Technology? hmm idk…

Bram Stoker utilizes technology throughout Dracula to demonstrate fears of the Victorian era. Technology helps the group during their conquest. Stroker makes sure to demonstrate the helpfulness of technology throughout the novel, like when Mina walks into Dr. Seward recording his day in his phonograph. Mina, unable to contain her excitement, “blurts out” that it “beats even shorthand” (235). When introduced to a new piece of technology, Mina can hardly contain herself, as a lot of her duty within the team has been about transcribing, this new technology allows for an easier way of life. This small interaction serves as a way to calm the reader about technology, demonstrating ways that it can improve quality of life. 

Technology is also seen as a life saver to Mina once again. Mina mentions how grateful she is for her “Traveller’s’ typewriter…” and how she would have “felt quite astray doing the if I had to write with a pen” (372). Mina has gained such comfort through the new technology, that the old pen and paper method would leave her feeling “astray.” Technology has influenced the characters’ daily lives so much they are now lost without it. The phonograph and traveller’s typewriter allow for the group to have an easier time transcribing their findings better. This has positive externalities: their (more accurate) findings can be published for more to see, helping people learn about Dracula and the supernatural, giving them warning signs, and preventions. However, it also demonstrates the fears that plagued the Victorian era within technology: the loss of the old self. 

Stoker capitalizes on this fear of the loss of self through technology with the failure to save Lucy through blood transfusion. Stroker makes sure to be abundantly clear in the science of the “transfusion of blood” (132). The explicit nature of the description serves to show the advancement of technology in the new era, it also works to show how even with all this new medical technology Lucy still ended up “as a devil” and blazing “with unholy light” (225). Lucy lost herself and purity even with technology. She serves as a cautionary tale for the Victorian reader: technology can destroy you. Technology is used to support the group, helping them keep track of their findings and communicate, however it comes at the cost of the self; although technology may have the intent to help, it often does more harm as it destroys the peoples purity and past self.

2 thoughts on “Technology? hmm idk…”

  1. We have discussed to great extend the metaphorical meanings to the blood transfusion scene, yet it is interesting how you pointed out the technology aspect of this detail. Indeed, the blood transfusion represented the confrontation of religion and technology, of the old traditional Victorian society and the inevitable shift that modern technology was leading. The message from Dracula certainly conveys the contemporary belief and attitude of the era towards technology and the intimidating changes that it brought forth. Nevertheless, judging the world today, do you think that this message could be true to some extend? Technology does indeed assist us greatly in our lives, yet aren’t we trading it for our beliefs, our values, and the relationship among ourselves and the world around us?

  2. This is such an interesting take. As we’ve discussed, fear is found all throughout the text, whether it be overt with supernatural themes, or also covert, with channeling the public anxieties. The technology anxiety is something that reminds me of one of our other supplemental readings, but in the other lens, where the text demonizes technological growth. The idea of the blood transfusion as a positive technological advantage. This is a perspective I wouldn’t have considered otherwise.

Comments are closed.