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This essay dissects the literature in Dracula by Bram Stoker. Bram Stoker’s Dracula remains one of the most immortal novels in the world history that managed to depict the vampire as it is. Indeed, the fact that the name has Dracula has been used synonymously with the vampire exemplifies the great extent of success that the story achieved. This essay examines the use of symbolism in the Dracula story and attempts to explain their literary meanings. According to the essay, the symbolisms are embedded in the quotes that the writer has used to convey his message. As such, the essay outlines the quotes as well as explains their symbolic contents as it makes a critical analysis of the story (Bram Stoker 1897 p. 243).
Blood and Spiritual Ties
Blood has been used in the book to symbolize a spiritual bond between different personalities. For instance, the writer states in chapter ten page 263 that "No man knows till he experiences it, what it is like to feel his own life-blood drawn away into the woman he loves." This expression was meant to imply the spiritual attachment that exists between a man and a woman in love. According to the writer, the feeling is not like any other feeling that humans experience in their daily lives. It carries with it something more spiritual than life itself. Perhaps, that is why he says that man would not have a clue as to what it feels like. Later on in chapter eleven, the writer makes a quotation coined from the same idea of blood. He notes that "The blood is the life!" As a matter of fact, every human acknowledges that life more spiritual than human. That is why absolutely no one has the least control over their own lives. Clearly, this is further exemplified when Dracula feeds Mina of his own blood as an attempt to create a spiritual bond between them (Bram Stoker 1897 p. 263).
The Literature of the Crucifix
Dracula has intelligently used the word crucifix throughout the story to symbolize the Christian faith. For instance in chapter six pages 43 and 44, the writer inserts the quote "The man was simply fastened by his hands, tied one over the other, to a spoke of the wheel. Between the inner hand and the wood was a crucifix..." This is the biblical account of how Jesus was crucified on the cross. From a critical look at the book in entirety, it’s quite noticeable that the crucifix or Christian faith had a great bearing in many scenes. For instance, chapter one talks about a woman who picked a rosary from round her neck and passed it on to Hacker when she realized that he would be proceeding to Count Dracula. According to the storyline, Hacker had been taught early in his life that the object was a pure manifest of idolatrous thoughts. As such, he only tied it round his neck begrudgingly and left it there to please the woman. However, when he proceeds to narrate about the supposed change that it had brought to Dracula at Castle Dracula it gives an impression of something mysterious. According to the story, Hacker drew away from Dracula who was trying to grab the object from his neck thereby leaving him with the string of beads that held the object. It was at this moment that an instant change was observed in Dracula. Furthermore, when the dead Lucy Westenra was beginning to experience the life of being a vampire locked up in the tomb, the crucifix and garlic are described as some of the things she hated to see. This further affirms the fact that the crucifix symbolized something completely opposite of vampire life. That was no doubt the Christian faith that afflicted the vampire leaving it powerless (Bram Stoker 1897 p. 43-45).
The writer has portrayed beauty as the outward symbol of evil character or simply the Devil in humans. Ideally, the beauty aspect of the story seems to have been picked from the mythology surrounding the life of Elizabeth Bathory. This woman was well known for her behavior of killing several girls from the peasant populace so as to keep herself as beautiful. This is perfectly affirmed in the quote in chapter ten that "The whole bed would have been drenched to a scarlet with the blood the girl must have lost..." Indeed, there is little doubt in the idea that Dracula was drawing his livelihood from sucking the blood of the peasants that he believed made him immortal (Bram Stoker 1897 p. 302).
The Power of the Mirror
There is quite a very rich symbolism in the use of the mirror. Accordingly, the mirror portrays one of those things that slightly limit the seemingly limitless powers of the vampire. For instance, in chapter thirteen the writer puts the quote that "He was very pale, and his eyes seemed bulging out as, half in terror and half in amazement, he gazed at a tall, thin man, with a beaky nose and black moustache and pointed beard..." This was in reference to the image of the vampire in the mirror. Indeed, the writer acknowledges that powerful the vampire experienced some shift in the intensity of his powers. The sun for instance would burn him to destruction on the slightest contact. As such, the fact that the mirror makes his eyes appear bulged and terrified creates an impression that it falls to the same category as the garlic and the crucifixes (Bram Stoker 1897 p. 142).
Sexual Connotation in Dracula
Steak perfectly brings into perspective the symbolism of a sexual scene. For example in chapter six, the writer uses the quote "Oh Lucy, I cannot be angry with you, nor can I be angry with my friend whose happiness is yours; but I must only wait on hopeless and work. Work! Work!" to introduce the mood of love, romance and sex. As such, the use of stake in this scene is easily interpreted to imply Arthur’s penis. This is in respect of the fact that Arthur being Lucy’s boyfriend would get dibs on staking her. This is typically a connotation of a sexual scene (Bram Stoker 1897 p. 150).
Purity of the Heart
Further, the heart symbolizes the purity of humanity. The writer particularly uses the heart to denote anything valuable in the life of humans. As such, lack of it makes humans less human such that they begin to exhibit beastly behavior. For instance in chapter sixteen he quotes that "The sweetness was turned to adamantine, heartless cruelty and the purity to voluptuous wantonness." The reference of the becoming cruel behavior in this case is associated with heartlessness. In another episode, the writer creates a different symbolism with the heart when he notes that the stake went though Lucy’s heart. Having conceded that the stake was a symbol of the penis, the implication that comes out here is the fact that impurity has been introduced into the otherwise clean life of Lucy (Bram Stoker 1897 p. 120).
In conclusion, the novel Dracula has clearly used symbolism to portray the various themes that were intended for the audience. There are far and wide, ranging from the place of women in the society to sexual conventions. Indeed, this creates a more vivid description of the various scenes making the book more successful as a vampire story than many other books its age. No wonder readers in the world over acknowledge that Dracula and the vampire look quite inseparable in the eyes of the readers (Bram Stoker 1897 p. 21).