Overview
Dracula has appealed to readers for almost a century, at least in part because it deals with one of the great human conflicts: the struggle between good and evil. Stoker acknowledges the complexity of this conflict by showing good characters attracted to evil. For example, Jonathan Harker, the lawyer who journeys to Transylvania, is almost attacked at Dracula’s castle by three young female vampires. In fact, he seems to be actually welcoming the attack before it is interrupted by the count. In this scene, as well as others, Stoker suggests that evil, represented by the vampires, is an almost irresistible force which requires great spiritual strength to overcome. It eventually takes the combined forces of a band of men, representing different countries, to defeat the vampiric count. Stoker’s novel is a symbolic exploration of a conflict which has long troubled humankind.


Dracula also has considerable cultural importance. Stoker was not the first writer to make use of the vampire legend. Throughout the 19th century vampires appeared in a number of works, including Sheridan LeFanu’s Carmilla (1872), which Stoker read as a young man. But it is Stoker’s version of the vampire legend that has had the most enduring popular appeal and the greatest influence on modern writers and filmmakers. In his book Vampires Unearthed, Martin Riccardo tells the story of a survey taken by Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum to determine the world’s “most hated person.” Dracula ranked fifth. Clearly, Stoker’s creation continues to capture readers’ imaginations.


SETTING
Stoker uses a circular structure for his novel, incorporating two settings. Transylvania is the setting for the beginning and end of the novel, and, since he had never been there, Stoker had to rely on research for his description of the country and its people. The rest of the novel takes place in England, a setting familiar to Stoker and his audience.

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The novel begins with Jonathan Harker’s journey to Transylvania on May 3 of an unspecified year. Harker later states that seven years elapse between the events themselves and his compilation of them, so we may assume that the action of the novel takes place from May to November in 1890. Harker’s initial enjoyment of a country filled with wonderful new sights, people, and food contrasts sharply with his apprehension as he approaches the count’s castle and his terror when he finally realizes he is Dracula’s prisoner. This section, the first four chapters of the novel, has been highly praised for its accurate descriptions of the region and its use of those descriptions to create suspense and terror. In the novel’s final chapter, which begins on November 1, All Saints’ Day, the setting is again Count Dracula’s Transylvania.


Most of the novel’s events, however, take place in England, primarily in the northeastern coastal city of Whitby, itself a reminder of England’s island isolation and its vulnerability to attack. Whitby’s history also contributes to its effectiveness as a setting. It is the site of a 7th-century abbey, traces of which still remain, at which the Synod of Whitby, an important church meeting, was held in 664. The presence of abbey ruins is a typical element of the popular Gothic novels of the 18th and 19th centuries. Moreover, Whitby’s role in the history of English Christianity relates the setting to the thematic conflict of good and evil.


THEMES AND CHARACTERS
Stoker explores the conflict of good and evil throughout the novel and does not allow good to triumph until the last few pages. In the meantime, all of the characters are drawn into the conflict and divided into two camps: the good forces led by Dr. Abraham Van Helsing and the evil forces by Count Dracula.


The first and larger group, the good characters, forms around Van Helsing, a doctor of medicine, philosophy, literature, and more. He arrives from Amsterdam at the request of his former student Dr. John Seward to help with the diagnosis and treatment of Lucy Westenra. Van Helsing is older and more educated than the rest of the group, and he becomes a father figure and leader. Unlike the others, he is familiar with the folk stories about vampires and the ways to combat them.


He is assisted by a band of young men, most of whom have some relationship to Lucy. Dr. John Seward, an unsuccessful suitor for Lucy’s hand, is the director of an insane asylum. Another unsuccessful suitor is Quincey Morris, a Texan whose major characteristic is his physical courage. The final suitorLucy receives the three proposals in a single dayis Arthur Holmwood, whom she accepts. Arthur’s father dies during Lucy’s illness, and Arthur inherits his title and becomes Lord Godalming. These three young men have shared adventures in the past and are drawn closer together because of their love for Lucy. The last member of the group is Jonathan Harker, the lawyer whose journal of his trip to Dracula’s castle forms the first part of the novel. After his recovery, he marries Lucy’s friend Mina. Harker’s earlier experiences with Dracula make him particularly helpful to the group.


