Dracula Essay. Focussing on chapter fourteen, to what extent do you think that, in Dracula, Stoker cannot provide answers to every question?
Focussing on chapter fourteen, to what extent do you think that, in Dracula, Stoker cannot provide answers to every question? During the Victorian era the advancement of technology was immense. Van Helsing and Dr Seward are the two characters who do the most debating on science and scientific method. In chapter fourteen Dr Seward describes his predicament: 'I do not know what to think, and I have no data on which to found a conjecture'. It is, therefore, quite clear that these two characters face difficulties, this is because, the supernatural events in Dracula conflict with their rational and religious beliefs. Significantly, Van Helsing asks Dr Seward 'To believe in things that you cannot', seemingly highlighting the apparent conflict between science and the supernatural. Stoker introduces the supernatural in chapter one, with the 'wolves, with white teeth and lolling red tongues' that the coach driver - presumably Dracula - appears to control, as well as the 'blue flames'. This early introduction of supernatural phenomena prepares the reader for the horrific and violent acts in the novel, whilst also, presenting a sense of uncertainty as there appears to be no explanation for these uncanny events. It could, therefore, be suggested that Stoker is setting up the idea that there is not always an answer to every question. Van Helsing acknowledges that there are some
To what extent is Dracula a conventional Gothic protagonist? Within the Gothic genre, features of the Gothic protagonist include sharply contrasting character traits, some degree of tragic stature, a striking physical presence, an element of the sexual, and an association with the bestial. Stoker presents Dracula with greatly contrasting traits, from the impeccably polite and courteous host who greets Harker at the door, to a raging psychopathic monster. The aristocratic and noble nature of Dracula's heritage gives him charisma and credibility, on first encounter he seems strange but eccentric, however this lulls Harker, and obviously his female victims, into a false sense of security: "The light and warmth of the Count's courteous welcome seemed to have dissipated all my doubts and fears." Stoker reveals Dracula's true self slowly and subtly, so as to build tension, such as when Dracula touches Harker and he feels: "a horrible feeling of nausea." This imagery hints at the horror of Dracula's true character, which is finally revealed when he encounters the Brides: "But the count! Never did I imagine such wraths of fury, even in the demons of the pit!" Stoker presents the count as being: "lapped in a storm of fury," foreshadowing the terrible storm at Whitby when Dracula arrives on English soil. Stoker's uses the imagery of hell to describe Dracula's rage, writing: "his eyes
Analysis of the Vampire scene in Chapter Three Freud suggests that fear is "linked in some way to an earlier emotional response that has been repressed." In chapter 3 Hawker experiences a great amount of fear when he is attacked by the Brides of Dracula, in a dramatic, highly sexual scene. Hawker's submission and confusion as to whether he is experiencing pleasure of pain could, to follow Freud's theory, be linked to a past memory in which he repressed his sexual desires. In the prudent society in which Stoker was writing, the rampant, overt eroticism of the Brides would have been shocking, and in some ways liberating. Stoker writes: "There was something about them that made me uneasy, some longing and at the same time some deadly fear. I felt in my heart a wicked, burning desire that they would kiss me with those red lips." The Brides are wholly sexual beings, who are guided solely by their desires, and this need contrasts completely against the typical 19th century men and women- John, Lucy and Mina. This liberation from repression would and did terrify and shock society, making vampires seem more like animals, monsters. Freud wrote about the Superego, Ego and Id, the three parts of the human psyche. The Id is natural, animalistic desires, such as sex and hunger and it is the Ego's job to ensure that these desires are controlled, in order for a human to live in an ordered