Sample Book Review Paper on Representation of the Alien in the novel Dracula

Written by Bram Stoker, Dracula is an 1897 classic gothic horror novel that was
established under the conventions of vampirism. The novel introduces the character of Count
Dracula to the readers based on nobility and the autocracy of the past centuries. Dracula, as the
primary character is portrayed both the archetypal and a prototypical vampire exhibiting hybrid
adaptations that surpass that of humans. Unlike other vampires who are portrayed as corpse-like
creatures, Stoker introduces Dracula as a villain character possessing transformative abilities
such that he can transform into a simple person while being in the public. Such a representation
suggests that he fits into Cohen's monster theory under thesis III which states that monster is the
harbinger of category crisis that can be viewed as a normal being to those who do not know
about him. Through analysis, it is, therefore, imperative to understand the very concept of
vampirism in to gain insights into the actual representation of the alien in the novel.
Throughout the novel, a vampire is portrayed as a contradictive figure; a blood-sucking
creature that crawls in the darkness and on the other hand, a strange human being with potent
sexuality. However, Stoker utilizes the figure of vampire as indiscreet warning shorthand for
many of the fears that haunted individuals during the late-Victorian Britain era. It is in the novel
that both superstitions and folklore are set against the scientific rationale, which also means that
modern London is set against the old London; and the ideologies raised by traditionalists

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concerning civilized restraints are, however, threatened by the broadened facts of corruption
across these regions as well as wanton depravity. For example, Dracula’s abilities to roam
around the streets of London without being noticed while carrying the potentials to cause trouble
and having the mindset of vampirism represents the late-Victorian fears of unrestricted
immigration. There was fear among the people that such immigrations would contribute to the
rise of crime rates as well as the emergence of ghetto communities. In the novel, Dracula also
sets numerous lairs that also contributed to the rise of murder cases. For instance, the creation of
Whitechapel lair enabled Jack Ripper to participate in a variety of unlawful killings in 1888.
Furthermore, according to the Jewish community, the story of Jack Ripper paved the way for
more other cases of murder within the Jewish Ghetto. Their secretive ways of living nurtured
unresolved murder cases among the Jews which sparked fear among them. Such kinds of fear
that were mirrored by Dracula contributed to the implementation of the Alien Act of 1995 which
was purposefully introduced to curb unnecessary immigration around the eastern parts of
Also, the act of vampirism explained throughout the novel which also carries the notion
of tainted blood represents the fear that individuals had over sexually transmitted diseases as well
as the moral decay that was believed to have afflicted the societies on the whole of 18 th Century.
Such implications are evidently presented towards the last chapter of the novel where Stoker uses
Mania, the character who was portrayed to have moral standings, sees 'The Count is a criminal,
and of the criminal type, Nordau and Lombroso would so classify him' (ch. 25). Such claims
indicate that the moral decay of the society was brought Count Dracula and Stoker was
deliberately aligning moral corruption, criminality, and perverse with Count Dracula. In another
context, the novel tends to present the mythical concepts of vampires as a sexual allegory where

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the virtues of females with English origin are menaced by alien predators. For example, Dracula
focuses all of his attention to Mina instead of Lucy Westenra. Mina was a character who
symbolically loved to spend all of her time nursing her sick husband, but on the other hand, Lucy
Westenra was portrayed as a beautiful woman, who is, by contrast, more dangerous in all her
doings. However, both Lucy and Mina are seemingly at risk as the Dracula recommends when
he distinctly insults Van Helsing and his adherents by saying ‘Your girls that you all love are
mine already’ (ch. 23). Amid the course of the book Dracula assaults both Mina and Lucy; but
Mina, due to the conventional Victorian qualities of assurance and devotion towards her spouse
is able to stand up to his propels.
In addition, Dracula’s desire to fuse with other male counterparts evokes the notion of
erotic same-sex relations. Through the novel, one of the characters called Jonathan is, however,
the only victim who was prone to vampirism because he was the only person threatened by
Dracula. His homoerotic need is the preeminent express when he intercedes and chases away his
indecent daughter-wives when they were about to make a move on Jonathan by attacking him.
Stoker highlighted how Dracula claimed the price as he stated that “this man belongs to me!”
(43). Such implications indicate that homosexuality had manifested the whole of the city and that
the dominance of an alien surpasses that of regular humans in terms of desire for possession.
Studies have also indicated that Jonathan appreciates a female lack of involvement whereas
anticipating the entrance of the vampirisms, which involves the subversion of the ordinary
Victorian sexual orientation codes. However, it is interesting to note that female vampires in the
novel have not been given the ability to reproduce and that the Transylvanian vampire can only
transform women. Again, this marks the same-sex desire that has been built in a society
composed of anxious gender culture.