The group’s two young women are introduced by means of their letters, which follow Harker’s journal. Although they are associated with Van Helsing and his band, both are pulled over to Dracula’s side. Lucy is extremely beautiful but has little strength of character; after Dracula transforms her into a vampire, her sweetness changes into seductiveness. Her friend Mina, more firmly under male protection because of her marriage to Jonathan, manages to survive Dracula’s attack and serves as the group’s secretary and inspiration. Her exchange of blood with Dracula actually has positive consequences because it provides the band with information about Dracula’s actions and whereabouts. Dracula’s death frees her completely from his influence.


The characters on the side of evil are all related to Dracula. As the novel begins, he has been a vampire for many centuries and has great strength and power. He accomplishes his evil purposes mainly through weak links: women, an insane man, and an unsuspecting, unprotected foreigner. His “children,” the vampires he has created, are all women, including the lovely female vampires who live with him at his castle. They are presented as unnatural women. They prey on children and behave aggressively and seductively toward men. Lucy acts in this manner after she becomes a vampire.


Dracula’s major accomplice is Renfield, a patient at Seward’s asylum. Renfield is obsessed with the idea of the food chain, feeding flies to spiders and spiders to birds, and so is an appropriate admirer of Dracula, who in feeding on humans belongs at the top of the food chain. While Renfield at first welcomes Dracula, becoming increasingly more excited the closer Dracula gets to the asylum, he later recovers his sanity and is fatally injured in attempting to stop the count.


The evil characters are not only defeated but also redeemed by the good characters, illustrating Stoker’s theme that good is ultimately more powerful than evil. Dracula seems at first invincible, but his weaknesses become apparent throughout the novel. He can be stopped by consecrated wafers (literally, in the Roman Catholic Church, the body of Christ) and by other religious symbols, such as the crucifix. In the end he is destroyed by knives. Moreover, characters with sufficient spiritual strength can survive his attacks, suggesting Stoker’s view of an individual’s control over his soul as well as his life.

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1.)
There are many ways that Bram Stokers Dracula can be considered Anti-Christian by
showing of Anti-Christian values and perversions of the Christian religion. In chapter one as
Jonathan Harker is traveling to Castle Dracula he is met by several people. When he meets these people and
tells them where he is going they cross themselves along with doing several other superstiscious
actions. One of the women he meets gives him a crucifix to protect him on his journey. This
crucifix protects him when Jonathan cuts himself shaving and Dracula lunges for his throat he stops when he
sees the crucifix around Jons neck. Later in the book it discusses how you can defend yourself from
Dracula and other vampires by the possession of a crucifix or practically any consecrated item from
the Christian religion can be used to save you from the attack or presence of a vampire. For example, in the latter of the
book Van Helsing uses a Host to prevent Dracula to enter his coffin. Another time, during the night
Van Helsing and Lucy stay out near the courtyard of Castle Dracula, Van Helsing makes a (Holy circle) with the Host to keep vampires out and to keep Mina safe in the (Holy circle).
Another time when the Host is used as a deterrence of vampires is at the time Van Helsing and the other men are going
to leave Mina alone in the house. Van Helsing touches a Host to Minas forehead and it burns into
her head since she, herself, was unclean. Another abstruction of the Christian religion would be the
fact that Dracula sleeps in a coffin and especially because the dirt in his coffin is consecrated and
Dracula, being evil, uses this ground to rest in. Dracula has several of the powers that Christians
believe no one but God could control. For instance, Dracula can control the weather, wild or
unclean animals and, he can change form and disappear into the air. Christians believe that
consuming Gods body and blood will give them everlasting life with God in heaven. Dracula
getting life after death or living an afterlife on earth by consuming the blood of the living to survive,
build his strength, and create more followers of him in his evil ways. By this, Dracula is relying
on humans to renew his life after death and thus not concentrating on God as the source of life. As
Dracula feeds on the blood of the living he creates followers as Jesus had disciples. Dracula has evil
ways and spreads his evil not by sexual reproduction as God meant it to be but he takes the living
and makes their lives evil destroying their souls. As it can be said that you must let God into your
heart Dracula may only enter someones home unless they let him in. Throughout the book, several
times, normally while Renfield is speaking whenever he refers to God he capitalizes his pronouns as
Christians would do when referring to God. When Lucy is brought in to the Un-Dead she rises from
the dead three days after she dies as Jesus rose from the dead on Easter Sunday. God has no
beginning and no one can explain how he came about ; there is the same idea with Dracula that he
(has been) and no one knows his beginning. God is looked at and referred to in the Bible as being the light which
symbolizes happiness or life. Draculas powers are limited in the daytime, during the light, and his
powers are stronger in the night, during darkness, which symbolizes evil. In the book, Dracula
moves to an old abandoned Church not used anymore which can show that God is no longer present which
would fulfill Draculas purpose of spreading evil. For those reasons I think that the book Dracula is
itself Anti-Christian and that the person Dracula could be easily considered the Anti-Christ.

