• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss the use and importance of symbolism in Bram Stokers Dracula.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Discuss the use and importance of symbolism in Bram Stoker's Dracula. Bram Stoker's Dracula1 is a story about the good against the evil and how five men try to fight the evil blood-drinking monster. 'Bram Stoker's Transylvanian count is one of those rare literary characters who has achieved first name basis recognition. He has achieved in fact, iconographic status' (www.lsu.edu/necrofile/drac10). This statement suggests that Dracula was an iconic figure in the nineteenth century. Dracula is written in the context of fear and anxiety; like horror stories it works on a symbolic level. The use of symbolism throughout the novel has added further interest and suspense to the story. Bram Stoker has used a range of symbolism throughout the text to draw reader's attention to different issues. I will focus on a few main symbols and discuss their use and importance in Bram Stoker's Dracula. The use of blood, garlic and the crucifix in the novel all symbolise different issues. In the first half of the story the way Jonathon describes his journey in his journal, on the way to count Dracula's castle, and the event that occur during his journey symbolise a fear factor. ...read more.

Middle

The prayer that Van Helsing recites on Lucy's grave also shows religious symbolism. Another use of symbolism in Dracula is when Jonathon reaches the count's castle and is welcomed by the count. He says 'Welcome to my house! Enter freely and of your own will!' (Dracula: 26) 1. This can be a symbol to alert one that the count is a vampire or something evil as some people would believe that vampires like their victims to come to them of their own will. The use of blood in Bram Stoker's Dracula symbolises many different aspects of the story. Blood itself is a literal word but it is important to understand the issues hat it symbolises in Dracula. The colour of blood is red which in itself symbolises fear and danger. Dracula drinks blood of other humans to stay alive himself, but at the same time is taking away others lives and making them the undead. Blood here symbolises life and death, as the four men Arthur, Dr. Seward, Van Helsing and Quincy give blood to Lucy in Dracula to save her life. Lucy dies later because Dracula takes her blood and she becomes the undead. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another symbol for s****l desire is when Lucy becomes a vampire and calls out to Arthur that 'come to me, my arms are hungry for you'. Hughes2 describes this scene as 'Lucy seemingly demands sperm but wants blood'; her behaviour is very similar to the three vamp sisters. During the nineteenth century there was a fear about foreigners, perhaps they were seen as evil and dangerous, as after Lucy has a transfusion of blood from Quincy she dies. This symbolises that the mixing of Quincy's American blood was not good, as compared to British blood, the mixing of blood with foreigners' blood could be seen as the cause of Lucy's death. Quincy as a foreigner from another country dies in the end, which symbolises that perhaps foreigners don't belong here in Britain The importance of ones' religion and beliefs is shown in Dracula throughout the novel. In conclusion it can be said that Bram Stoker has used symbolism throughout the story, as it is one of the main features of horror stories. It is important for one to understand these symbols and the importance of the issues they portray. The symbolism of blood and religion is used wisely in Dracula and keeps the readers' attention and makes one think of the different meanings these symbols can have. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Mary Shelley section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Mary Shelley essays

  1. It is necessary only to substitute kisses for intercourse and semen for blood to ...

    Dracula feeds on all these fears and more. The novel is literally seething with s****l metaphor, "seduction, r**e, necrophilia, paedophilia, incest, adultery, oral s*x, group s*x, menstruation, venereal disease, voyeurism - enough to titillate any s****l appetite" 2 The erotic appeal of the novel is therefore obvious.

  2. Frankenstein: A Romantic Novel?

    She spent the rest of her life attempting to resolve her once wonderful relationship with her father. In her story, the creature spent his entire existence attempting to get his creator, his "father," to love him and accept him. This feeling of the creature can easily be seen in Mary's attempt to make peace with her father.

  1. A feminist analysis of Dracula

    In other words, she is transformed into the completely "voluptuous"3 female vampire precisely because her s****l side of personality had been completely buried by her Victorian education. Her repressed self needs such expression that when Dracula came along, she went out to greet him, and then invited him into the house (by opening her window to the bat).

  2. Is Dracula a text that criticises or supports religious ideas?

    It does not seem possible for such an evil character to portray God, however, Dracula's powers imitate or somewhat mock the High powers of Christianity. Indeed, Dracula seems to be a total opposite of Christ and Christian values, driven purely by desire and l**t.

  1. "Gothic...reflects humanity's quest to aspire to great things, but also to hide in shadowy ...

    The final theme of this novel is the inclination of the chief protagonists to 'hide in the shadow's'. As a young child: "It was [Frankenstein's] temper to avoid a crowd and attach [him] self fervently to few" (Frankenstein 35). It is perhaps this behaviour and the dependency he has on

  2. Of the vampire tales to date, Bram Stoker's Dracula has unquestionably become the most ...

    own life, acts as a complex metaphor: it could represent the economic dependence of women; the parasitic relationship between the aristocracy and the oppressed middle and lower classes; unrepressed female sexuality; eugenic contamination; enervating parent/child relationships; and, of course, s****l relationships deemed subversive or perverse in hegemonic discourse.2 Perhaps most interesting is Nina Auerbach's contention that the demonized (or vampirized)

  1. Bram Stoker's Dracula.

    In Dracula, Bram Stocker has created an evil side akin to Satan. The person of Dracula himself stands for treachery, evil and undiluted negative force. But to combat this negative force, the author has created a whole band of good and brave men to combat Dracula.

  2. "Dracula"- sexual women

    In psychoanalytic terms, vampirism conceals desired and feared fantasies, fantacies that point to the Oeipus complex. Dracular turns people into vampires, he plays the creator and therefore father figure. The brothers battle against the father who has stolen the desired woman , and mother figure from them.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work