Throughout the Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula, one is presented with the presence of many Christian ideals and symbols throughout the text. Count Dracula’s appearance and actions seem to display the perversion of various Christian ideals and symbols and Dr. Van Helsing uses various Christian symbols to defeat Count Dracula. Given that Van Helsing and his posse are able to use the Christian imagery to drive Dracula back to Castle Dracula and eventually defeat him, Stoker might be suggesting that the power of the Christianity and the Christian God will always prevail in a match against evil and the devil.
In the Christian religion, the devil is the not-as-powerful antagonist of God. There are many ways in which Count Dracula could be observed as either a symbol or incarnate of the devil. First, one may take into account Dracula’s name. In Romanian, the language of the country of Dracula’s origin, the word “drac” means devil or evil person, this word can also be ...view middle of the document...
Therefore, both of these names, by which Dracula is called, point to how he might represent the devil.
Dracula’s appearance is also something of concern when examining how Dracula might portray the devil. Although the Bible does not provide a description of what the devil may look like, except in describing the devil is a dragon, popular culture has created an iconic look for the devil. This appearance is often described as having pointed ears, sharp teeth, a pitchfork, and wings. Although Dracula will not be found toting around a pitchfork, the other attributes can be likened to his character. One will find that the novel states “The mouth, so far as I could see it, was fixed and rather cruel-looking, with peculiarly sharp white teeth… his ears were pale and at the tops extremely pointed” (Stoker). One will also find that Dracula could also take the form of a bat, which presumably fulfills the winged aspect of the devil. In Dr. Seward’s diary, Seward asks Van Helsing “Do you mean to tell me that Lucy was bitten by such a bat; and that such a thing is here in London in the nineteenth century?” (Stoker). To which Van Helsing replies, in an extended way, that this is true. So, in Dracula’s appearance, one will find further affirmation that Dracula may serve to represent the devil.
Dracula’s actions may also establish how Dracula represents the devil in that they are antagonistic of Christian values or perversions of Christian ideals and acts. The most notable of these perversions is the way in which Dracula is able to survive, taking blood from humans. This could be taken to be a perversion of Communion. In the book of John in the Bible, Jesus tells his disciples, “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day” (John 6:54). In this, Jesus has promised eternal life in Heaven to those that follow him and take up Communion in which one symbolically drinks the blood of Christ. Dracula perverts this in that he is a soulless being that has eternal life on Earth by drinking the blood of humans. When under the spell of Dracula, Renfield is lapping up the blood on the floor from Dr. Seward’s injured wrist and shouting “The blood is the life! The blood is the life!” (Stoker).