Bloggin' Bout Drac

The Fearsome Vampire

Abraham Stoker...

Abraham Stoker, or Bram for short, was the author of the classic horror novel Dracula. Bram was born November 8, 1847 in Dublin Ireland. Bram was a novelist who specialized in gothic fiction and romantic fiction. Even though he was of Irish decent Bram was a British citizen. Dracula is by far his most famous piece of work however he has many other notable pieces. Bram was married to Florence Balcombe, she was also an author. Bram died on April 20, 1912 in his house in Britain. Bram was 64 years old when he passed. Abraham Stoker's legacy lives on through his novel Dracula.

Setting

The setting of the novel Dracula takes place in England and Eastern Europe in the late nineteenth century. More specifically, the characters are at Dracula's castle in a town called Transylvania. Towards the middle/end of the book the characters move to a town called Whitby, which is in Great Britain. The setting of this book is unique because it has a different setting for different points on conflict during the book. Meaning: while all of this action is taking place in Transylvania, the other characters are in England facing issues of their own. The setting and geography of this book is proven to be very important when Stoker begins the first line of the novel with a complaint about a late train (the train being part of the geography).

Major Issues

The first major issue that the text highlights throughout the novel is the idea of modernity or the idea that new sciences are pushing the old religions and the "old school" ways to do things out. The books setting in this case is important because in the beginning of the novel the setting is in Transylvania, more specifically, Dracula's Castle, which is a more Gothic and has an older look to it. As the novel runs its course, you find yourself in a setting of a much more modern London. In this more up to date London, Van Helsing is the only one that allows himself to understand both the new medical advances as well as indulging himself in the ancient legends and non-Western folk remedies. Another major issue in the story is that of religion in the novel more specifically Christianity. Dracula, being as old as Jesus when he walked the Earth, is a completely satanic figure, mostly seen in his appearance with pointy ears, fangs, and flaming eyes. The best characteristic that Dracula brings however, is that of his need for blood. This need for blood is a reversal of a Christian ritual which prolongs physical life but does not allow him to have any spirit. Anyone that finds themselves under Dracula's spell gets eternal physical life but not eternal spiritual life. Later on in the novel, the un-dead get a Christian promise of salvation where their souls are given back to them. For instance, Lucy when she dies for the second time, she transforms into a vision of "unequalled sweetness and purity" as her soul is restored to her. Thus, coming to the BIG MAJOR issue that this diabolical vampire, Dracula, preys on a group of English and American people and threatens their society until Dracula is destroyed and the group rids his evil form the Earth.

How our culture would address this issue?

The modernity movement that took place over the course of the novel is the underlying issue within the text. Modernity has and always will be a touchy subject because it forces you to question what you believe. Every person within our culture has their own unique set of opinions and beliefs that they have acquired through experiences in their own life. A topic that almost everyone debates today is gay-rights. People who think more traditionally in the United States tend to side against gay-rights, for it says in the Bible that being homosexual is a sin. On the other hand, people who think more modernly in the United States advocate for gay-rights, because who is anyone to tell a person they can't love someone of the same sex? In the year 2000, there was only one state in the U.S where gay marriage was legal, Vermont. However, the amount of traditional gay-right thinkers has decreased exponentially over the past decade. We know this because there are now 37 states in the U.S that allow gay marriage, 7 states that have pending appeals, and only 6 states that don't recognize gay marriage. This is modernity at work.

How does the culture of our text address the issue?

There are many themes of homosexuality and incest in the novel of Dracula. Although it is a horror novel there are many themes of this laced in the background. Many consider it to even be pornographic in nature. There are three sisters who engage in incest and many think that Van Helsing and Johnathan Harker's relationship seems to be homosexual somewhat in nature. The text does not comment on this so the issue seems to be considered okay.

Solutions to the Issue

In this day and age, technology is becoming very advanced and other sciences are leaving doubt for religion. Recently, there was a story in Asia about cloning dogs. Which will eventually lead to cloning humans. Genesis 1:26-27 asserts that man is created in God’s image and likeness and is unique among all creations. Clearly, human life is something to be valued and not treated like a commodity to be bought and sold. Now, most Christians do not believe in this because it is not "the right way". Cloning humans has been a popular topic in religious affairs because of the new sciences and technology. Isaiah 49:1-5 speaks of God calling Isaiah to his ministry as a prophet while he was still in his mother’s womb. Also, John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit while he was still in the womb (Luke 1:15). All of this points to the Bible’s stand on life beginning at conception. In light of this, human cloning, with its destruction of human embryos, would not be consistent with the Bible’s view of human life.

The last major issue of the story is Dracula's quest to make the world a worse place. It is the true "Good vs. Evil" story line. With this being one of the most known and liked stories, the reader tends to think, "Why has John Harker stayed with Dracula for so long and how has he not noticed that this man is insane?". Dracula represents all evil from the past, present, and future. Just like the terrifying terrorist group "ISIS", everyone fears these people. These evil acts that both group perform are very similar. Killing people to make a statement or just to do it is what they both live for. Obviously, everything must come to an end. One day, "ISIS" will be gone such as Dracula.


Parts in the Whole!!!! YEAH!!!!

Jon Harker in the beginning of the novel, finds himself not in a real estate transaction but in the deep depths of Dracula's evil. Jon Harker does not realize until later that his time at Castle Dracula is a part of Dracula's plan to unleash his evil to the world. Also, Dracula makes Lucy ill of his evil and eventually she turns into a vampire. Dracula's intentions, were good, but all for not, because Van Helsing and company mercifully destroy Lucy and give her back eternal life. Dracula realizes that his plan is diminishing, running away, trying to escape his known death. Val Helsing and comrades chase Dracula throughout Eastern Europe and eventually find him and give him the death he deserves to rid him and his evil from this Earth.

