Essay on The Truth Behind Dracula

Submitted By mike_rosa2013
Words: 1720
Pages: 7

The Truth behind Dracula Many read the extremely popular “Dracula” by Bram Stoker and see a story of a blood sucking monster that terrorizes people, but this story goes far deeper than what can be seen at first glance. “Dracula” is actually a story about the taboos of sexuality and homosexuality, and general foreign ethnic influences that are being imposed on and infiltrating Victorian England. This story was actually written in a way that just barely avoided the discrimination of the extremely modest and strongly moral nation of England at that time by narrowly avoiding such taboo subjects as female sexuality and homosexuality. It is clear to see the fear that Victorian English people had of such activities, but yet had a lust for the same things they feared. Dracula is a count, and a very rich and powerful one at that. He has many desires, but most of them lead back to his lust for power. This is shown through many ways, such as his need for control of large groups of people and his thirst for blood, which is the essence of life itself. Dracula’s thirst for power is very evident in most of his actions. One of the most intriguing of these is his manipulation of Johnathan, Dracula’s unwilling guest. Dracula uses Johnathan to gain knowledge about, and then infiltrate, European market places and establishments in a way to gain a foothold in entire nations. However, even though the count is gaining such a vast number of subjects, he still is concerned with the possession of this single man (Stoker 11-14). His thirst for power is so unquenchable that he is not satisfied if he cannot rule over every single person he comes in contact with. He looks to enslave and overpower the British people, which is symbolic of England’s fear of being infiltrated by alien people. Dracula’s focus on the individual is very unnerving, and especially so when paired with the plans he has for taking over areas on a much larger scale. It is hard to understand his motives and is often under or over estimated. When someone is concerned with taking over nations, they usually won’t bother themselves with individual people, and on the contrary, a person that aims to control an individual doesn’t normally have time to take over vast areas. Dracula is able to accomplish both of these simultaneously, which renders him an extremely, unpredictably dangerous adversary. Patricia McKee acknowledges the double threat that Dracula has on the society in her statement, “Dracula has been understood to respond to the fears of late Victorians, due in part to Darwinian thought, that . . . degeneration threatened both British “race” and the British empire” (42). If Dracula represents foreign races, and he is seen as a threatening “degeneration”, than this part of Dracula can show us how the fear that the Victorian English had towards outsiders was incredibly strong. They viewed foreigners and other races as being contaminants, and this is why they related strongly to the story of Dracula. Dracula’s thirst for power does not stop here. He is a dark, mysterious character, and is extremely sexual. It is evident that his lustful desires are not restrained to one lover, but rather multiple of different race and sex. This may be seen simply as a hormonally driven desire, but it is more than that. According to John Allen Stevenson’s perspective on this blood-sucking menace, “Dracula’s pursuit of Lucy and Mina is motivated . . . by an omnivorous appetite for difference, for novelty. His crime is not the hoarding of incest but a sexual theft, a sin we can term excessive exogamy. Although the old count has women of his own, he is exclusively interested in the women that belong to someone else” (139). Dracula’s thirst may be sexual, but it is his sense of almighty power that gives him this feeling of entitlement. Stevenson goes on further to say, “And Dracula will make ‘foreign women’ his own in a radical way. He does not simply kidnap or alter cultural allegiances; his sexual