Bram Stoker Influence

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Dracula, A Novel for Its Time: What Really Influenced Bram Stoker Since the publishing of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the novel has sold millions of copies and inspired hundreds of movies, plays, television, shows, and books. Although many people know or have heard of this legendary novel that inspired others like it, few people consider what influenced the author of this successful gothic novel (Carlson 22). One of his biggest influences was his family and friends. Another significant influence on his novel was Victorian societal roles. Religion was also an important influence. Bram Stoker, the author of the iconic gothic novel Dracula, was largely influenced by his friends and family, Victorian societal roles, and religion. Stoker’s family and …show more content…
During this time period, purity, innocence, loyalty, and intelligence were all considered to be desirable qualities of a woman. This is why Mina Harker, who is the embodiment of these ideals, is described as a desirable wife. This was also a period during which a new kind of woman, who was more intelligent and independent, began to emerge. Mina Harker reflects these new ideals through her intelligence, job, and skill regarding modern technology. Unchaste and sexually-forward women were viewed as a problem because they held power over men. The sisters’ sexually-forward actions are the reason why the men in the Crew of Light found the three sisters to be so problematic. For example when the women start making sexual advances towards Jonathan, he says, “There was deliberate voluptuousness, which was both thrilling and repulsive,” (Stoker 40) Women, like the three sisters, who did not adhere to society’s ideals were looked down upon. Another rule of Victorian society was that men and women were not allowed to sleep together or even see each other in bed before they were married. Contrary to this idea, Dracula watches Lucy on multiple occasions while she is sleeping. “Such beliefs are boldly represented throughout the book, and often center on the glorifying resistance of temptation while advising against the inevitable temptation to ‘taste the forbidden fruit’,” …show more content…
The character Van Helsing’s description of the Crew of Light’s work as “God’s wish” exemplified the influence of religion on Van Helsing’s thoughts and statements. Religious symbols such as the crucifixes and the communion wafers are also present throughout the book (Stoker 12). The parallel between the scriptural quote, “For the blood is the life,” and Renfield’s quote, “The blood is the life!”(Stoker 130) also shows the influence that religion had on the novel. “Through mere glimpses of [Dracula], however, demonic accuracy is achieved: Dracula is an Antichrist,” (Mordrake). One is that he possessed powers that only God should possess but he used those powers for evil. Another is that holy objects, like the rosary beads and crucifixes, can be used by the characters to shield themselves from Dracula (Stoker 12). This is an example of a common Christian superstition that holy objects shield a person from all evil (Mordrake). Dracula also shows his aversion toward God when he says to Jonathan, “You should not put your faith in such objects of deceit,” after he notices the rosary beads around Jonathan’s neck (Stoker

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