English 4 H
3 April 2019
Dracula: Good vs. Evil
In the Victorian Era, it was strongly believed that a person was either fully evil or fully good. The difference between right and wrong in this time was drastic and was viewed in a highly religious sense. There was no “in between” or belief that everyone is born with a slight evil side as there is in modern day. In Bram Stoker’s Dracula, good and evil were portrayed as polar forces with an “either or” mindset with absolutely no in between.
Dracula was basically considered an Antichrist in the time of Bram Stoker. Most people during this time were extremely religious and any ungodly soul was thought to be satanic. For example, Dracula was injured if he came in contact with a holy item such as a crucifix. This proves that he was an evil being as the opposite of him would be labeled holy. Anyone trying to get rid of the evil that Dracula portrays were the good guys. This perfectly describes Van Hesiling’s Crew of Light who were also known as the vampire hunters. A group of humans trying to defeat an evil monster is a solid representation of the religious beliefs in victorian times.
In addition to contrasting good and evil, there are many examples portrayed of how good was influenced by evil. Mina Harker was a pure, young woman who symbolized good exactly how it was to people in this era. Van Helsing states, “She is one of God's women, fashioned by His own hand to show us men and other women that there is a heaven where we can enter, and that its light can be here on earth. So true, so sweet, so noble, so little an egoist- and that, let me tell you, is much in this age, so skeptical and selfish.”
Although, Dracula’s evil forces were cast onto her in many ways. She was bitten by him many times, forced to drink his blood and had her skin burned by a communion wafer. She was completely taken over by Dracula’s evil spirit up until his death when she finally recovered.
Purity was an equally important factor in the views of evil. Purity was aligned with good while sexualized females were aligned with evil. Another one of Dracula’s Victims, Lucy Westenra, was pure, kind and loved others. Men were very attracted to her good and pure soul as she was proposed to by 3 men in one day. Evil does not miss contact with her though and caused violent changes in her and her behavior. Her fooling appearance made the evil in her even more substantial because on the outside, she looked like her normal self. Evil is taken to a whole new level when is is disguised as something good. All of the good men once saw in her completely vanished and she became sexualized. This in turn, was a form of evil. An example of Lucy becoming sexually aggressive is as stated, “She still advanced, however, and with a languorous, voluptuous grace, said: ’Come to me Arthur. Leave these others and come to me. My arms are hungry for you. Come, and we can rest together. Come, my husband, come!’”