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Role Of The Other In Dracula English Literature Essay

Paper type: Essay
Pages: 7 (1686 words)
Categories: Dracula, English, Essay, Literature, Other
Downloads: 40
Views: 1

Bram Stoker ‘s Dracula and Kate Chopin ‘s The Awakening centralises on the characters of Count Dracula and Edna Pontellier in the several novels, characters marked as the Other for their differentiation in racial and cultural traits and their evildoing to strict Victorian societal codifications of behavior in the late 19th century. This essay explores the function and presentation of the Other in Count Dracula and Edna Pontellier on the issues race, civilization, matrimony and how the Other is represented through literary techniques such as linguistic communication, symbolism, imagination and narrative schemes.

In Dracula, Stoker uses ocular imagination in his description of the Count, of his strange and undeniable racial strangeness in his baleful visual aspect and physical characteristics, where ‘his superciliums were really monolithic… shaggy hair that seem to curve in its ain profuseness ‘ ( Stoker 17 ) . In Jonathan Harker ‘s study, he farther notices of Dracula: ‘Strange to state, there were hairs in the Centre of the thenar ‘ and ‘the nails were long… to a crisp point ‘ ( Stoker 18 ) , characteristics associated with villainous felons and evil existences that lack religious values and moral criterions.

A felon is what Professor Van Helsing describes Dracula as: ‘This felon has non full man-brain… be of child-brain in much ( Stoker 341 ) , followed by Mina Harker: ‘The Count is a condemnable and of condemnable type ‘ ( Stoker 342 ) ; Stoker theoretical accounts Dracula as a pervert felon that poses serious danger to the society and uses Dracula ‘s intimidating characteristics to stand for his criminalism, intensifying his racial Otherness.

In The Awakening, Chopin uses the same narrative technique of ocular imagination where she describes Edna Pontellier as ‘rather handsome than beautiful… certain candor of look… contradictory elusive drama of characteristics ‘ ( Chopin 5 ) . Chopin brings out Edna ‘s racial strangeness by comparing and contrasting her beauty and organic structure signifiers to that of Adele Ragtinolle, a Creole descent who is ‘the incarnation of every feminine grace and appeal ‘ ( Chopin 10 ) . Edna ‘s distinguishable attraction, being an American from Kentucky and different from the physical alien temperaments of Creole adult females stands her out as different, whose signifier of beauty attracts work forces such as Robert and Victor Lebrun every bit good as Alcee Arobin.

In his novel, Stoker portrays Dracula ‘s foreigner position, contrasting his antediluvian Transylvanian cultural beginnings in Eastern Europe to that of modernised Western Europe where Jonathan Harker comes from. On his reaching in Bistritz, Jonathan describes the crude land where things were new to him, such as the ‘peasant adult male or adult female kneeling before a shrine ‘ and ‘Slovaks with their-coloured fleeces… transporting… their long staffs, with axe at terminal ‘ ( Stoker 8 ) . He compares the unfamiliar Eastern superstitious notion to his native Western reason when a adult female offers him her rood for his safety against Dracula, for he has been ‘taught to see such things as in some step idolatrous ‘ ( Stoker 5 ) . Different in every regard from English Lords, Dracula asserts Jonathan ‘s and his cultural unsimilarity: ‘We are in Transylvania ; and Transylvania is non England. Our ways are non your ways, and there shall be to you many unusual things ‘ ( Stoker 21 ) .

As a lone American adult female who marries a Creole from New Orleans, Edna experiences cultural unsimilarity and struggles to come to footings with the cultural norms of the Creole society, where a adult female ‘s topographic point and fulfillment is restricted in the domestic kingdom. Just as Adele Ragtinolle places Edna as – an Other: ‘she is non one of us ; she is non like us ‘ ( Chopin 23 ) , Edna is surprised by the Creole ‘s ‘entire absence of primness ‘ and ‘freedom of look ‘ ( Chopin 12 ) , where intimate conversations such as childbearing are openly discussed, sex to adult females are considered non for pleasance but instead for reproduction and flirtings do non traverse the boundaries of unfaithfulness ; such were the societal codifications in the Creole community which Edna feels growingly restrictive and finally breaches. Where Dracula attempts to absorb the cultural individuality of the English, Edna resists the societal conventions of the Creoles, yet in his assimilation and her opposition, both characters violates and endanger the societal and cultural order of the society they are in.