Alan's Individual Questions

  1. Working together in a lit circle group was very helpful. It helped me to become more open minded and understanding. Whenever we met each class it was good to see others views on stuff so as to better and more fully understand the novel we were reading.

  2. Collaboration in our lit. circle group with having multiple perspectives was also very helpful to all of us. We all had different views on the same things in the novel so when we all came together and discussed that it helped me to understand more of what I was reading.

  3. Reading British Literature allows me to better understand the human experience because we are reading novels from people in a different culture from ours

  4. I think Dracula should be included in a British Literature curriculum. I think this because it is a very thrilling and entertaining novel. It also shows a different culture from ours effectively and entertaining way.

Alex's Individual Questions

  1. Working together in a Lit. Circle group has allowed me to become a more effective learner and thinker by making me collaborate with others and form a group opinion about our book. We had to work together to form our blog, lit circle jobs, and weekly summaries. This Lit. Circle has taught me how to work with others and take constructive criticism to be a better learner and thinker.

  2. Collaboration in our Lit. Circle incorporated to multiple perspectives in our answers because each member of the group had different views on the book. We discussed our beliefs and how the book came across to each other. The Lit. Circle gave us a multi- perspective project from all of our different viewpoints.

  3. Reading British literature has allowed me to better understand the human experience by giving a new perspective on authors from a different part of the world. Brit. Lit has a distinct style and I have noticed it is vastly different from the pieces in America.

  4. I believe Dracula should be included in the Brit. Lit curriculum because it’s a classic. Dracula embodies what Brit. Lit is all about and provides that distinct style British Literature uses.

MJ's Individual Questions

  1. In my crazy Lit Group circle, I’ve learned to be a more effective learner by doing all of my assignments and collaborating with my partners so that I can learn more as well. My partners and I worked very well with communicating with each other and knowing what we needed to accomplish. I needed Dakota to help me with my part in the blog, so we talked about what we needed to write and how it would make our blog better.

  2. While reading Dracula, my group and I explained each of our own lit circle jobs to each other after we did our own so we could be more informed on the chapters and to grasp a better understanding of the chapters. It helps more because everyone is involved and talking.

  3. The human experience through British Literature is achieved by reading these books because it shows their side of the story and how life was back in the day. We have read and learned about many things in their respect societies. These people all had a different outlook which definitely made me change mine.

  4. Dracula should be included in Brit Lit curriculum because it is a great story with many things to learn from it. Such as the “good vs. evil”, religion, and style of british literature. This is one of the classics and should be in Brit Lit forever.

Michaels Individual Questions

In my opinion working together in a lit circle group helps a lot with learning about and understanding the book. I believe this to be true because there were many parts of the book that I didn’t understand but with my group being able to read the same book and help, it gave me a much clearer understanding of what was actually happening. Also, being able to interact with the text and do the assignments that came with being in a lit circle, it helped me understand and comprehend the text better.


Collaboration of the team I was in was a big part in the experience of reading the book. Aside from the help with mechanics and what not, it offered many different perspectives. A lot of times I went into class with a certain opinion or view of the text, and then came out with a new thought due to the help of my group mates. Four brains is better than one.


Reading British literature is very helpful and beneficial to learn about the human culture. Most of the people in America are decedents of the British and could learn a lot from reading things written in their culture. A lot of the human experience is the culture and based of the experiences of the British. It says a lot about where we come from and how we established our culture.


Yes the book should be included in British literature. It is a vital part of British literature and it has many key points of the culture in it. It teaches about patience, evil, and fantasy. Kids would be missing out on not only an enjoyable read, but also many lessons from this book if it wasn’t included In the British curriculum.


Dakota's Individual Questions

Individual Questions

1. Working together in a lit circle group allowed me to become a more effective learner and thinker because I was able to collaborate with the rest of my collogues about the conflicts and themes of the novel Dracula. I was able to learn better with a group of people because not only was I able to learn how other people think while reading a novel but there was a lot of fun involved which made reading a long novel much better than it seemed. I was able to be a better thinker by communicating my thoughts with my group mates and vice versa. Overall it was a great experience.

2. Collaborating in each class after reading new chapters gives different perspectives about Dracula to each of the group members. This is important because each person in the group has different views on the issues that arise in the novel Dracula. This gives other group members more ideas to expand their thinking, add to their ideas, and make a more complex and better solution to the issues in the novel.

3. Reading British literature allows me to better understand human experience in the older times, for example the setting of Dracula and Beowulf. It gives me a different view on how they lived, ate, and went on with their daily life. I contrast this view on how I live my life everyday and realize that I, in some situations, take my life for granted. Reading British literature this year gave me a good perspective on how I should change the way I live my life.

4. I think Dracula should be included to the curriculum if there was time in the curriculum for a novel that gives the reader some good themes and issues to think upon but Dracula is not a novel to dwell on secret themes that are interlocked with other themes ext. Dracula is a “fun” read, which compared to reads like Hamlet where Shakespeare ties themes into themes.

Cole's Individual Questions

  1. Working together in a lit circle group allows you to become a more effective learner because you get to see different perspectives on the novel. Someone may notice something that you don’t and vice versa.


  1. Collaboration in a lit circle group creates meaning when each member of the group discusses their perspectives on the issue. When 5 people each read the same book and have a complete different understanding of it, you learn a lot more about the text. Also, it’s easier to retain information this way because you’re cutting the work into 5 parts.


  1. For the most part, british literature uses irrational situations and characters to address the issues of that time. There are deeper truths hidden within the text that the reader must identify in order to understand what the author is trying to get across.


  1. Dracula should be used in the british literature curriculum because it is a great representation of the traditional vs modern way of thinking. It gives the reader a sense of what it was like to live during that time period.