Symbolism And Anti-Transcendentalism In Bram Stoker's Dracula

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The Victorian Era
Bram Stoker wrote the ground-shaking classic and gothic horror, Dracula, during the Victorian Era. The Victorian Era is a time period of strict gender roles and a life regulated by religion. Women have specific duties that they must do in order to be accepted into society, such as being pure, serving her husband, and raising children. People in this time period were also required to have a close relationship with God and follow Christianity’s every rule. Throughout the novel, Stoker puts secret Easter eggs of symbolism in order to subliminally get these points across. The Victorian Era significantly influences the Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula because it instructs the audience on what to follow in order to be deemed acceptable
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Gothic literature is a stem off of Anti-Transcendentalism, a tremendous movement going on during the Victorian Era that explored the darker side of human existence. Anti-Transcendentalists were suspicious of technology, and said that all of humankind’s evils were from cities and the west. Stoker frequently incorporated technology into the story as the characters are always somehow using it: trains, phonographs, telegraphs, blood transfusions, and more. But in order to defeat Dracula, the group has to stop relying on scientific truth and start relying on faith because science cannot explain Dracula or vampirism. As Van Helsing says to Dr. Seward, who fails to understand the unusual circumstances of Lucy’s death, “Ah, it is the fault of our science that it wants to explain all; and if it explain not, then it says there is nothing to explain” (204). By saying this, Van Helsing means that not everything can be solved by science, and that some things require faith because they are so unexplainable. Even though Stoker uses technology in his story, they end up almost always failing, like how blood transfusions fail to save Lucy and she dies. Earlier in the novel, Dr. Seward, a man of science, cannot figure out what is wrong with Lucy. It takes Van Helsing, a man with knowledge on ancient remedies and faith, to even have the slightest idea on how to save Lucy. They learn that ancient techniques …show more content…
The Victorian Era was no feminist time period. Women were meant to be pious and at home, whereas men could do whatever they want. Mina is everything women should be, according to Stoker. Throughout the novel, Mina is a kind of mother figure. She is a school teacher and is a type of mother to the kids she looks after. She takes care of all the men and in the afterword, she and Jonathan even have a child. Meanwhile, the three vampire women in the novel are her polar opposites. They, too, are vampires, but act very differently. Mina tries her hardest to fight the vampires pull, and even uses her disease as an advantage by seeing what Dracula is doing and informing Van Helsing and the others of his activities. The vampire women however fall into their every desire. They are voluptuous and sexy and try to lure in Jonathan at Dracula’s castle. When they are hungry, they hunt down children. Lucy and the other vampire women are seen as “bad mothers”. They do not raise kids, they eat them. Mina is modest and is only romantic towards her husband Jonathan. Lucy however gets four blood transfusions from four different men. Since blood is euphemism for sex, that means Lucy is very promiscuous indeed. She had a transfusion from Arthur, Dr. Sewards, Van Helsing, and Quincey, only one of those men is her husband. In the whole novel, Mina is not once even the slightest bit risqué towards anyone, not even Jonathan. In

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