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Dracula as Social Commentary

Dracula is a story published by Irish novelist Abraham Stoker in 1897. After its publication it capture the interests of many at that time and since then, the horror story has spawned novels and countless stories by numerous theatrical and film producers as well as cinematic adaptations. This novel is regarded by many as the most enduring Gothic vampire story that has ever been issued.

The original story of Dracula is set in England where a young English solicitor is sent to Transylvania to counsel a wealthy client (Dracula). During his stay of two months (in Dracula’s castle) the solicitor realizes very odd behaviors about Dracula. He notices that he sleeps in a coffin in a crypt beneath the castle during the day and at night he steals babies from the nearby town. The solicitor fears for his life and tries to escape from the castle where he has become a hostage. Dracula further turns one lady into a vampire who goes on an abduction mission and biting of children.

Dracula being interpreted as a straightforward horror movie later becomes the center of social critics as authors, novelists, theatres and movie producers began to explore themes in the novels. The themes such as repressed sexuality, which brought about different opinions in the society about the novel and the story, for example some critics asserted the biting and transformation of female victims from pure to sexually addicted should be considered a commentary on the attitude toward female in Victorian society.

Dracula in the 20th century lives as a super vampire character that is associated with power, total perfection, and ability to love, super human and a dangerous creature. Movies, novels, publications, journals and magazines all portray the social aspect of Dracula in our day to day lives and as such Dracula has found his way into the society, some even argue that magazines that are based on the story should not be read by children and nervous adults. Reasons for this are many to name only a few being: association with violence, there is an issue of cult and following. This shows that the social norm and morals have been affected quite a bit the character and the stories that surround him. Lastly the aspect of drinking blood has different meanings in our social life. People have different opinions about this; some of which are positive and others are quite the opposite of what is portrayed.