Book Review- Dracula Essay, Research Paper
By NVOT Student, 6/00
Bram Stoker s classic Dracula, first published in 1897, is a mystifying horror tale concerning the war of good versus evil, ages old, yet forever new. It is the gothic narrative of the undead creatures of the night, and the human lives they touch, seeking to satiate the cursed craving for their only sustenance human blood. Throughout all this, Stoker weaves intriguing juxtapositions of light and dark, good and evil, the holy and the damned, as the book s title character presents readers anti-Christian values in a tangible entity. This is not to say the novel is anti-Christian, only the character of Dracula is, and in the end it is the power of God that triumphs over the evil Count s reign of terror. Dracula can control the weather, wild or unclean animals, and he can change form at will or disappear into thin air. These are abilities one ordinarily would associate only with God himself, looked upon as supreme power, light, and holiness. Dracula gains power only in the absence of such light, in the darkness of night. I love the shade and shadow, he says, I am no longer young; and my heart, through years of mourning over the dead, is not attuned to mirth.  There are countless examples of Dracula s opposition to God. A human s only defense against him or one of his followers are the symbols of God s peace and holiness, such as the crucifix, prayer, or practically any other consecrated item. In the Bible, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day. In the novel, however, Dracula s victims descend to the ranks of the undead after three days. Such parallels occur frequently throughout the book, amounting to great tension, violently released in the exciting climax. While the midsection of the book becomes a bit verbose and confusing at times, the outstanding start and finish more than make up for this. The character of Abraham van Helsing is particularly interesting, and his lectures are eloquent and meaningful. In the end, the reader needs to contemplate the story and put the book into perspective, asking the meaning behind publishing an anti-Christ-like character such as Dracula. Bram Stoker expertly formulated Dracula into an extremely interesting and entertaining novel, one which left me thoroughly satisfied, yet curious and full of questions of religion, values, and fears of those living in Victorian Europe.