“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.