literature essay

Submitted By joeyphua96
Words: 1447
Pages: 6

In the three stories “Little Red Cap”, Varney the Vampire and Dracula, there is the presence of outsiders that disrupt the natural order of things. At the start of these stories, there were no disturbances to the nature of the characters. However when the role of the outsider is introduced, it influences the characters greatly and brings conflict to the story plot, making it more interesting and “richer” for the readers. Furthermore, it resulted in the self-exploration of one’s self and teaches moral values to the readers, for example in “Little Red Cap”. The outsiders bring the element of unpredictability, giving a pleasant twist to the stories. It evokes the readers’ feelings for the characters/victims in the stories. In each stories, the outsiders are the wolf, Varney and Dracula respectively.

One of the roles of the outsiders is the element of unpredictability they give. In “Little Red Cap”, the wolf was able to interact with Little Red Cap and claimed “All the better to eat you with!” (Grimm & Grimm, 1812: pg. 9) before he gobbled her up. It is odd for a wolf to have the ability to speak as animals are not capable of that and thus the readers would not expect this. Furthermore, the wolf was able to swallow the grandma and Little Red Cap whole. It is impossible that they “jumped out” of the wolf’s stomach, still alive. The outsider has special abilities hence making the story plot interesting, as it is impossible for these to happen in real life. Secondly in Varney the Vampire, there was the fear of the unknown (the outsider). Before Varney attacked the woman, she was unable clearly to see Varney due to the raging storm. Varney was “a figure” to her and she was afraid, as she could not figure who that person was and how it appeared in her bedroom. The woman “gasped; ‘real, or a delusion? Oh God, what was it?’” (Prest, 1845: pg. 2), she does not know whether that figure (Varney) was harmful or not and was afraid of the unknown. Lastly in Dracula, Dracula craves for blood more than anything. However he was willing to change his nature/himself all for the sake of Mina, his love, which was unexpected. He was not the typical villain as he wishes to change his ways for the better, thus it is a twist in the story and was not expected.
Therefore, with the element of unpredictability, the outsiders have given the characters both humane and inhumane qualities e.g. the wolf and vampires. Having these qualities, the story plot could be conveyed smoothly and interestingly. Unpredictability also brings the fear of the unknown for the characters in the stories and it makes the readers fear for the victim’s safety, as the characters do not know that something bad will happen to them. In addition, with the unexpected occurrences, it evokes the readers’ feeling of nervousness and anticipation for the victims, making the readers feel like they are actually a part of the stories.

Another factor of the roles of the outsider is the impact it gives to the characters of the stories, as well as to the readers. Firstly in the story of “Little Red Cap”, it is an archetypal of a typical fairytale story whereby the villain or the outsider (the wolf) never succeeds in getting what he wants but strongly influences the characters of the story. Initially, Little Red Cap was a very gullible, sweet and innocent girl. Without knowing the dangers of speaking to strangers, she told the wolf that her grandma’s house “is a good quarter hour from here in the woods, under the three large oak of trees” (Grimm & Grimm, 1812: pg. 8). For someone that she had just met and that looks so intimidating and “wicked” (typical wolf appearance), Little Red Cap is silly to disclose personal information without hesitation. This had easily allowed the wolf a chance to attack Little Red Cap and her grandma later in the story. However, after Little Red Cap realizes how evil the wolf was, she “filled the wolf’s body with large heavy stones” (Grimm & Grimm, 1812: pg. 9),