Thematic Implications Of Vampirism In Dracula By Bram Stoker

Author Bram Stoker, explores the thematic implications of vampirism as a cultural symbol in eighteenth century society in relation to the moral ethics of desire pertaining specifically to sexuality. In his novel, Dracula, Stoker continually uses the image of the vampire threatening the lives and moralistic nature of the other characters as a representation of deviant sexuality, particularly homosexual desire, as a predatory force. This pattern of images suggests the rapacious nature of homosexuality threatens all classes of society and condemns same-sex relations as a form of contagion that is representative of historical anxieties pertaining to the other. This can be seen through the representation of Dracula and his interest in male and female …show more content…
Looking at the voracious appetite of the monsters as a form of lustful desire, the binaries of pairing male and female are broken. The text represents the concept of “vampire sexuality” as being abnormal; however, it can be seen as an exaggerated imitation of human behavior (Stevenson, 142). By way of explanation, the perceived sexual desires of the monstrous vampire in Dracula are a symbolic representation of Victorian sexualities. Elaine Showalter attests that Transylvania is a backdrop in which “sexuality” can remain “fluid” (179). In other words, the sexual preference of the individual can change depending on the situation. Dracula, in particular acts as a threatening force that impedes on the sexual purity of other characters. In the case of male victims, Dracula’s interest is representative of the Victorian fear of predatory homosexuality. The relationship between Dracula and Harker, though benign, is “clearly” one that is “highly eroticized” (McCrea, 255). Shifting the focus of the text to the brief cohabitation of these two male characters, Stoker analyses the threat of homosexuality. When Jonathon Harker awakes after he had “slept only a few hours” his first night in Transylvania, he is almost immediately greeted by “a hand on” his “shoulder” (Stoker, 36). Because Jonathon Harker is in the bedchambers provided to him as a guest, Dracula’s presence is an invasion of Jonathon Harker’s …show more content…
Within one of the rooms that he had been warned not to enter, Jonathon Harker, encounters three female vampires “with brilliant white teeth” and “ruby” coloured “lips” that created a sensation of physical “desire” for him (Stoker, 69). These female vampires are a seductive representation of some form of heterosexuality that inverts the roles of dominance, pulling Jonathon Harker away from loyalty to his marriage with Mina Harker. As these figures are kissing and preparing to bite “the skin of” his “throat”, Dracula interrupts the situation claiming that “This man belongs” to him. Thus, Dracula saves Jonathon Harker from being the “victim” of the vampire women’s seduction, ending the possibility of heterosexual acts (Showalter, 179). The statement of possession uttered by Dracula defines his relationship with Jonathon Harker as inherently sexual as though only he could engage in the activities that the female vampires were attempting. As such, the situation presents Dracula in the role of prospective partner for Jonathon Harker, disallowing relations of the heterosexual

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