Breaching the Barrier

I found it particularly interesting the descriptions of post-mortem Lucy. Bram Stoker makes sure to frequently contrast the purity and the goodness of Lucy before Dracula gets to her with a severe impurity afterwards. Upon the bite, Lucy experiences a rapid decline to the hellish “other” depicted in the diaries of her peers and suitors. Dr. Seward, in chapter sixteen, refers to vampire Lucy as a “thing,” stating that it bore Lucy’s shape; in fact, Seward writes, the thing had “Lucy’s eyes in form and color; but Lucy’s eyes unclean and full of hell-fire, instead of the pure gentle orbs we knew.” Stoker also uses words such as “unholy” and the phrase “callous as the devil” in reference to Lucy’s territoriality over her adolescent victim. I think this is a pertinent section, one of many, strongly exemplifying the precarity, or, perhaps, fear in the eyes of Victorian England. 

As the Longman Anthology discusses, Victorian England was riddled with insecurity in regards to religion. The emergence of science which argued the popular beliefs of creationism, as well as a flurry of new religions and foreign lines of thought brought about a time period full of doubt. Relating this to the epistolary, one of the redeeming qualities of Dracula which helps in luring Jonathan Harker as his victim in the early chapters of the novel is the fact that Dracula speaks English fluently, albeit with a strange intonation. Nonetheless, the breaking of the language barrier acts as the first guise in allowing Dracula to permeate the shield of English society. Then, a subsequent important section is contained in the log of the Demeter. The crew writes in the log on July 16, “…Petrofsky, was missing…All said they expected something of the kind, but would not say more than there was something aboard… feared some trouble ahead.” Once again, the existence of Dracula provokes no more than a cautious uncertainty in the characters of the novel. Dracula has breached England ideologically by speaking their language; now, he breaches physically by traveling on boat to England. Dracula is promptly able to begin wreaking havoc in the lives of our English protagonists, pitted as the devilish foreigner. 

One thought on “Breaching the Barrier”

  1. I found the first paragraph of this blog post to be very intriguing. After reading this first paragraph, I had to sit back and think because it caused me to realize how much of todays literature is based off of these writings from the past. I never thought about the influence that these writers back in the Victorian era had on today’s but after reading that I thought to all the writings and movies that have vampires and how they are all portrayed as the demons. Also that these writings have shaped how we think vampires looks.

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