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Throughout the novel, Stoker portrays vampires as more superior creatures than ordinary
humans. He uses the scene where Dracula announces to Professor Van Helsing, Dr. Seward, and
Quency that “your girls that you all love are mine already; and through them, you and others
shall yet be mine – my creature, to do my bidding and to be my jackals when I want to feed"
(CH. 23 p5). While women are perceived as a means to conduct aliens' homosexual intentions
based on men’s’ transgressiveness, the whole of the 19 th Century. However, Stoker proved that
Vampires usually attacked people regardless of their gender which means that they are
portraying the character of animalistic creatures. In another context, various pundits have
contended that Stoker utilizes Lucy’s characteristics to assault the concept of the Modern Lady,
which is, however, a term coined during the Victorian period to portray ladies who were taking
advantage of recently accessible instructive to break free from the mental and social restrictions
forced upon them by the society that has been dominated by male. Those who took a threatening
state of mind towards the Modern Lady saw her either as a mannish mental or, planning to the
inverse extraordinary, an over-sexed vamp. Stoker certainly depicts Lucy as racially ‘forward’ in
her wants. At one point Lucy three proposition of marriage on the same day and comments, as
she laments have to turn down two of the proposition. Stoker writes “Some of the ‘New
Women’ writers will someday start an idea that men and women should be allowed to see each
other asleep before proposing or accepting. But I suppose the ‘New Woman’ won’t condescend
in future to accept. She will do the proposing herself. And a nice job she will make of it too!
There’s some consolation in that. (Stoker, 75)
In another context, it is arguable that Stoker believed that the violent life that Vampires
live can also be changed if they are exposed to religious concepts and materials. He wrote that “I
had cut myself slightly […] and the blood was trickling over my chin. […] When the Count saw

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my face, his eyes blazed with a sort of demoniac fury, and he suddenly made a grab at my throat.
I drew away and his hand touched the string of beads that held the crucifix. It made an instant
change in him, for the fury passed so quickly that I could hardly believe that it was ever there
(Stoker, 23). Such claims indicate that aliens can also be changed and their ways can be reshaped
by the religious concepts and their fundamentals. Also, Stoker portrayed vampires as creatures
that require material things such as land and so forth. They are also selfish just like the way
regular humans are. One of the instances is that Dracula was mandated to learn English so that he
can acquire new lands by possessing them legally. That is why he failed in everything after he
was unable to learn English and after he tried to use force in order to acquire land. Stoker writes
“The Count is a criminal and of criminal type “he went back to his own country from the land he
had tried to invade, and thence, without losing purpose, prepared himself for a new effort. He
came again better equipped for his work and won. So he came to London to invade a new land.
He was beaten, and when all hope of success was lost, and his existence in danger, he fled back
over the sea to his home. […] Then, as he is criminal he is selfish. And as his intellect is small
and his action is based on selfishness, he confines himself to one purpose” (Stoker, 285).
In summation, Vampires have been portrayed as creatures that can also live like regular
people. Stoker introduces Dracula as a villain character possessing transformative abilities such
that he can transform into a simple person while being in the public. Throughout the novel,
Dracula’s abilities to roam around the streets of London without being noticed represent the late-
Victorian fears of unrestricted immigration. Additionally, Stoker portrays vampires as more
superior creatures than ordinary humans including their mythical concepts which are based on a
sexual allegory where the virtues of females with English origin are menaced by alien predators.

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Work Cited
Stoker, Bram. Dracula. Broadview Press, 1997.