspects of a human being. Incest is an issue throughout the story and Poe constantly used symbolism in the story to relate back to incest. Poe uses symbolism to expose character traits throughout the story, from the very beginning we see that Roderick is a very unusual being that has many odd habits. "The most insipid food was alone endurable; he could wear only

Shedding A Porcelain Skin The Plight Of The Psychologically Repressed

1766 words - 7 pages Shedding a Porcelain Skin The plight of the psychologically repressed has captured the minds of intellectuals throughout all eras of time. However, none depicts this theme as well as A Doll House by Henrick Ibsen. Set in postmodern Victorian era in Norway, A Doll House explores the confines of a woman's role amidst the subservient attitude of a self-righteous society. Ibsen brilliantly prescribes the traditional structures of a tragedy while

Incest In Literature: "The Fall Of The House Of Usher" And "The Rocking Horse Winner"

1004 words - 4 pages and now final death-agonies, bore him to the floor a corpse, and a victim to the terrors he had anticipated." Everything except for the last ten words can be taken as a metaphor for the crescendo of sex: the orgasm and post-orgasm. Her low moaning cry indicates that she has been satisfied, and then falls heavily onto her brother for support because the orgasm has spent her remaining energy.As shown, incest is seen in the works of well-known