When I sit back and think about vampires, specifically how they are portrayed in film and literature, a few characteristics stick out to me. Besides copious amounts of blood, large sharp fangs, and pale skin, I also think about how there always seems to be some sort of storm or fog going on when the vampires are present. Whether it’s the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker or the Twilight series, there always seems to be a mysterious fog or a dangerous storm when the vampires are present. When Dracula firsts arrives in England via ship, the port where Dracula enters suffers from a sudden but violent storm as the ship sails into the port. Before the start of the storm, there is an eeriness to the atmosphere. The newspaper reports that before the storm, “the stillness of the air grew quite oppressive, and the silence was so marked that the bleating of a sheep inland or the barking of a dog in the town was distinctly heard” (Stoker, 86). While the newspaper said that the storm came on without warning, I see this foreboding weather as an omen of the grave events that will result from Dracula’s arrival. Even before Dracula arrived in England, the ship that unknowingly transported him experienced strange events and bad weather before Dracula landed on English soil. In the log of the Demeter, the ship that Dracula used to get to England, it was written that “there seems some doom over this ship. Already a hand short and entering the Bay of Biscay with wild weather” and “four days in hell, knocking about in a sort of maelstrom, and the wind a tempest” (Stoker, 93). Prior to Dracula’s appearance on the ship, things were running smoothly, but, after Dracula decided to stow away on the ship, strange events happen to the crew. Crew members start to disappear, and the ship seems to be constantly sailing through bad storms and fog. I believe that even before people are aware of Dracula’s presence, bad weather is used as a physical way of warning people about Dracula’s presence. It could even be used to show the danger to others that Dracula brings with him. Even with strange events happening, the weather solidifies the fact that something is wrong, as the weather often suddenly turns violent when Dracula is present.
5 thoughts on “Cloudy with a Chance of Dracula”
Although it was revealed in the recent reading section that Dracula can in fact create mist, this analysis definitely still holds up, especially since it’s more than just mist that follows him. The idea of weather mirroring the story or a specific character is something I’ve noticed in a lot of Victorian era books. For example, in Frankenstein the weather was always light and sunny when the creature was happy, but when he got angry or there was a fight it would turn dark and stormy. I think the weather following Dracula is partially because he has some sort of supernatural ability, but also a kind of metaphor to illustrate his dark power like you said.
I think this is a very powerful passage and it is really interesting that we have seen monsters, vampires, or even an antagonist have the ability to affect the setting or even the weather in a dark and mysterious way. This is a popular Victorian Era theme, it seems. Dracula fits the scary, ambiguous, and powerful elements of the gothic as he can turn to mist and evidently dictate the weather with his presence, as we see when there is an unexpected storm upon his arrival to England.
I really like this concept and analysis that Dracula has some sort of supernatural ability that illustrates his dark power. It was made clear that Dracula can cause the weather to become dark and stormy, however digging deeper we could assume that this is illustrating his dark and stormy side. I can’t help but think of Damon Salvatore from Vampire Diaries when I hear this example. At the start of this show, Damon is illustrated as a dark version of his brother, (both of whom are vampires). To help show his dark side, the show made the executive decision to have him control a crow and control fog, similarly to Dracula.
Your post reminds me of our class discussions about Stoker’s personification of nature to the extent that it is like an extra character. Nature as a character exemplifies the gothic tenet of the supernatural, which aligns with the bad weather that follows Dracula and foreshadows misfortune. I also noticed that, in addition to nature presenting as bad weather when something bad (or supernatural) is about happen/recently happened, it also presents as good weather when something good (or anti-supernatural) is about happen/recently happened. After the un-dead Lucy is officially killed, purging her of supernatural forces, Arthur, Quincey, and Van Helsing leave the tomb to find that “Outside the air was sweet, the sun shone, and the birds sang, and it seemed as if all nature were tuned to a different pitch. There was gladness and mirth and peace everywhere…” (p. 232). So, I think it’s fair to say that Stoker uses nature and weather as a character representing both proximity to and distance from the supernatural.
I really like how you analyzed this passage and I would not have connected the weather changes in other novels that have supernatural beings and vampires. I can recall from the minimal vampire movies I have watched, they always disappear and leave a smoke trail behind. Like you said, I agree that this weather change symbolizes the power and supernatural abilities he carries.
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