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Racist- 1. the belief that race accounts for the differences in human character or ability race is superior to others 2. Discrimination or prejudice based on race. (1) The above description of racism describes most of Bram Stoker’s Dracula novel. About a man moving to a different environment but finding out, that his presence is not welcome because of his differences.
This is also the case in Richard Matheson’s I am legend. Where one man is, the only human being left in the world and the rest are vampires. This story is the opposite of Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula.
Even though Dracula tried to fit into the environment by reading up on it. The books were of the most Varied kind-history, geography, Politics, political economy, botany, geology, Law-all relating to England and English Life and customs and manners.
(2) This shows that Dracula was so keen to fit in the English culture that he did not want to look different. This means he already knew he would face some racism once he moved. In I am legend Robert Neville never tried to adapt to the other kind.
He wanted to kill them instead. Someday I’ll get that bastard, he thought as he took a big swallow of the bitter drink. Someday I’ll knock a stake right through his goddamn chest.
‘ (3) This shows the hatred between the two different people. The vampires in the I am legend have put so much rage onto Robert Neville that he does not come out at night because he is scared the different people, ‘ “Come out, Neville! ” ‘ (4). This is in Roberts own area, yet in Dracula’s own country, he was obviously an important person,’ “I will have to be away till the afternoon. ” ‘ Showing he is a busy person. By this Dracula is a very important person.
He could be so important that some people are even scared of him. Jonathan Harker could see this through the gypsies he met. When I asked him if he knew Count Dracula, and could tell me anything of his castle, both he and his wife crossed themselves, and, saying that they knew nothing at all, simply refused to speak further. (5) Dracula’s appearance is also different to those in England. His face is described as: … aquiline, with high bridge of the thin nose and peculiarly forehead, and hair growing scantly round the temples, but profusely elsewhere.
(6) his mouth is described as ‘rather cruel-looking. ‘ (7). So Dracula’s appearance is different, hardly seen at daytime and comes from another country, he is treated differently. In I am legend Roberts appearance is different form the vampires so. He was a tall man, thirty-six, born of English-German stock, his features undistinguished except for the long, determined mouth and the bright blue of his eyes. (8) this could be another reason, which the vampires are after Robert. He is the only one who still has his natural looks unlike the diseased vampires.
While Dracula’s stay in England a woman named Lucy Westenra who sleep walks get found by one of her friends Mina Murray sitting on a bench with a dark figure with red eyes over Lucy. The Lucy becomes ill and pale and has two bite marks at her throat. Then after the illness she keeps on losing severe amounts of blood, finally dies, and becomes a vampire. Therefore, her own friends kill her. Yet, they blame Dracula because he is new in England and from another country, they blame him for the killings. However, they actually killed her.
The doctor in Dracula had a client named Reinfield who predicted that ‘the master’ (9) is arriving to England. Reinfield is attacked and killed. When I came to Reinfield’s room I found him lying on the floor on his left side in a glittering pool of blood. ‘ (10) From this death, they are convinced that Dracula had killed Reinfield. Even if someone did kill him, it could have been self-defence, because Reinfield has attacked before. When we closed in on him he fought like a tiger. He is immensely strong, and he was more like a wild beast than a man. (11)
Dracula has been treated very differently when comparing to his own country and in England =, was so different that he had to flee back to his own home knowing that he was not welcomed there because of his differences. Dracula is being victimised. Earlier in the book when Jonathan Harker stayed round at Dracula’s early on, he is treated very differently in Dracula’s home than in his own, showing different people are treated differently in other cultures. In I am legend when Robert meets a girl thinking that she is another human being like him but the girl is affected by the vampire disease, only partially.
She had to lead him to her people so he can be killed, this is because he is the only kind of person, ‘ “I am legend” ‘ (12) so they are scared of him, and must kill him. Robert Neville looked out over the new people of the earth. He knew he did not belong to them; he knew that, like vampires, he was anathema and black terror to be destroyed. (13) During the whole book if Dracula the hatred against Dracula grows against him because of his difference of appearance and culture. For all the murders in England, there has not been one with full 100% evidence that Dracula committed them. Yet is still blamed.
Bram Stoker was Irish and this book is about English people treated and reacting to other cultures. This book could show the real England and the racism in England in the past. Robert Neville is the last man on Earth… but he is not alone. Every man, woman and child on the planet has become a vampire, and they are hungry for Neville’s blood. (14) Bram Stoker’s Dracula is not the only novel showing racism in vampire stories, their a many films and other novels, such as the film ‘From Dusk till Dawn’, where the ‘normal good guys’ are the Americans and the Mexicans are the ‘evil’ vampires.
From Bram Stokers Dracula and Richard Matheson’s I am legend, it can be seen that not all countries are welcomed in different countries as Dracula and Robert Neville was treated differently in the different environments. Shiraz KHAN Is Dracula a racist novel?