Monday, June 25, 2012

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Dracula is a creature that possesses many powers including mind-control and seduction. He uses his mysticism to lure Jonathan Harker to his castle in Transylvania in order to finalize his plans to infiltrate British society and feast upon its Victorian ideals. Unfortunately, he has to play by certain rules. For instance, he cannot leave his "unholy" soil, he cannot cross running water, and he cannot enter without being invited. Regardless of his limitations, he's able to find faithful followers who will help him seek and destroy his prey no matter how pure and how safe she might feel.

Set in the late 1800s and incorporating many Freudian concepts, DRACULA (modeled after Vlad the Impaler) addresses issues of sexuality, feminism, and immigration. This text is written in a series of letters (epistolary) from the perspectives of the main characters: Mina, Jonathan Harker, Van Helsing, Seward, and Lucy. Unfortunately, the reader never gets to learn Dracula's perspective, which is a true weakness of the novel. In addition, this novel takes WAY too long to implement any kind of suspense or tension, which leaves the reader bored. The most tension I've felt, in fact, comes when I'm trying to avoid certain topics with my students that they inevitably bring up and want to discuss. I probably won't teach this novel again

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