Dracula Theme of Technology and Modernization
Bram Stoker seems to have been obsessed with the latest technologies. If he were alive now, he'd be that guy who makes sure he's first in line to get the newest iPod. He makes a big point of having his characters use really up-to-date (for 1897) gadgets for communication – Jack Seward, for example, records his diary on a phonograph, which is an early recording device. All the high-tech gadgets contrast strongly with the superstitions and ancient traditions surrounding Dracula himself.
Questions About Technology and Modernization
- What kinds of technology appear most frequently in Dracula? Why do you think that is?
- If technology is so important to the success of the Crew of Light, why does the technology sometimes fail? Think about, for example, Van Helsing's telegram to Seward that was delayed, the trains that don't run on time, and the blood transfusions that fail to save Lucy's life.
- If you were writing a modern, 21st-century adaptation of Dracula, what kinds of technology would you include?
- What is the role of history in Dracula? Tradition? Superstition? How does history impact or influence the present?
- Which is more powerful in Dracula: technology and modernization, or history and the past?
Chew on This
If Dracula represents the distant past, his invasion of Great Britain could be read as an allegory for the way that history can come back to haunt the present.
The technology in Dracula gives the Crew of Light an advantage over Dracula, yet those technologies fail at crucial moments: in the end, it's only through the use of relatively primitive weapons and rituals based in superstition that the men are able to defeat the vampire.