Sawczuk 1 Lindsey Sawczuk Ms. Daniel AP Lit & Comp Period 4 October 18, 2012 Dracula Final Essay: Prompt 2 Both in society and literature, an intense human drive is an inherent desire for power. Although Count Dracula in Bram Stoker’sDraculais not human, he epitomizes the craving for dominance and control. Throughout the novel, Dracula asserts his quest for command and his solicitation of consuming life, as he seeks to turn human beings into vampires. This pursuit ultimately leads to Dracula’s villainy as a character and supports the recurring theme of good versus evil in the story. Furthermore, Dracula’s necessity for power contributes to Stoker’s overarching presentation of the relationship between tradition or religion and science or superstition. This theme is present through all sections of the work and is essential to the meaning as a whole. Author Bram Stoker uses Dracula as a symbol and means of demonstrating the want for authority. Count Dracula’s desire for power is first exposed upon Jonathan Harker's visit to Dracula’s castle. Dracula takes Jonathan as a prisoner and Harker continuously reveals the feeling of looming danger prevalent with Dracula’s presence. Stoker thereby portrays the theme of contrast between day and night by depicting Harker’s feelings of safety associated with the day and vulnerability at night. This theme
is paralleled by Dracula’s strengths and limitations as a vampire. His weaknesses during day hours and transitioned strength during the nighttime build the stark contrasts existing throughout the novel and present one prominent example of the motif of master against prisoner. Stoker extends this motif into the relationship between Renfield and Dr. Seward. In Seward’s journals, he explains the strange tendencies of Renfield and
Sawczuk 2 ultimately determines that Dracula had been supplying Renfield with flies in exchange for blood. This exemplifies Dracula’s intrinsic need for blood, which endows him strength. As the book progresses, Dracula seeks the blood of numerous characters, some of which he is successful in gaining, and others in which he fails, to contribute to his thirst for power in the form of blood. Dracula is seen in his forceful state in times after he has fed upon human life. After attacking the crew of the Demeter, Dracula returns to Harker more powerful, although he does not directly mount an attack against Jonathan. On the contrary, Lucy is becoming weaker with Dracula’s sucking of her blood and his overall consumption of her life. Dracula is able to transfer his power to Lucy and Renfield as they are in the process of transformation into vampires. Although Lucy represents the stereotypical Victorian Era woman in her beauty and innocence before her attacks by Dracula, she must be destroyed in her vampirical state so that no further harm is done. The theme of blood inDraculais mirrored by the Count’s obsession with control through physical dominance and formulates the message Stoker illustrates over the course of the book that demise is imminent in the presence of vampires. In the work of literature, Stoker uses Dracula’s hunger for domination to extend the themes in the story, as well as the relevance of Stoker’s comprehensive message. The novel is centered on the relationship between Dracula’s attempt to gain complete power and Mina, Jonathan, Quincey, Arthur, Van Helsing, and Dr. Seward’s plan to stop him. Dracula is seen by the group as having parallels with an anti-Christ. Unlike God, Dracula seeks all that is evil and bad including death and deprivation of humans. Dracula stands as a satanic figure while the group, led by Van Helsing and his icons of Christian faith,
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