• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare and contrast the presentation of monsters in Bram Stokers Dracula and Mary Shelleys Frankenstein.

Extracts from this document...


Compare and contrast the presentation of monsters in Bram Stoker's Dracula and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. The concept of a monster is subject to literary interpretation - werewolves, vampires and manmade abominations all hold the label of monster, and yet a monster can also be a normal-looking person, but with the internal thoughts and warped consciousness such a creature would be considered to possess. Count Dracula cannot be considered to be anything but a monster - he feeds upon the blood of mortals to survive, and plans to wreak a similar havoc upon London and its 'teeming millions'. But can the creation of Victor Frankenstein really be called a monster? Or this time, is it the creator that is deserving of such a title? Count Dracula and Frankenstein's monster both evoke within the reader certain aspects of repulsion and horror. The Count's face is described as 'aquiline' and 'rather cruel-looking, with peculiarly sharp white teeth'. His ears are described as 'pale, and at the tops extremely pointed', and the nails on his hands were 'long and fine, and cut to a sharp point'. All of these references hold connotations of an animal, or more specifically, a predator, and therefore while Dracula seems human in appearance, the reader feels threatened by the rather deceptive way in which the Count elicits fear - outwardly, there is nothing to be frightened of. ...read more.


This can be compared to when Dracula grabs Harker's arm in a 'grip of steel', as both suggest a strong idea manmade creation, which only adds to the unnaturalness of both monsters. In both novels there are constant and reoccurring motifs that somehow link both of the monsters to concepts of the Christian religion. For instance, Count Dracula sleeps in the vicinity of an ancient, ruined chapel. In this and in many other ways, the Count represents a perversion of Christian belief - his diet of blood shockingly parallels the Christian Eucharist, in which believers drink and eat the blood and body of Jesus Christ. In many ways, Dracula perversely parallels Christ himself: like Christ, he has died and been reborn, but his resurrection is a blasphemy, and a manifestation of evil rather then a miracle. While Christ sheds his blood so that others might have eternal life, Dracula drinks the blood of others so that he himself might live eternally: 'on the lips were gouts of fresh blood, which trickled from the corners of the mouth and ran down over the chin and neck'. His immortality is a mockery of life; he is not truly immortal but 'undead', a term that Stoker himself used. ...read more.


In conclusion, there are both interesting similarities and stark differences between the presentation of Frankenstein's monster and Count Dracula - both are used to elicit feelings of fear and repulsion, one, through the method of quiet, brooding menace and coldly calculating evil, while the other uses loud and obvious imagery to challenge and frighten the reader by rendering a grotesque spectacle of physical difference. Both monsters are also used to represent and mock certain figures in the religion of Christianity, a theory that is both credible and possible, given the time and context in which both novels were written, perhaps to inspire and dissuade a God-fearing public from going against the tenets of Christianity. But perhaps the most interesting theme that links the novels together is the conflict between nature versus nurture - Dracula is a wholly evil creature; yes, an evil creature with a warped sense of 'justice', but an evil creature nonetheless. But can the same really be said for the creation of Victor Frankenstein, who is torn between vengefulness and compassion for his creator? The reader feels nothing but abject repulsion and horror towards Dracula, but for the creation of Dr. Frankenstein, we are more likely to feel pity - pity for what has been lost and what could have been, and perhaps even pity for what should never have been at all. Kurt Shead MTG: C ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The English Patient

    5 star(s)

    He parachuted down to the ground, and only then did he realize that his entire body was on fire. Back in the present, the English patient talks to Kip. They share a can of condensed milk, which the English patient greatly enjoys.

  2. Compare and Contrast the presentation on Edmund and Edgar in Sheakespeare's King Lear

    Unlike Edgar who is living outdoors as 'Poor Tom' and doesn't ask anyone for help even though he does not deserve to be in the position he is in. One of the main themes that Shakespeare explores in King Lear is betrayal.

  1. A Critique of Society in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

    Also, Frankenstein's mother never has a career and is seen to put all her efforts into looking after her children. Women are seen as possessions, for men to protect; Frankenstein explains 'She presented Elizabeth to me as her promised gift.

  2. Ambition in "The Duchess of Malfi" and "Paradise Lost"

    and dispelled their fears" that defeat of ambition causes it to grow; perhaps until the mind has become manipulated by the effects of the actions undertaken and those that have occurred as a result. "But his face, deep scars of thunder had entrenched and care sat on his faded cheek"

  1. Women in Dracula, A Street Car Named Desire and Birthday Letters

    In the 1880's and the 1890's saw the publication of many studies in psychology and sexology. For example, Dr. Krafft-Ebing, a German sexologists ''medico-legal study'' Phychopahia Sexualis, documented hundreds of cases of divergent, 'deviant' sexuality, listing, cataloguing and typing each individual.

  2. `Compare and Contrast the Presentation of Family Relationships in Atonement (TM)and(TM) Oranges Are Not ...

    'Cast,' and 'Spell,' appears to the reader as a magical gesture, suggesting that gaining her family's attention is rare and a special event like magic, as if her plays magically allow her to enter her own perfect world rescuing her from her otherwise isolated and lonely childhood.

  1. Literary theory- new historicism applied to Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein"

    Michel Foucault was a philosopher that solidified the true definition of New Historicism by encouraging critiques to take account of all the possible social, political and cultural aspects of an author or literary creator. Foucault believed ?there is no ?essence? of a human mind, but rather ?outer? knowledge-or history.? Foucault

  2. Compare and contrast American playwrights presentation of masculinity in Death of a Salesman, Whos ...

    youngster, a successful debater and basketball star and Biff the popular football captain. Both had massive popularity due to their athletic success and in the case of Biff his success made him above the law being excused by his father of his theft of the ball as the ?coach liked

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work