Research on Bram Stoker's Dracula
One of the most interesting novels in Gothic literature is Bram Stoker's Dracula. Dracula can be looked at by the writers at Paper Masters in many ways, such as the plot, the character of Dracula, the themes within the novel or the setting. Whatever aspect you need discussed our writers will produce a custom project on Dracula for you.
An Irish journalist, Bram Stoker drew on the fifteenth century vampire legend that grew to surround an actual historical figure in Central Europe as he penned his famous novel. The original novel by Stoker reflects the Victorian sensibilities that were still exerting an influence in the final years of the nineteenth century. Thus, the role of the church as guardian of virtue and source of punishment for sin is a dominant theme. Interpretations offered by many scholars insist that the Dracula portrayed in Stoker’s novel represents “the grotesque reverse image of Christ”, a clear reference to Satan as the ultimate evil just as Christ is the ultimate good. Others who have written essays on Stoker's Dracula argue that Stoker’s original count was “a pestilence, the lord of bats and rats,” with a touch that was “not romantic but rabid”.
Still other research papers suggest that the original character elicited a delicate balance of revulsion and sympathy. Lauding Stoker’s intuition that “classic horror is close to tragedy,” some research papers describe the original title character as capable of drawing both pity and fear from the reader. Regardless of which of these characterizations of Stoker’s vampire one accepts as accurate, many research papers seem to have attempted a more sympathetic conceptualization of the count than that originally intended by the Irishman. Write a literature research paper on Bram Stoker's Dracula and argue for one of these depictions of Dracula.
Overview of the Novel
Count Dracula is the protagonist of Bram' Stoker's novel "Dracula." This is so even though the novel is written in the technique of letters and diary entries by the novel's other important characters and as occasional newspaper articles. It is because of this technique used by Stoker that the question arises at all as to who is the main character. It may seem that one of the other characters, especially Dr. Seward or Mina Harker, might be one of the main characters since his or her diary accounts for much of the contents of the novel and is also important in following the action, the relationships among the characters, and the character of Count Dracula. In most novels where the technique of diaries or letters is used, one of the characters writing these would be the main character. In other cases, the contents of an entire novel is the dairy or journal writings of the person who is the main character, making such a book a first-person novel. But this is not the case with the novel "Dracula." Stoker innovatively departs from this convention.
Although it is not Count Dracula who is doing the writing of the diaries or letters, he is often the subject of these; and when he is not the subject, actions he has caused are the subject. The following are the characters that Stoker writes about:
- Dr. Seward
- Mina Harker
- Lucy Westenra
The reader learns everything she comes to know about Count Dracula from the diaries and letters of the secondary characters surrounding him. And the reader learns about the situations and actions of the novel from these writings. For instance, it is from an entry in Jonathan Harker's journal that the reader learns what Dracula looks like. As Harker describes him, "His face was a strong--a very strong--aquiline, with high bridge of the thin nose and peculiarly arched nostrils; with lofty domed forehead, and hair growing scantily round the temples but profuse elsewhere." When he comes to describing Dracula's mouth, Harker writes that it was "fixed and rather cruel-looking, with peculiarly sharp white teeth." Although Harker doesn't know it at the time, Dracula is a vampire. The details about his appearance Harker relates, especially about Dracula's mouth, are important not only to give a description of the novel's protagonist, but also to set the tone of the novel. Harker's description hints that there is at the something faintly remote and menacing about the Count. These qualities of the Count represented by his appearance as Harker describes it come out in the course of the novel.
Extensive entries in Dr. Seward's diary about the illness, death, and funeral of Lucy Westenra are prime examples of parts of the novel which do not deal with Dracula directly, but are important in understanding the effects of acts he commits, his intentions as a vampire, and his fiendish nature. "Her teeth, in the dim, uncertain light, seemed longer and sharper than they had been in the morning. In particular, by some trick of the light, the canine teeth looked longer and sharper than the rest." Lucy is turning into a vampire, which is the result of Count Dracula's assault on her. In this same entry, Dr. Harker writes that Lucy's wounds "on the throat had absolutely disappeared." Here Dr. Harker alludes to Dracula's power to bring about a rebirth or renewal of a woman after his deadly attack on her.
Count Dracula is seen as the protagonist of Stoker's novel not only because it is named after him. The best basis for realizing that Count Dracula is the protagonist of the novel is to see that without him, the narrative of the book collapses. As important as any of the other characters may be, it is Count Dracula who is crucial to the narrative in a way none of the others are.