One Last Kiss

“And now, my child, you may kiss her. Kiss her dead lips if you will, as she would have you to, if for her to choose”. The kiss, traditionally a symbol of romantic love and physical desire, here takes on an unconventional and eerie aspect. It is a macabre display of Arthur’s affection for Lucy, transcending the boundary between life and death. This eroticized connection highlights the allure of the vampire mythology, where sensuality and danger are closely intertwined. Throughout the novel, the idea of a vampire’s kiss is often associated with both pleasure and peril, adding a layer of forbidden desire to the narrative.

At the same time, the passage underscores the religious aspect of the story. Van Helsing’s words infuse the scene with spiritual symbolism. The contrast between “the devil’s Un-Dead” and “God’s true dead” speaks to the battle between the forces of darkness and those of divine purity. The act of kissing Lucy’s “dead lips” can be seen as a form of religious sacrament, where Arthur is making a final connection with his beloved, almost as if he is participating in a last rite. This moment embodies the Christian notion of redemption and resurrection, where Lucy’s soul is released from the curse of vampirism and welcomed by God. The passage reflects the overarching theme of salvation and the triumph of faith over evil.

The convergence of eroticism and religion in this passage adds depth to the narrative. It underscores the idea that the vampire myth is not just about horror and bloodlust but also about the allure of forbidden desires. It portrays the human struggle between earthly passions and spiritual salvation. In “Dracula,” the boundaries between the sacred and the profane are blurred, and the kiss, which can be a symbol of both eroticism and religious devotion, serves as a powerful focal point for these complex themes. The passage encapsulates the novel’s exploration of the human psyche, where the boundaries between desire and morality are tested, and where love, lust, and spirituality intermingle in a captivating and thought-provoking way.

3 thoughts on “One Last Kiss”

  1. Love love love the attention to the implications of the “kiss”. I think that it is super interesting how a kiss is almost like a bridge hiding a running river, but I definitely agree that it can be a symbol of both eroticism and religious devotion. Especially in reference to many movies where a beast becomes human after a woman’s “true love kiss” which also has themes of eroticism and devotion.

  2. I think the idea of the kiss in this novel represents one of the core themes of gothic literature. As you pointed out, a kiss is usually done romantically, so when instead it is to satiate one’s thirst for blood it is a kind of betrayal. Given a core theme of the gothics is when something appears as one thing and then suddenly it is not, the vampire kiss makes a lot of sense. It is the thrill that when you are at your most vulnerable moment you will be taken advantage of. This is why romance is incorporated into the novels we have read so heavily, because people are often at their most vulnerable in romance.

  3. I really like your analysis of the symbolism of a kiss as a juxtaposition of eroticism and religion. Throughout the book holiness (in the form of crosses and communion wafer) is the antidote to unholiness (as personified by Dracula) so a moment like this, where the two are impossible to separate, is very compelling.

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