Dracula by Bram Stoker seems to be about the manipulative powers vampires have due to their superficial human appearance, but is really about the limitations vampires have.
Count Dracula appears to be invincible because of his many supernatural forms, such as the “thin white mist” (Stoker, 246), “I saw a bat rise” (Stoker, 245), and “stood a tall, thin man, all in black” (Stoker, 246). He can appear and vanish into any three of these forms: mist, a bat or man. Since Dracula can transform into these varied forms he has a greater chance of taking blood from humans by being able to fit into different spaces and situations.
However, there are more limitations to Dracula’s powers. While he can look young and full of life, which increases his chances of luring in women, he can only look this way and have strength with the blood from humans. Dracula, or vampires in general rely on their looks to live. For example, after Lucy had been bitten by Dracula and was considered dead, she looked “more radiantly beautiful than ever” (Stoker, 171) which Arthur began to “loathe” (Stoker, 172). Beauty plays with the human mind and manipulates one.
Also while Dracula could live forever, and has for centuries he has to hide, constantly change location, “the Count may have many houses” (Stoker, 250) and fake his death. In order for him to live he has to constantly mold to societies fashion in each new era. Vampires are also limited to man’s powers from sunrise to sunset, “to-day this Vampire is limited to the powers of man, and till sunset he may not change” (Stoker, 261). While vampires have a superficial human appearance and use it to their advantage, they also are limited by it. Their powers become leveled to actual humans during certain times of the day. It’s interesting because while Dracula has lived for centuries and had the time to gain all the knowledge possible through experimentation, he was still not ahead of human knowledge, “for had he dared, at the first, to attempt certain things he would long ago have been beyond our power” (Stoker, 260).
What I am trying to say here is that while vampires seem invincible, they are not, they have many limitations. Viewers can even emphasize with them because their souls are trapped, and cannot be set free until they are dashed with a stake through their heart.
(Page numbers may vary- Dover Thrift Editions of Bram Stoker Dracula)