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Dracula Appropriation

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Introduction

Dracula Appropriation Bram Stoker's Dracula is the famous 19th century novel that started the phenomenon that was the vampire genre. Many authors have expanded on the vampire genre, adding their own ideas to the legend. Anne Rice's Interview with a Vampire and Francis Ford Coppola's 'Dracula' are only two such appropriations of the original Dracula. Some major values that appear in these texts are that of good versus evil, the nature of religion and the role of women. During the Victorian era, many people had a 'black and white' view of good and evil. Stoker represents this in his novel through the creation of the monster that is Dracula. The novel is written in first person accounts from all the characters except Dracula himself, creating a menacing and foreboding feeling as the characters and the readers both uncertain in the true nature of Dracula. To add to this, Bram Stoker creates the monster that is Dracula in the first few chapters emphasised by the accounts of Harker "A terrible desire came upon me to rid the world of such a monster". Small occurrences lead the reader to believe that Dracula is evil such as the time when Dracula gives the baby to the three female vampires "there was a gasp and a low wail, as a half-smothered child...I was aghast with horror". This scene shows the evil in Dracula, and the absence of any human emotions. ...read more.

Middle

The first three shots of the opening are all of religious icons, and one in particular is the cross falling to the ground a possible sign of the weakness of religion. This is followed by the shot of Dracula kneeling with a cross saying "God be praised, I am victorious". This though is juxtaposed with the killings of the shots before, hinting towards the negative aspects of religion. Religion is also seen in the opening scene as the reason for the creation of Dracula, being both as a way to create sympathy for the character as well addressing the point of view of modern audiences, that religion has been the cause of atrocities as well as miracles. Apart from the opening scene, religion is portrayed similarly to that of Bram Stoker, yet science plays a bigger role in Coppola's 'Dracula'. The modern audience has a deeper understanding and trusting in science and this is shown by Coppola when Van Helsing gives a more detailed description of blood transfusion. Coppola also uses shots of blood cells to try to explain the disease of a vampire, adapting to this view of modern audiences. Van Helsing also portrays the combination of science with religion the Stoker emphasised. This is shown by the fact the Van Helsing is the scientist, yet he also is mysterious and supernatural, and the actor playing Van Helsing (Anthony Hopkins) ...read more.

Conclusion

This shows the independent nature of women in the late 20th century along with the changed views of the divinity of woman that the Victorian had of women. In Interview with a Vampire many of the women that Louis meets are whores who become victims of Lestat, yet there is one woman who shows a clear picture of Anne Rice's attitude to the role of women. After the death of the boy who ran the plantation next to Louis' plantation, Louis urges the boy's sister to go against society's attitudes and run the plantation herself. Even without an education, Louis believes that she is smart and can run the plantation by herself. This reflects the attitude that the new woman of Stoker's time is very much the perfect woman, as the sister forsakes marriage and motherhood for fortune. This shows how society has become more accepting of the role of woman during the 20th century than that of the 19th century. In concluding, through the role of women, the nature of religion and the conflict between good and evil, it can be seen that there are many major values that appear in all vampiric texts, yet they have all changed due to the context. Anne Rice's Interview with a Vampire and Coppola's 'Dracula' are just two examples of texts that have been appropriated from Bram Stoker's Dracula. Dean Exikanas ...read more.

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