LTROI - Buffy vs Dracula

LTROI - Buffy vs Dracula - 1 Buffy vs. Draculas Use of...

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“Buffy vs. Dracula”’s Use of Count Famous (Not drawing “crazy conclusions about the unholy prince”) Tara Elliott [Tara Elliott is a PhD candidate in English at York University. Her dissertation examines the potential of the genre of speculative fiction for feminist readings.] Buffy the Vampire Slayer ’s episode “Buffy vs. Dracula” is not an attempt to portray Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula accurately, but instead to comment upon the ways that it is already being used in the series. The characterization in this episode defies a merely allegorical interpretation because it distributes representation in a more complicated fashion. There is no simple one-to-one ratio of literary figures and television characters. Because Buffy is characterized as both Mina and Lucy simultaneously in this episode and she eventually repels Dracula (without actually defeating him), it seems that the damsel in thrall, but who carries a pointy object, ultimately triumphs. However, a closer examination of Buffy’s strategy during her physical confrontation with Dracula indicates that she is greatly indebted to Dracula ’s character Renfield; consequently, the episode maintains the television series’s purview of championing outsiders. Joss Whedon’s television creation Buffy the Vampire Slayer began airing in January 1997 and ran for seven seasons, finishing in 2003. “Buffy vs. Dracula” is the first episode in season five, which aired 26 September 2000 in Canada and the United States. For more than three years, more than half of its total run, Buffy was autonomous from Stoker’s character Dracula. Although it borrows heavily from Dracula ’s vampiric tradition, the television program works out its own mythology. As Stafford notes, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a welcome addition to the growing legend [of vampirism]. The writers on the show follow certain conventions of vampire lore while diverging from others. Joss Whedon’s vampires don’t fly around and change into bats – they drive cars and have relationships like mortals. But Whedon has created a whole new mythology with these demons, and makes their “lives” and how they affect the lives of others the focal point of the show. Whedon’s vampires aren’t all faceless monsters, but people who were once victimized themselves. (12) Dracula is portrayed differently from the two main types of vampires on the show. He is neither developed as a character and given his own plots, like Angel and Spike, nor merely killed in his single appearance as a generic symbol of evil, like an unnamed Vampire Girl #2 in the closing credits. Importantly, Dracula is in Sunnydale seeking out Buffy – as she pronounces, “Count Famous heard of me” – crediting the Slayer mythology as independent from and equal in status to alternate vampire lore. Overbey and Preston-Matto explain Buffy’s success as the Slayer: Buffy is the speech act. She is the utterance that communicates meaning, drawing on the linguistic capabilities of her companions: invention,
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LTROI - Buffy vs Dracula - 1 Buffy vs. Draculas Use of...

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