Throughout Dracula, we see that there is a big overarching concept of religion and Christianity as well as the themes of good and evil. There is an emphasis on crucifixion and rosaries in the novel, where crucifixions are a way to rid vampires. This can be seen when Jonathan goes to meet with Dracula and later has to use a crucifix that the was given to protect himself from the Count, and or evil. This can show that using the power of religion through crucification can be used to turn away any evil. Another imagery is Blood, where blood can be seen as to heal oneself and rebirth. This is also why Dracula is seen as evil, because in order to gain youthfulness and power, his thirst for blood simply takes away one’s life. Dracula repeats, “blood is life” multiple times, thus giving him sustenance, power, and strength.
At the very end of Dracula, the passage shows them at the Counts coffin, where Jonathan cuts off his head and Mr. Morris stabs him in the heart. As they finally kill Dracula, they have successfully succeeded over evil and save Mina. In doing so, Mr. Morris gets injured helping Mina, where he then sacrifices his life, “It was worth this to die!” (401). This whole passage gives a good look at religion in Dracula, where the “men sank on their knees and a deep and earnest ‘Amen’ Broke from all,” (401), as the mark on her forehead leaves. Self sacrificing is found when one puts their own life on the line in order to save others and thus Mr. Morris died a “gallant gentleman,” (401).
Bram Stoker’s, Dracula, emphasizes sexuality throughout the novel. One passage that this occurs in is Chapter three on pages 45 and 46 where Jonathan Harker is awoken by three women standing next to him. The three of them try and seduce him to almost draining his blood, “the soft, shivering touch of the lips on the supersensitive skin of my throat.. ,” (46) until Dracula intrudes and declares that he belongs to him.
This is the first act in the novel that is close to supernatural where Jonathan is the victim of these vampire women. Jonathan begins to comment on their beauty and his lust for them, yet with each positive description, it is followed with conflicting thoughts, “There was a deliberate voluptuousness which was both thrilling and repulsive..” (45). These conflicting thoughts that Jonathan is having shows that he is afraid of what they could do to him due to the aggression that females can withhold. However, it seems that this quality both attracts yet frightens him, and he still pursues their attention. I think that Dracula inhibits the idea of beauty, sexuality, and power. In the victorian literature we have read so far; Lady Audley, My Last Duchess, etc., women seem to have an underlying power over men due to their beauty and sexuality. Victorians emphasised the importance of women’s beauty in the social aspect with how they had to appear to the public eye These women definitely have power over Jonathan due to his heightened feeling of fear and the attraction it brings, “There was something about them that made me uneasy, some longing and at the same time some deadly fear, “(46). Thus explaining that he feels uneasy and unsatisfied towards these women, yet he still desires the sexual tension and potential relationships with them. It will be interesting to see how women and sexuality play a role, especially in a more fantasy/horror and gothic novel.
“Miss Graham told me nothing… without so much as one word of recommendation from any living creature,” (Braddon 234).
Before this passage, Robert asks both Mrs. Vincent and Miss Tonks where Lucy Graham was coming from. Mrs. Vincent gave a very vague answer that she was coming from the seaside. In this passage, Miss Tonks answers, “Miss Graham told me nothing; she was too clever for that.” We can see that Miss Tonks is very sure that Lucy Graham is hiding something, especially when Robert asks, “you think she had secrets, then?” and she make sure to emphasize, “I know she had.” We are also previously given information that Miss Tonks has a very good memory and if she cannot remember where Lucy had come from or when, then that makes Robert even more suspicious. It also seems that even though Miss Tonk has little information on Lucy, she has no problem with throwing her under the bus with any information she has, “She made the most of what she did know,” (Braddon 235). Though Robert is suspicious of Lucy, he also notices how easy it is for her to do this when she reveals the box, “How pitiless these women are to each other.” With this box, Robert was able to discover a label, “which bore the name of Miss Graham, passenger to London,’ which brought the novel to a cliffhanger with more evidence for Mr. Audley’s investigation.
“Yes, here, here…” (Braddon, 16)
When reading the beginning of the passage, I sympathized with Lucy when Braddon explains her misfortunes during her “babyhood.” She even insists that Sir Michael could have any other women much more superior than herself, but he chose her. However, we later see Lucy’s materialistic motivations become a contributing factor to her decision later.
I believe this passage is explaining the idea of love and status through Lucy’s reaction to Sir Michael’s proposal. Throughout the passage, Lucy makes a lot of words that can contrast between the idea of poverty and beauty; accomplished but poor. The passage also uses “you” and “we” in a way to explain that Sir Michael will never be able to relate to her life. Thus, being impossible for her to really fall in love with him even though he would help rescue her from poverty, “you cannot tell; you, who are amongst those for whom life is so smooth and easy; can never guess what is endured by such as we,” (Braddon 16). Lucy also repeats the lines, “you ask too much of me,” in the beginning of the passage. However, she later changes the wording to, “Do not ask too much of me, then,” (Braddon 16) after she explains her upbringing of poverty. This can imply that when Lucy accepted his proposal, she wasn’t hiding that some of her decision was based on his wealth and luxurious lifestyle. I am interested in seeing if Lucy’s motivations change from being somewhat wealth relate to real love throughout the book.