The Vampire Genre (V.S) Essay

2402 words - 10 pages

The Vampire Genre Attempt to define the vampire genre by tracing it's history. Discuss also the importance of generic conventions and audience expectation.When discussing vampire genre we must first try to define what a genre is. A genre is a particular type of media commodity. It has certain features and characteristics that are recognised by audiences because is repeatedly used. However, they can never clearly be defined as there is never a set definition to one genre. There is what the audience expects which is quite often for filled but in addition to that there is sometimes new innovations introduced in a genre which the audience are willing to accept.Although Bram Stoker did not invent the notion of the vampire, his book Dracula is probably the model on which the vampire genre is based. The myth of the vampire being an un-dead creature that roamed the night drinking the blood of the living goes back to ancient Greek times. However Stoker introduced a number of more particular conventions that are usually followed in the vampire genre even today.First published in 1897, the story is told through the diaries of a young solicitor, Jonathan Harker, his fiancee Mina, her friend Lucy Westenra and Dr John Seward, the superintendent of a large mental asylum at Purfleet in Essex. It begins with Harker's journey to Count Dracula's castle in Transylvania in connection with the Count's purchase of an estate adjoining Dr Seward's asylum. After various horrifying experiences at the castle Harker makes his way to a ruined chapel, where he finds fifty great wooden boxes filled with earth recently dug from the graveyard of the Draculas, in one of which the un-dead Count is lying. These boxes are sent to Whitby where Dracula disembarks in the shape of a wolf, having killing the ships crew during the journey. He proceeds in turning Lucy into a vampire who, despite blood transfusions and the occult precautions of Dr Sewards old teacher Professor Van Helsing, dies drained of blood yet still walks the earth as a member of the evil un-dead until she is promptly staked through the heart. The rest of the book tells of the attempt to save Mina from the insidious advances of Dracula. Van Helsing and the others chase Dracula all the way back to Transylvania where after a thrilling chase, the Count is beheaded and stabbed through the heart and then his body crumbles to dust.In this novel, the main character Dracula is the basis of all vampire conventions in modern day vampire fiction. These popular conventions are as follows: Vampires are living dead as they have no heart beat and do not breathe, yet they think, walk and speak as humans can. They are immortal but they must however sustain themselves with the blood of the living. To become a vampire your body must first be drained of blood and then fed some of the attacking vampires blood. This is when the mystical transformation from human to un-dead takes place. Vampires are nocturnal, their powers are weak during the...

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