The text’s from Dracula and Dracula and the Anxiety of Reverse Colonization has many similarities with the drive of the empire and the fear of progress towards the society. When looking at the Anxiety of Reverse Colonization I think about how power and the fear of being feared are related to the empire and society becoming stronger and upgrading many sources. Having the power to control the outside world is what Dracula always wanted. He wanted the control of Jonathan in which he followed his rules and had the needs he needed when visiting Dracula. I think this relates back to the rise and fall of the empire and military conquest because it symbolizes the meaning of who gets the power in certain situations. As the three women were crawling over Jonathan and ready to attack, Dracula comes out of nowhere and has the power to save Jonathan from being eaten alive. “Back, I tell you all! This man belongs to me!”(9). This desire for power and being able to come in action to use the sensation of himself is something I think Dracula showed here. He did not have to save Jonathan but he wanted to continue the power he had to keep Jonathan alive. This force of power Dracula wants to pursue forces him in the unfearful direction.
Dracula and the Anxiety of Reverse Colonization have a major role in the claim of the power of Dracula. “Vampires are intimately linked to the military conquest and to the rise and fall of empires”(627). This quote from the text I think shows the readers how Dracula is relating back to the empire and Military circumstances. It draws back to us that the forceful power Dracula can also use on the outside world because of the Victorian age. The sexual power, the fear of power, and the fear of overpowering or respect I think is why Dracula is so obtained in his own power system. I think this because he rather shows someone his power rather than have someone be fearful of him. He shows this in many ways when he wants to move to Europe. At that time, Europe was at the center of its most powerful empire. For Dracula to move there he would succeed in his powerful ways. Moving to Europe would also mean he would not be feared because of the outside factors going on in the world.
Dracula shows the power of being feared which concludes him not wanting what everyone else wants. Continuing towards his sensation allows him to create many paths of being on top of what is in front of him.
4 thoughts on “Power or Fear?”
The idea of power reversal in the context of empire is also a theme in Jekyll and Hyde. Just like Dracula represents how the “conquered” becomes the conqueror, Dr. Jekyll experiences a similar turnaround with his evil counterpart Mr. Hyde. In the beginning, Jekyll holds all the power in the relationship: he can turn into Hyde whenever he wishes by drinking the potion, and he can easily return to his usual self in the same manner. Hyde represents the primitive, subhuman evil that lives within him. His ugliness and short stature make it very clear that he is inferior to Jekyll. Over time, however, Hyde begins to grow in power. He literally grows in physical stature, but he also begins to take more control in the relationship with Jekyll. By the end, Hyde has all the power, a complete reversal of what it was like at the beginning, which brings around the downfall of both personas.
I agree with your arguments. I think the fear of reverse colonization is prevalent throughout many Victorian novels. In Goblin Market, the foreign goblins are painted as evil beings that corrupt and ultimately kill young women. Women seem a particularly strong element in which fear manifests. Anything that goes against traditional Victorian values and social norms is greatly feared. In “La Belle Dame Sans Merci,” we have a woman using her sexuality to manipulate her male lovers. This power reversal reveals how much fear pervaded people’s lives at that time.
I really like this concept and the idea that reverse colonization was very prevalent in Victorian novels. This concept does also revolve around women, and seems to bring up a hatred of women in the novels. Both the idea of the unknown and women go against Victorian values, which is not okay in Victorians minds.
I think this is such a fascinating take on the two articles. The power ideas presented in Dracula are also the same as the ideas of fear. The power that is harnessed from this fear could also be considered as ways that the Victorian rule fear-mongered the general population. Could one even go as far to say that, as mentioned in comments above, there’s so much hatred towards the “other”, that the domination and hyper-fixation becomes a way to process. I hadn’t considered this view before, and helped me understand the text in a different way.
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