“There lay the Count, but looking as if his youth had been half renewed, for the white hair and moustache were changed to dark iron-grey; the cheeks were fuller, and the white skin seemed ruby-red underneath; the mouth was redder than ever, for on the lips were gouts of fresh blood, which trickled from the corners of the mouth and ran over the chin and neck.”
I think that this passage describing Dracula and his physical appearance, after a blood sucking episode, encapsulates the essence of Dracula being more than a typical vampire but also a symbol for the significance of blood, as the source of life and power. Blood is a huge theme in the novel, and this passage illuminates the rejuvenating effect that the consumption of blood has on Dracula. Dracula’s facial features have altered, with fuller cheeks and now a ruby-red undertone in his skin, this change is a visual representation of the liveliness and life force he gains from consuming blood. Most organisms rely on blood-flow through their bodies to stay alive because of it’s important qualities like carrying oxygen and nutrients, and removing waste products. That being said, blood is life’s vital fluid. In the context of vampirism he is able to sustain youthful looks, life and power when he feeds on blood, it is an exchange of life energy. It allows him to replenish youthful physical features along with his supernatural powers. Dracula is obviously no saint, as he is constantly presented to the audience with things that highlight his dark and malicious intentions. The gruesome description of blood that runs from his mouth down his chin and neck highlight the corruption, of his own actions, and the violation of life. Now that we can interpret blood as the source of life and power, I think it is safe to say that Dracula’s desire for blood is parasitic, like a leech. I think the character of Dracula has many layers that contribute to his complexity in the novel. The connection between Dracula and blood, is more than a typical vampire. Through blood, Dracula represents darkness and malice, and the consumption of life and power.