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Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Foreignness and 'the Other'

One of the things that makes Dracula so scary (besides the blood-sucking, of course) is that he's foreign. Some critics think of Dracula as a kind of allegory about the collapse of British imperial...

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...

Sex

If you think that some of the descriptions of vampirism in Dracula seem creepily sexy, you're not alone. Most of the characters in Dracula are simultaneously attracted to and repulsed by the idea o...

Marriage

Mina and Jonathan Harker are the only real married couple in Dracula. Yet the idea of marriage comes up pretty frequently. The questions of who should have the power in a marriage, and what the rol...

Drugs and Alcohol

Some literary critics, like Susan Zieger, have described vampirism as being analogous to addiction (see "Best of the Web" for a link to Zieger's book). After all, vampires could be said to be "addi...

Passivity

In the world of Dracula, being passive can get you into a lot of trouble. If you think something is fishy, or you aren't feeling quite right, you'd better say something. Staying quiet, or assuming...

Gender

There's a lot of talk in this novel about the ideal roles of men and women. Men are supposed to be strong, brave, and decisive, and women are supposed to be sweet, pure, and innocent. Of course, th...

Good vs. Evil

The vampire Dracula is pretty unambiguously evil. The members of the Crew of Light, the group dedicated to destroying Dracula, are unambiguously good. Sure, each of them makes mistakes – they...
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