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Gothic Romance: Bram Stokers Dracula - Term Paper Example

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The author of the paper analyzes and describes Count Dracula who is portrayed by Bram Stoker as a well-educated and hospitable elderly gentleman, who, as the story unfolds, is later revealed to possess the supernatural powers and a diabolical character…
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Gothic Romance: Bram Stokers Dracula
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Download file to see previous pages The tale is one of horror, religiosity, and superstition, as well as sexual and racial undertones that outwardly comply but inwardly defy the norms of the period.

Early in the 17th century, society and literature still retained a certain frankness, where sexual practices had little need of secrecy, words were not unduly guarded, and there was “a tolerant familiarity with the illicit” and “when bodies ‘made a display of themselves.’”1 This atmosphere of permissiveness changed, however, during the Victorian era in the nineteenth century. At this time, the concept of sexuality shifted from being one of entertainment to one of functionality. Acceptable sex was confined to the marital bed, between legitimate husband and wife whose duty is to procreate. The writing of the period was one of “verbal decency” and a “general and studied silence” on the matter of sex.2 The hypocrisies of the period compelled society to make some concessions. There was tolerance of illegitimate sexualities in brothels and similar establishments, the clandestine trysting places between prostitutes and their clients.3 Similarly, in the field of literature, the reference to the illicit sexual act is coded in suggestive phrases and images which outwardly comply with the restrictions of the period.4

Aside from the repression of explicitly illicit sex, Victorian norms likewise maintained an attitude of overt racism and low regard for races and nationalities other than that of England. According to Victorian literature and the pseudoscience of the times, the Irish, Blacks, and members of the lower classes and other inferior races were seen as (1) unreasonable, irrational and easily excited; (2) having no religion but only superstition; (3) criminal, having no respect for private property or no notion of property; (4) excessively sexual; (5) filthy; (6) sharing physical qualities; and (7) inhabitants of unknown dark lands or territories.   ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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