Notations on Victorian Morality, Religion and Description.
Victorian Morality – A set of values linked with sexual restraint, low tolerance of crime and social ethics – Dracula links well with the ideas of sexual restraint, for example when Harker restrains himself away from the sexual temptations from Dracula’s wives. Dracula, arguably a sexual predator – (linking back to the ideas of Freud), the exchange of bodily fluids (blood in Dracula’s case), the idea of penetration from one personal to another (from the fangs).
Tolerance of crime – The lack of tolerance the team has to allow Dracula to commit such crimes. The idea that they all work together in order to bring Dracula down, putting their own lives at risk.
The idea of British society clashing with Dracula’s culture in Transylvania - (with the suggestion of lower class gypsies etc. Being used) During the Victorian morality there is the idea of dignity and restraint in Victorian society, but underneath there is the contrast of child labour and prostitution. This links to Dracula and his hierarchy nature as a ‘Count’, but his underlying animalistic temperament.
Religion morality – The idea that the Church’s power was more prominent in rural areas rather than industrial ones. Linking to Dracula, the inner city provided less danger from the church (out of fear of crosses and being hunted etc), the inner city may be a safe environment for him. Dracula may also favour it due to the larger population. (If he kills someone they are more likely to go un-missed, targets are easier, more choice, more places to hide etc.)
There is also further emphasis on the ‘crisis of faith’ – Religion being undermined by Charles Darwin’s natural selection theory, uprooting people’s belief systems. Stoker could arguably be combating this – As Dracula’s downfall is due to people belief, however this could be ironic as he is writing a fictional novel consisting of vampires and strong elements of the supernatural.
Description - The idea of ‘proper’ reference use in Literature. The sexual restraint theme again emerges. We must use the word ‘limb’ as opposed to ‘leg’. (However arguably contradicted by Queen Victoria’s erotic artistic collections and her indulgence in eroticism exchanged with her husband. Seems to be a facade. Links once again to Dracula – his dignified character on the outside, very formal and controlled. Demonstrated through his use of formal language, “Enter freely and of your own will”. Yet his animalistic qualities are beneath this.
The idea of homosexuality in Britain being considered as a sin in religion. This could be linked to the idea of un restrained sexuality in Dracula – as Dracula feeds on men as well as women, links to the idea of a man penetrating a man.