Dracula was written in 1897 by an Anglo-Irish writer named Bram Stoker. It was written in the gothic period at the end of the 19th century, this period effected the way the book was written and I will look at how it did this later in the essay. This is the same period as when other books like Women in white and Frankenstein were written. All 3 of these books were written using a multi narrative structure. Multi-narrative is when a book is made up of many peoples opinions and views, they tell us the story, mainly in diary entries and newspaper extracts.
The narrative is provided by Dracula’s foes, this means we only see one point of view and that is the one of his enemies so he is always portrayed to us as “wicked” and “evil”. This causes us to only hear a biased opinion of the events that took place. The book is mainly aimed at the British audience, we can see this because the many foreign characters that are in the story are not used in the book very much. This is because in Victorian society foreigners were looked down on by the English people. This is part of the reason why Dracula is portrayed badly because he is from Transylvania.
Anti Hero Essay Sample
Dracula and how is he shown to be an anti-hero? Dracula and how is he shown to be an anti-hero? Dracula and how is he shown to be an anti-hero?
The multi-narrative structure is used to make the story more believable and to make Dracula appear in the worst possible light, the multi-narrative affects how Dracula is portrayed because he has no narrative so we cannot see him from any other point of view apart from that of his enemies. I believe Stoker wrote the book in this context to make the story more credible and plausible. Bram Stoker used multi-narrative because it was conventional of gothic literature, it also makes the whole story more believable and it discredits Dracula because he doesn’t get any narrative so he is seen in a bad way by us.
I believe it is true to say that Dracula is portrayed unfairly because of the multi-narrative. He is described as “evil” and “devilish” by Jonathon and Mina Harker. Stoker uses imagery to make Dracula seem so menacing and evil to us, words such as “pointy white fangs” and “tall ghostly figure” make us think of him as some kind of monster. He also uses binary oppositions such as good and evil to show a clear divide between the count and the rest of the characters. Dracula is portrayed as an anti-hero in many ways, one of which is the way he has so many feminine features.
These show us a different side of him as apposed to his monstrous side described by Jonathon, Mina and co. One of these features is the way that Dracula does all the housekeeping jobs such as cooking, cleaning, making the bed and always making sure Jonathon is well looked after. Dracula always acts in a very sexual manner when he is talking to or around Jonathon. Stoker uses imagery here as well to depict to us an image of him being a more feminine man than he at first seems.
Phrases such as “bright red lips” make you think of feminine things as apposed to manly traits. Later on in the book when Mina becomes evil it shows Dracula in a better light than before. By demonizing Mina it makes Dracula seem better and an anti-hero. The book was written in a time when the 2 categories, masculine and feminine were being changed and redefined. An example of this is when Lucy is being staked to restore her back to her old self again.
At first this seems like a typical masculine thing to do but we could also look at it in another way.
Lucy is in a particularly velnerable state and needs to be rescued, much like the “traditional feminine, defenseless and frivolous Victorian lady”. These sexual roles are both portrayed in Dracula’s character as he has both of these attributes in his personality, The masculine way he kills people and the feminine traits he show whilst looking after Jonathon. The way he kills could possibly be seen as not very masculine though because he kills in a very seductive way by biting their neck. All of this helps to portray him as an anti-hero.
Some people might describe Dracula as being Androgynous which means that you are not of either sex. Bram Stoker was writing this book from a minority group, himself being Irish he would have been in the minority groups by living in England. Frankenstein’s author Mary Shelly was also a part of a minority group. This was often the case for writers in the gothic period. The gothic period was the time many horror books were written like Jekyll and Hyde and Women in White because they include things to do with gothic literature such as darkness, fear and the supernatural are all associated with this period.
The effect of Dracula’s lack of narrative is that, as I have already said, he is shown in the worst possible light and if he had some narrative then we would get to see him from another point of view instead of the biased opinion we have in the book. When I was reading the book I was picturing Dracula as an evil man and I had an image in my head of him as a vicious monster because of the way the narrative is done. On the rare occasions in the book when Dracula does actually speak during other peoples narrative he portrays himself as a very polite man but at the same time he seems to be very mysterious.
The way he behaves causes Jonathon to be weary of him and because some parts of the castle are locked it makes Jonathon think that the count has things to hide. Ultimately, Stoker has portrayed Dracula as a person who is androgynous (of neither sex) so he has been able to depict to us a picture of him from many angles, including a masculine side and the obvious feminine side he has. Therefore he has shown Dracula as an anti-hero. The multi-narrative structure helped Stoker to do this and also helped to portray him in a very bad way because the narrative was provided to us by his rivals.
The way he was portrayed to us made me react to Dracula as if he was the evil one, however as the novel went on the chain of events made me think of him less in this way and I began to see Mina, Jonathon, Van Helsing, Dr. Seward and co in a way that you should see that evil characters when they were actually meant to be the heroes.