2.)
The novel Dracula by Bram Stoker uses sexuality as an important part of vampirism.
The first major encounter of this is when Jonathan Harker sees the three vampire ladies at Castle
Dracula. As they walk about the room Jonathan notices one of them and spots her lips as being voluptuous, a word that
can be used to mean something that is desired. Jonathan desires these vampire women and as she
bends down to kiss him he does not suppress her from what she wants to do, as though he is longing
for her kiss. Another time in which similar to this is during the end of the book when Van Helsing
encounters the three vampire ladies. The ladies appear the nigh Mina and Van Helsing are staying
the night outside of Castle Dracula. As they appear Van Helsing matches them to Jonathans
description of them, noticing their face, lips, and hair. The next day when Van Helsing goes into the
castle he is reluctant to carry out his plans of getting rid of the vampire ladies. He is restrained from his terrifying task by the beauty of the women, though he knows they are a curse on the world. Another seen which depicts the
sexual desires of vampirism is when Lucy is Un-Dead. While Van Helsing, Arthur, and Dr. Seward are
spending a vigil outside Lucys tomb she appears and while standing there in amazement she tries
to lure Arthur to her. Vampires reproduce through the biting and sucking of blood from someones
neck. This is an abstruction of how reproduction of humans is ment to come forth from sexual
reproduction. Throughout the book the Un-Dead attack the opposite of their sex. This somewhat
proves that vampires can be sexually aroused constantly which allows them to attract their victims.

These events and aspects of vampirism, therefore prove how sexuality is important to vampirism.

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Part of the sexuality comes from sybolism, the laguage (words) the book uses, and the mind of the
reader or how you read the book. So, though the book, through vampirism, can revolve around
sexuality, I wouldnt consider it smutty or dirty. But, if you were reading the book to find all
the presence of sexuality in it you could possibly consider differently.
A.)
In the book Dracula by Bram Stoker, Stoker chose a person who really existed to base his
character Dracula on. This person Vlad the Impaler ( also known as: Vlad Tepes and Dracula) gave
Stoker many of the ideas on which to base his character, Dracula. Vlad Tepes grew up in a time of
war and corruption. Vlad Tepes like his father developed a ferocious and merciless warlike personality.
The resemblence of Vlad Tepes personality to that of Draculas is very much similar. Dracula has
an evil personality like that which Vlad Tepes grew into.Vlad Tepes began to rule Transylvania
through a time of bloody massacreing and war. He started to torture people in his ruthless ways.
Vlad Tepes once impaled his own army on stakes. This shows the true evil and ruthlessness Vlad
Tepes practiced.It was said that he would drink blood while watching people which he impaled on
stakes die. Vlad Tepes began to be known for this impaling and he performed it more often with
enemies and thieves. This brings another similarity of Vlad Tepes and Dracula. Dracula tortures
people when he sucks thier blood thus destroying their soul and taking it over with evil spirits.
Dracula also drinks the blood of people with a bite of the neck like Vlad Tepes did. The monks of
that time thought that Vlad Tepes was performing Gods will in his massacres. Vlad Tepes had built
several monestsries for the Orthodox religion throughout hid life. Later though, to marry the women
he loved, he had to convert to the Catholic religion. When he did, the people he ruled concidered
him an Anti-Christ because he deserted them as though he didnt care of his religiln. Dracula,
having so many Anti-Christian qualities could also be considered an Anti-Christ like Vlad Tepes
was to his people. Stoker got the idea for Draculas death, where he disappears into dust, directly
from the mysterious death of Vlad Tepes. Vlad Tepes was buried in a monestary near the front of
the altar. About 450 years later people were curious if his tomb had been raided by theives so when
the people checked his tomb there were no remains of him left. Later, they found an unidentified
skeleton burried near the entrance of the monestary. The skeleton was then sent to a museum where
it vanished misteryously. Those are the reasons why I think Stoker decided to chose Vlad the
Impaler for his character Dracula. I, myself, think Stoker chose a good person (not litterally, for his
uses in the book) to base the book Dracula for several reasons. First of all, they both were called by
the same name Dracula which means devil. Also, they both have had some of the same life
expirences, such as, drinking blood, their deaths, and especially their attitudes are almost identical.


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