Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dracula Pt 2

The fact that Arata claims, “All the novel’s vampires are distinguished by their robust health and their equally robust fertility. The vampire serves, then, to highlight the alarming decline among the British, since the undead are, paradoxically, both ‘healthier’ and more ‘fertile’ than the living (pg 466)” I think is very interesting. I want to look first at where he says “robust health.” I guess I agree with that because vampires never get sick or even really injured. Also they are very hard to kill or get rid of. In “Dracula” the only way to get rid of a vampire is to put a stake through their heart and then cut their head off. In the novel they talk about the reason that all these things are necessary is so that the vampire cannot put itself back together and reincarnate.

I believe that when Arata talks about fertility he is referring to sexuality. In “Dracula” when Lucy begins to turn into a vampire she begins to become more beautiful. Another thing that I can think relates to sexuality is when Madam Mina would go into a trance and start serving people. I think that the reason this could be taking as sexual is because a woman who waits on men and takes care of them is, for the most part, desirable. It may not be one hundred percent true today, but when “Dracula” was written I think that this was very important to people. Another thing in “Dracula” that I think can be related to sexuality is how and when Dracula preys on his victims. For the most part, especially with Madam Mina, he entered her room while she was sleeping and then would the drink from her. For example, “Kneeling on the near edge of the bed facing outwards was the white-clad figure of his wife. By her side stood a tall, thin man, clad in black. His face was turned from us, but the instant we saw we all recognized the Count—in every way, even to the scar on his forehead. With his left hand he held both Mrs. Harker’s hands, keeping them away with her arms at full tension; his right hand gripped her by the back of the neck, forcing her face down on his bosom. Her white nightdress was smeared with blood, and a thin stream trickled down the man’s bare breast which was shown by his torn-open dress (pg 247).” I think that the sharing of bodily fluids such as blood is a very sexual act. Something that actually relates to the idea about fertility is how a vampire can ‘reproduce.’ Pretty much all Dracula had to do to make a new vampire is to drink the person’s blood several times until their blood is gone. I think that this shows that a vampire’s mode of reproduction is better than a human’s. I say this because during the time “Dracula” was written some women died during child birth. So in a sense when one life is created another one is taken. But in the vampire sense there is no risk during reproduction.

1 comment:

  1. In Dracula, and many other vampire novels, the vampire is immortal and also cannot get sick. I think that this creates a desirable appeal to the vampire and also a mystical aura. One thing to note though is that even though Dracula can not get any human sicknesses he still appears to become weak or aged. When he has not fed for a while his appearance seems older. Dracula appears older in Transylvania but younger in England. I believe this is due to the abundance of food, which draws attention to the fact that many English were not healthy due to lack of food.
    “Jonathan kept looking after him (Dracula), and said, as if to himself, ‘I believe it is the Count, but he has grown young. My God, if this be so!’” “Dracula”
    At this point in the book Dracula had already been feeding on Lucy and now it looks like he is preying on another beautiful woman.

    I agree with your idea of the fertility of humans compared to vampires. It seems that Dracula turns people so easily and I think it is even more emphasized by the fact that all the people Dracula turns, or attempts to turn, are healthy young women, who, if they were still human, would probably be ideal to bear children. The idea is even more emphasized, I think, by Lucy’s preying on children. Could she be attempting to turn them? If so then it is almost as if they (the vampires) are creating a disturbing little family. Dracula turns the women, in a sense making a partner, and Lucy turns the child. All the literary criticism I have read seems to describe Stoker’s book as limited or narrow, but I think he delves into the major psychological train of thought in his time and the reader can interpret it in many ways.