Stoker combines the subject of gender with force in Dracula. The Count is portrayed as a revenant with a bloodlust in the human organic structure and is chiefly a sexual menace non merely to adult females but even to work forces. Dracula expresses his disdain for authorization and Victorian order in the most independent means – through his gender. He possesses the hypnotic and seductive art that attract nonvoluntary adult females into his clasps and holds the feministic function of reproduction, as his victims do non decease but transform into lamias themselves, encompassing a new racial individuality and taging them as the Other. The magnitude of menace to the civilized society Dracula carries through his gender is illustrated foremost through Lucy Westenra ‘s transmutation from an good-humored Victorian lady to a rapacious marauder and so through Dracula ‘s sedate personal invasion of Mina Harker in the really presence her hubby, Jonathan, who lay asleep beside her.

In the subject of gender in The Awakening, Chopin paints a image of Edna as a adult female trapped in a smothered matrimony and who is plagued by a mixture of feminist and psychological issues. Unlike the mother-women of the Creole community who are protective of and ‘idolized their kids ‘ , Edna ‘s motherly inherent aptitudes are apparently weak and is uncharacteristically distant from her two boies ( Chopin 10 ) . ‘If one of the small Pontellier male childs took a tumble… he was non disposed to hotfoot shouting to his female parent ‘s weaponries ‘ ( ibid. ) . Edna ‘s find of her hibernating gender stirs her yearning desire for autonomy and independency from the confines of male domination and a matrimony she feels disillusioned with. Her outward gender ensues with her out declaration of love for Robert Lebrun to Mademoiselle Reisz ( Chopin 90 ) , and besides her act of criminal conversation with Alcee Arobin for her turning demand for passion, which breeds immorality and transgresses the conservative societal values of the New Orleans Creole community.

In Stoker ‘s novel, blood symbolises the footing of life to Dracula, which he feeds off his victims that non merely prolong his physical but soulless being but besides provides its fabulous ability to continue beauty, as Jonathan noted in Dracula ‘s vernal transmutation in a coinciding brush in Exeter, England ( Stoker 172 ) . Stoker so symbolises blood with racial taint because of the close connexion between the lamia and blood, with all its deductions of pureness and familial familiarity. Stoker besides creates a symbolic contrast between English modernness in scientific discipline and engineering and Dracula ‘s incarnation of the primitives and superstitious notions, where Dracula ‘s menace flexible joints on the progress of modernness which brushes off the really world of such a revenant as Dracula himself who seeks to destruct the society.

Chopin similarly utilizations symbolism in the very debut of her novel, where caged birds bear symbolic mention to Edna ‘s restricted and subservient function as a married woman and female parent that society presses upon her and in the same manner the birds can non get away from their coops, Edna excessively can non to the full let go of herself from her duties. Before Edna drowns in the decision to the novel, she notices a bird ‘with a broken wing was crushing the air above… disabled down to the H2O ‘ , possibly typifying Edna ‘s unsuccessful effort at get awaying the restrictions and boundaries in her function as a adult female and boding her at hand death ( Chopin 127 ) . The ocean besides represents a beginning of new life and a symbol of release for Edna, in where she feels rejuvenated and self-asserting upon her self-actualization of her dissatisfaction in her life and of her functions. Her acquisition in the ability to swim symbolically empowers her of her gender and her chosen individuality and non one decided by the society.

There is no individual auctorial voice in Dracula ; instead than following a uninterrupted narrative voice, Stoker ‘s authorship manner is straightforward and immediate, complecting infusions from the diaries of assorted characters that creates ambiguity but adds much pragmatism to the narrative. Dracula is non given a narrative voice and his actions and cryptic whereabouts are merely revealed by the advancement other characters, in such a manner that unequivocally places readers as jury in the kingdom of the good in the conflict against the evil Other in Dracula.

A individual auctorial voice is adopted by Chopin in her novel in the signifier of a distant third-person omniscient. Chopin ‘s formal prose relays a sense of grave gravitation to the narrative and she adopts a writing manner that is perceptive and concise. In her narrative, she alternates between being specific on some occasions and vague on others, for illustration: ‘It was the buss of life… that kindled desire ‘ and ‘Edna cried a small that dark after Arobin left her… There was with her an overpowering feeling of irresponsibleness ‘ , which strongly suggests their evildoing of social behavior through their stage of criminal conversation ( Chopin 92 ) . However, Chopin uses inexplicit inside informations to steer readers, possibly to extenuate the foregone decision to which her text implies, in a her clip when Victorian values still prevailed.

Both Stoker and Chopin uses several literary techniques in Dracula and The Awakening, including prefiguration, symbolism and imagination that reveals the Otherness in Dracula and Edna in their difference in cardinal ways from the society attach toing them. Through disingenuous imagination and linguistic communication that convey perceptive descriptions and thoughts, characters and scenes in both novels come to life, doing a graphic reading experience.

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Role Of The Other In Dracula English Literature Essay. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/role-of-the-other-in-dracula-english-literature-new-essay

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