"How does the multiple narrative structure affect the portrayal of Dracula and how is he shown to be an anti-hero?"
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"How does the multiple narrative structure affect the portrayal of Dracula and how is he shown to be an anti-hero?" Dracula was written in 1897 by an Anglo-Irish writer named Bram Stoker. It was written in the gothic period at the end of the 19th century, this period effected the way the book was written and I will look at how it did this later in the essay. This is the same period as when other books like Women in white and Frankenstein were written. All 3 of these books were written using a multi narrative structure. Multi-narrative is when a book is made up of many peoples opinions and views, they tell us the story, mainly in diary entries and newspaper extracts. The narrative is provided by Dracula's foes, this means we only see one point of view and that is the one of his enemies so he is always portrayed to us as "wicked" and "evil". This causes us to only hear a biased opinion of the events that took place.
One of these features is the way that Dracula does all the housekeeping jobs such as cooking, cleaning, making the bed and always making sure Jonathon is well looked after. Dracula always acts in a very sexual manner when he is talking to or around Jonathon. Stoker uses imagery here as well to depict to us an image of him being a more feminine man than he at first seems. Phrases such as "bright red lips" make you think of feminine things as apposed to manly traits. Later on in the book when Mina becomes evil it shows Dracula in a better light than before. By demonizing Mina it makes Dracula seem better and an anti-hero. The book was written in a time when the 2 categories, masculine and feminine were being changed and redefined. An example of this is when Lucy is being staked to restore her back to her old self again. At first this seems like a typical masculine thing to do but we could also look at it in another way.
The way he behaves causes Jonathon to be weary of him and because some parts of the castle are locked it makes Jonathon think that the count has things to hide. Ultimately, Stoker has portrayed Dracula as a person who is androgynous (of neither sex) so he has been able to depict to us a picture of him from many angles, including a masculine side and the obvious feminine side he has. Therefore he has shown Dracula as an anti-hero. The multi-narrative structure helped Stoker to do this and also helped to portray him in a very bad way because the narrative was provided to us by his rivals. The way he was portrayed to us made me react to Dracula as if he was the evil one, however as the novel went on the chain of events made me think of him less in this way and I began to see Mina, Jonathon, Van Helsing, Dr. Seward and co in a way that you should see that evil characters when they were actually meant to be the heroes.
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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay
A good essay which shows understanding of the author's intentions and some very good social and historical knowledge.
Excellent discussion of the audience's responses and an excellent comparison with other novels written in the same era.
The basic flaws in this essay are a tendency to repeat ideas and phrases so more work needed to be done in planning the structure and content of paragraphs. However the essay does include personal opinions and some pertinent quotes and is generally well written ****
Marked by teacher Katie Dixon 04/03/2013
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