The Gothic Theme in Dracula by Bram Stoker Essay
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The Gothic Theme in Dracula by Bram Stoker
Bram Stoker's Dracula is a true Gothic novel that belongs on any gothic literature course. Focusing in on the recurring themes, characters and settings used throughout the novel one sees how Dracula has set the standard for Gothic literature today. The theme in Dracula is that classic Gothic theme of the epic battle of good versus evil. In this novel this is expressed in a very direct way, there is never any question as to who is right and who is wrong. As it can be clearly seen the protagonists on the side of good have many endearing qualities while the antagonists on the side of evil have a pact with Lucifer and are of the purest evil. The main antagonist in this story, Dracula, has…show more content…
Consider as well how the four men in the story risk their lives for that of Mina's. Bram Stoker reveals his attitude towards the nature of Victorian society by making the evil side in this novel very seductive. Even though the side of good is well aware of the harm the evil side can cause, the seductiveness of the evil side tempts our protagonists on many occasions. For example when Van Helsing has trouble bringing himself to stake the three women because of their physical beauty and when Jonathan Harker nearly allows himself to be bitten by one of the women because of how physically attracted he is to her. "I felt in my heart some wicked, burning desire that they would kiss me with those red lips."# Stoker comments on the nature of Victorian society by showing how unacceptable it was to give in to those primal desires. This relates to the struggle between good and evil between our heroes of Victorian society and the devilish vampires. Vampires are in control of those evil, primal desires in the story and good people like Jonathan Harker and Van Helsing must fight off these desires lest they lose their clean and pure Victorian existences.
The characters in Dracula are very Gothic. Dracula is the most important antagonist in the novel. Dracula is a very if not the most interesting Gothic character ever created. He like all vampires casts no shadow and possesses no reflection. Dracula cannot die by the mere passing of time for he is
The vampire Dracula is pretty unambiguously evil. The members of the Crew of Light, the group dedicated to destroying Dracula, are unambiguously good. Sure, each of them makes mistakes—they're only human. But their intentions are always good. In short, Dracula is a classic story of good versus evil.
You know when you start reading the novel which side is going to win (the good guys!), but the question is how great the cost will be. How many of the good guys are going to have to sacrifice themselves in order to conquer the evil Dracula?
Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.
Because Dracula is clearly a traditional "good versus evil" narrative, readers realize from the beginning that Dracula will be defeated; the suspense is therefore not about whether good will prevail, but about how many will have to sacrifice themselves to bring about the final victory.
Renfield's ambiguous status in the novel helps to complicate what would otherwise be an overly simplistic division of characters into "good" and "evil."