The Presentation of Good vs. Evil in Dracula.
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The Presentation of Good vs. Evil in Dracula One of the main themes of Dracula is the role of good and evil. The characters are on two different sides - some good, others evil. The only obvious 'evil' character is Dracula, however if you listen to what some of the other characters have to say, it is sometimes questionable whether they are good or if they are evil. It is not always easy to decide whether a character has an element of goodness in them, one of the ways to possibly tell is by what they wear. We all know that Dracula is on the evil side, however the way he dresses also expresses his personality. He is described early on, when Jonathan Harker first meets him as "A tall old man...clad in black from head to foot, without a single speck of colour about him anywhere". This is the colour which we associate with evil, especially when we listed the kinds of words which we associate with evil.
The battle between good and evil is a traditional gothic theme, which is presented in many gothic novels. Black is the well known gothic colour, to represent darkness and evil, and throughout the novel, this is one of several battles which goes on. The appearance and clothing of characters is not the only way of how good v evil is represented. Iconography is used many times and the majority of instruments/tools which feature in the novel have a specific relationship with Gothicism. The main of which I think is the crucifix. It is the main barrier which separates and 'saves' at times, good from evil. A particular example is early on in the novel when Jonathan Harker is in his room within Castle Dracula. After he cuts himself with his razor, Dracula 'pounces' on him at the sight of blood, but as soon as Dracula notices the crucifix hanging below Harkers neck, he backs away and leaves the room.
But on the inside they were actually full of evil, as they appeared to be on the side of Dracula, as they did what he said when he said it and they also seemed to 'disappear into thin air'. My view of this is that this represents evil trying to trick goodness into becoming bed, as the three women start to seduce Jonathan Harker, and he begins to enjoy it (at which point Dracula enters). This is another example of the battle between good and evil, this time with evil trying to use a 'false identity' to trick its opponent. From these observations I have made, I think that the main way that good and evil are presented is with iconography and appearance of characters. The way that garlic and a crucifix can suddenly create an immense barrier between the two, means it must have a great symbolic meaning. And the way that good people wear white and are described as 'white figures' and evil people wear black and are described as a 'tall black figure' indicates that these colours show a true distinction between the two. Richard Williams L6Sw
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