The concept of identity in novels is one which is portrayed by the philosophies of the author as well as the cultural and social affiliations of the time. There are specific concepts that are associated with different novels to define the time frame…
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A novel which portrays this concept is Dracula by Bram Stoker. This novel is able to create a sense of identity through theories that were known while the book was being written in the late 1900s. Two of the theories that Stoker calls on are feminism and Marxism. These two theories are displayed through the plot, characters and results which occur through the book. The ability to create an understanding of these movements is able to further define concepts of identity while challenging the divisions in society in terms of feminist and Marxist thought.
This research paper will examine the movements of feminism and Marxism and how these were opposed in the novel of Dracula. The author creates an understanding that the changing identities in the political and social movements would lead to a downfall in society and would create opposition. The author is able to show that, while the philosophies of these movements would be aesthetically pleasing, there was an undertone that would lead to difficulties within society. By creating an understanding of the horror which would be caused through the social movements, there is a link to individuals holding onto the Romantic ideals and the purity of the past instead of moving into the modern approaches. Examining this with the relationships to feminism, Marxism and the psychoanalytical approach the author takes creates a thorough understanding of the philosophies taking place in society at the time. Historical Affiliations with Dracula The basis of Dracula is regarded as one that is affiliated with the novel based on drama and terror through the main character. The character of Dracula is known to haunt those that come into contact with him through trapping them in his castle or torturing and murdering them with different concepts. However, the context that this book is written in moves beyond the horror and drama that is often associated with the book. It is also known that the author had a specific link to the cultural context of the time, specifically which was prevalent in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The concepts were first based on the shift into modernism as well as the older concepts which applied to this, such as the Gothic. The descriptions and approach that Stoker uses is defined by relating to others in a bizarre form, similar to the Gothic style. However, the modernist cultural context relates this to the changing beliefs in relationships between the sexes and the need to change concepts such as social class that were emerging at the time. Combining the emerging philosophies of the time frame then created a different understanding of the book which links directly to the anthropology of the culture at this time frame (Riquelme, 585). The concepts which are associated with the history of Dracula then become important not only in defining the drama and horror that was a part of the Gothic period. More important, was Stoker’s desire to create an analysis of cultural identity of the time and how this led to some of the horrors of the time. This linked to many of the changes occurring at the time in Europe, specifically beginning with political changes that were moving to revolts and the desire to have freedom for the common man. The state that was being created was based on socialism, where everything was owned by a more powerful individual and in which others were subjected to the problem. The policies which were created then led to questions about identity and the social state of individuals, specifically with women having the same rights as men and workers being able to overcome the political states in society. The cultural identity
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