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How do you think the novel suggests conflict between "the old centuries" and "mere modernity"? Almost immediately in the novel Stoker emphasises Jonathan's discomfort towards his surroundings of Transylvania,

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Introduction

While imprisoned in Dracula's castle, Jonathan Harker writes in his diary: "...unless my senses deceive me, the old centuries had, and have, powers of their own which mere 'modernity' cannot kill" Considering in detail one or two passages, how do you think the novel suggests conflict between "the old centuries" and "mere modernity"? Almost immediately in the novel Stoker emphasises Jonathan's discomfort towards his surroundings of Transylvania, and especially Dracula's castle. This notion is established even prior to his imprisonment, shown when Jonathan is on his way to the castle, saying "I felt a strange chill, and a lonely feeling came over me". The overall effect is accentuated further due to the reactions of the local people regarding Dracula, as they bless him and cross themselves. ...read more.

Middle

When Lucy becomes a victim of Dracula, not one of the Vanguard - many whom are advocators of modern advancement - is able to comprehend her 'illness', let alone help her. Only Van Helsing makes any kind of progress towards understanding the situation. This is because, as well as his vast knowledge in 'modern' terms, he incorporates open-mindedness and superstition into his methods. He is the first of the men to come to this realisation, and tells Seward to "believe in things you cannot" - to stop thinking in scientific, western logic. Later on in the novel, Van Helsing warns Seward that "to rid the earth of this terrible monster we must have all the knowledge and all the help which we can get". ...read more.

Conclusion

Jonathan also says "every known superstition in the world is gathered into the horseshoe of the Carpathians". Mr. Swales, who Lucy and Mina meet in the Whitby cemetery, has no patience for such superstitions, sharing the views of the typical Victorian Englishman. These dismissals could be interpreted as Britain in the past, dismissing the rest of the world; primarily the east. The fact that the Vanguard eventually has no choice but to succumb to eastern superstitions in order to defeat Dracula, shows how Britain finally has to acknowledge the 'modern world'. The threat Dracula poses to the west is pivotal on the advance of modernity. Advances in science have caused the reality of superstitions, such as Dracula, to be dismissed as they appear to undermine society. Van Helsing is the only bridge in this divide, representing the hope of understanding the inexplicable and therefore conquering evil. ?? ?? ?? ?? Claire Jones 12LRD ...read more.

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