Dracula by Bram Stoker Research Proposal

Pages: 3 (1114 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 8  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Literature

¶ … origins of Dracula and the various influences on its author have been the subject of numerous texts, treatises and analyses over the years, but it is clear that the period in history in which it was penned had much to do with its subject matter. For instance, in her introduction to a recent edition of Bram Stoker's classic, Dracula, Ellman (1996) reports that, "Only recently have critics begun to acknowledge the novel's enduring power not only as a gripping horror story but as a symptom of the terrors of its age" (viii). Indeed, there was much to terrorize the populace at the end of the 19th century when the tale was penned. In this regard, Ellman emphasizes that, "Since the 1970s . . . Dracula his been read as an allegory of empire, of monopoly capital, of female emancipation, and of closeted homosexuality. Vampirism has been linked to the syphilis scare that gripped the popular imagination at the fin de siecle" (viii). In addition, innovations in undertaking and embalming during this period in history were influential on Stoker's perception of the so-called "Undead" as they laid in their coffins (Scandura 1996:18). It is also clear that Stoker enjoyed several real-life models upon which to base his characters. For example, according to Glover (1996), "Stoker is a writer who stands at the center of a number of conflicted and conflicting currents. Stoker's middle-class Irish Protestant origins provided him with models of respectability and penury that remained with him all his life" (9).Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Research Proposal on Dracula by Bram Stoker Assignment

Although Stoker enjoyed a number of real-world models that he could use in his characterizations, he was also apparently a meticulous researcher concerning details that would lend an air of authenticity to his work. For instance, according to Senf (2002), "Stoker was fortunate to have experiences that he could translate easily into literature, but he also apparently spent a great deal of time doing research to make certain that his details were accurate" (60). In this regard, Glover notes that one of the texts that Stoker consulted while researching Dracula was Major E.C. Johnson's On the Track of the Crescent: Erratic Notes from the Piraeus to Pesth (34). Likewise, Leatherdale analyzed the research Stoker performed on the sea in his work, The Origins of Dracula and notes that, "Stoker's enthusiasm for naval folklore is reflected in his source notes. During his visits to Whitby he recorded conversations with fishermen and coastguards and took note of several shipwrecks, including that of the Russian schooner Dimetry in 1885. He records the Beaufort windscale and other meteorological information taken from Robert Scott's Fishery Barometer Manual" (160). Other authorities cite Leatherdale's seminal work as well. For example, Frost (1989) reports that, "In his detailed analysis, the author considers the folkloric and historical background of the novel, and describes the development of the vampire legend in Europe. . . . The text of the novel is analyzed in terms of its pervasive and powerful sexual symbolism, its Freudian overtones, its religious themes, its relationship to occult and literary myths, and its significance as a political and social allegory" (33).

Given its enormous impact on Western culture since its publication, it is not surprising that such a wide range of interpretations would be attributed to the novel. A careful examination of Stoker's own thoughts on the subject, though, suggest that… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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