Many vampire movies have a mother figure resembling Mina Harker too In 30 Days

Many vampire movies have a mother figure resembling

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Mary’s roommate in Dracula 2000. Many vampire movies have a mother figure, resembling Mina Harker, too. In 30 Days of Night, Stella Olsen, played by Melissa George, does not want children, but ultimately uses her motherly instincts to protect the remaining townspeople as well as a child in need. All in all, many characters found in vampire cinema can be traced back to quintessential vampire fiction, Stoker’s Dracula. Varying types of vampires continue to be a popular literary focus as well. Like cinema, vampire literary fiction also draws from its predecessors. Stephenie Meyer’s novel, Twilight is often argued to be an original concept. Meyer, however, also borrows from popular vampire lore. For example, each member of the vampiric Cullen family individually possesses a supernatural ability: Edward can read minds; Alice sees the future; Jasper controls emotions; Carlisle has inhuman compassion; Esme has enhanced motherly instincts; Rosalie has unbelievable beauty; Emmett has impossible strength. Meyer, therefore, divides supernatural abilities between family members instead of instilling the qualities into a central character. As a whole, the sub-genre of vampire fiction has expanded and evolved, however, it essentially sticks to the basic model Stoker delivered in the novel Dracula. Guiley believes that the differing adaptations of the monster have softened the ferocity of the vampire and in turn have influenced vampire fiction: “The vampire’s powers are sometimes seen not as a threat but as an asset, without worry about whether those powers come from the devil.” 15 In the past, vampires were only portrayed as wicked. In fact, Count Dracula can be described as uncompromisingly demonic. Today, on the 15 Gelder, Ken. Reading the Vampire. Florence, KY: Routledge, 1994. 10 7
other hand, there are seven dominant protagonist models in vampire fiction: 1) the relentlessly evil 2) the victim 3) the romantic figure 4) the do-gooder 5) the empathetic alien 6) the love interest 7) the eccentric minority. 16 Many films as well as narratives combine these traits into a central character. For instance, Meyer’s Edward Cullen can be defined as a victim because his vampirism is beyond his control. He is a romantic figure and an open citizen of the world who is romantic, seductive, and philosophical. He is a do-gooder and a part of an empathetic minority that feels superior to the human race, but maintains compassion for mortals. He is the love interest of the Bella Swan. And, finally, the entire Cullen clan represents an eccentric minority. For the most part, vampires are on a rotation, or a cycle of popularity. Since the initial publication of Stoker’s Dracula in the late 19th century, almost every subsequent decade has seen a peak of interest in the undead. As a whole, fascination and fear of vampires persists on a global scale. Creative and literary minds continue to use the vampire as a means of commenting on their societies. And although certain characteristics of undead protagonists have evolved, Stoker’s work remains the template for all of vampire fiction. With the current popularity of vampire literature, films, and television series, it does not appear that the mythical bloodsuckers will lose their appeal anytime soon. Furthermore, it is safe to assume that vampires will continue to evolve and conform into beings that attract the attention of fresh generations for years to come. 16 Ibid 10-11 8
Bibliography: Brown, David E. Vampiro: the vampire bat in fact and fantasy. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2002. Gelder, Ken. Reading the Vampire. Florence, KY: Routledge, 1994. Guiley, Rosemary Ellen. The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters. New York: Visionary Living, 2005. Noll, Richard. Vampires, Werewolves, and Demons: Twentieth Century Reports in the Psychiatric Literature. New York: Brunner/Mazel, 1991. Senf, Carol. Dracula: Between Tradition and Modernism. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1998. 9

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