In Bram Stroker’s notorious Gothic novel, Dracula, he attempts to clarify the life of the undead, at that point he keeps on disclosing how to murder these creatures of the night. There is a thin line between life and death of the characters in Dracula. The undead creatures are humans before becoming vampires and they have a life and story before they return undead. Besides Dracula being a monster, he has some human attributes such as, the craving to recover his family reputation. There are multiple series of events that build up the climax of the book. Jonathan’s arrival, the seduction and transformation of Lucy and Mina, Helsing’s investigations, etc. Through all these events, the biggest themes shown are the matter of life and death and good versus evil. Stoker generally presents good and evil as a conspicuous contrast in a straightforward manner. In the novel, Renfield is utilized to incite further idea about good and evil, and without a doubt needs to the reader to fear this hazy area itself. Stoker underlines this fear by using Renfield as a center man to make this vulnerability and unease about the powers for good and evil increasingly available to his readers.
The most remarkable topic surrounding the notorious vampire is mortality. Death and the chance of eternal life infiltrate the novel in its most gothic moments. The many themes in the novel, Dracula, include journaling, illness, religion, sexual purity, etc. Potential subjects can also be considered good versus evil, day versus night, and possibly, right versus wrong. These examples can truly be viewed as quite comparable in content. These are the most important themes of the novel. The clearest component all through Dracula is life versus death, this is shown through the characters, metaphorical language, and mental pictures. The characters portray life to begin with and when they become vampires, they portray death. Stoker additionally conveys the message throughout his novel that he does not accept that everything is either black or white.
There is a territory that is in the middle or what is called “the gray/hazy area”. Between life and death is the state of “undeadness”, known by Van Helsing. Dracula is a creature of the undead, whereas other characters in the novel float between the classes of living and dying. The primary human characters associate with essence of light, and Dracula associates with essence of the darkness. Lucy’s character falls in the gray area. She is trapped in between the light and darkness as she has attributes to both. The theme of life and death is a great representation of the novel due to how much it relates to other themes and characters.
An essential topic that I was constantly seeing all through Dracula, particularly in the subsequent half, is the relationship of life, body and soul. “How are we to get the life without getting the soul also?” (237). This is a central inquiry in the novel, since the Un-Dead are considered not alive, yet likewise not dead, and the spirit is seen as inherently ‘stuck’ in the body. If it is throughout everyday life, as Seward is suggesting in his inquiry, by what method can Dracula’s spirit be still inside his body if he is not alive? The objective that the men set for themselves is to free the spirit from the Undead body to ensure life and to look after it. The relationship of life to the body is additionally intricated by the portrayal of the Communion wafer as a blessed object that the Undead are frail against. The wafer represents “the Body of Christ” in Christianity. Mina is scorched by the Communion wafer, and therefore dismissed as a ‘real existence,’ since she is becoming one of the Undead. This labels her and all other Undead as not being ‘life’ and consequently not soul. When Dracula is murdered and his spirit, as far as anyone knows, is freed from the jail of his undead body, mina perceives that he is settled, which is the definitive objective of humanity in the view of Christianity.
The novel, Dracula, has its main theme based on the living, dying, and undead. Therefore, there are many quotes and examples about life and death, almost every chapter includes it. Dracula must kill others in order to live, he has the power to turn others into vampires by biting them. The vampire bite itself does not cause death. It is the strategy vampires use to drain blood of the human and to build their impact over them. “The Nosferatu do not die like the bees when they sting once. He is only stronger, and being stronger, have yet more power to work evil.” – Mina Harker’s journal, Chapter 18.
As Dracula slowly drains Lucy’s blood, she dies from blood loss and later transforms into a vampire, despite the efforts of Seward and Van Helsing to provide her with blood transfusions, Chapter 18. “As he spoke, he smiled, and the lamplight fell on a hard-looking mouth, with very red lips and sharp-looking teeth, as white as ivory. One of my companions whispered…’Denn die Todten reiten schnell’ (‘For the dead travel fast’)” – Stoker 1997: 17. In the scene cited above, Harker meets the mysterious driver who he finds has these terrible highlighting features. The reference that the driver makes is a hint of the puzzling position he is as a ‘vampire’. In the novel, the character Mina has been bitten by Dracula, and she has gradually succumbed to the blood of the vampire that courses in her veins. Exchanging back and forth from a state of awareness of a trance. Mina eventually utilizers her powerful abilities to follow Dracula’s movements under the sleep induction of Van Helsing – Chapters 22 & 23.
Life and Death has had a role on a few occasions including, Jonathan practically dying because Dracula wanted to drink his blood, Mina getting bit by Dracula, and Lucy going from an honest human to an awful vampire. In the beginning of the novel, Jonathan Harker barely escapes with his life from Dracula’s castle, and he ends up with a vampire-induced brain fever. Concurrently, Dracula arrives in England and straight away begins sucking the blood of Lucy Westenra. Lucy is then turned into a vampire; all her friends and lovers unite to kill her so she can die a natural death.
Dracula then turns to Mina and forces her to drink his blood, which allows him to control her and to also see his “thoughts”. Mina will eventually dramatically change into a vampire unless Dracula is killed. At some point the ‘Crew of Light’ catches Dracula before he reaches his castle. Quincey Morris gets injured, but he was able to help kill Dracula before dying an honorable death. To summarize, the entire plot of the novel, Dracula, is focused on the lives of the people, the death of many characters, and the undead that were once alive. The living includes of Helsing, Harker, Mina, Seward, and Arthur. The dying includes of Lucy, Mrs. Westenra, and Quincy Morris. The undead includes of Count Dracula, Lucy, and the three brides.
In the final analysis, life and death clearly play huge factors in this Gothic fiction. Stoker attempted to make this undeniable through the plot of the story. Lucy and Dracula are the characters who experience life, death, and undead since they are vampires. Renfield and Mina also experience those themes, yet not so much. The novel asserts that to proceed with the regular ways of living and dying the undead must be eliminated. Mina celebrates when Dracula, the antagonist of the novel, has his spirit released from his evil, inhumane body. In this novel and other comparative stories, Van Helsing represents forces for good fighting the forces of evil which is so faintly know and which not many people accept. The deaths and Van Helsing’s sad state illustrate how the malevolence of Dracula has influenced society negatively. The execution od Dracula speaks to the social triumph of white-collar class morality over the corrupt morality of the privileged. The virtue of the Count is revealed when the Dracula is liberated from the impact of the vampire structure.
To conclude, this fascinating novel has shown multiple themes in which is true in society then and now. Living, dying, and the undead make up for the entire story of Dracula due to the unfortunate mishaps that occurred.