How does Bram Stoker develop a character throughout the text?
Select one character. Give THREE examples of how Bram Stoker describes and develops that character throughout the text. Consider what Stoker shows about the character as well as what he tells the reader about the character. Remember to include textual support.
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COUNT DRACULA- A vampire, several hundred years old, who lives in a castle in Transylvania. Count Dracula is a member of an old, noble and once-powerful family. He has a civilized and cultivated manner overlaying an evil soul. Like all vampires, he is immortal unless he is destroyed in the traditional manner, by having a stake hammered through his heart and his head cut off. He lives off blood, which he sucks from his female victims, who themselves become vampires and must suck the blood of others, creating a new race of vampires. He can control the elements and certain animals, including bats and wolves, and can change shape and size. In common with other vampires, Count Dracula is bound by certain limitations. He is nocturnal, losing his power in daytime; he cannot cross water unless he is carried; he cannot approach any place or person protected with Christian Communion wafers, crucifixes, or garlic; and he can only go where he is first invited. This last fact means that his entry into a person's life is inextricably linked with their desire, which forms the basis of the symbolism of sexual prowess that the Count embodies.
Dracula as the Anti-Christ Anti-Christianity is a major reoccurring theme throughout Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The novel portrays Anti-Christian values and beliefs, through one of its characters. Dracula one of the main characters in the novel is used to take on the characteristics of the Anti-Christ. Stoker uses many beliefs from the Christian religion to display numerous amounts of Anti-Christian values, superstitious beliefs of the protection towards evil, and to compare and contrast the powers of God with those of Dracula. It is a theme that is used throughout the entire book. There are many ways that Bram Stoker's character Dracula can be considered the Anti-Christ, mostly because of the showing of Anti-Christian values and abuses of the Christian religion. In chapter one as Jonathan Harker is traveling to Castle Dracula he is met by several people who give him a crucifix when he tells them where he is heading. One superstition is that a rosary will protect you from all evil, and in this novel the evil is Dracula. This rosary protects him when Jonathan cuts himself shaving the next day and Dracula lunges for his throat, but stops when he sees the crucifix around Jonathan's neck. Later in the book it discusses how you can defend yourself from Dracula and other vampires by the possession of a crucifix or practically any consecrated item from the Christian religion can be used to save you from the attack or presence of a vampire. Another example of one of the superstitious acts is later in the book when Van Helsing uses a Host to prevent Dracula from entering his coffin or when he makes a “Holy Circle” with the Hosts to keep vampires out and to keep Mina safe. All of these are examples in which some forms of Christian beliefs are used to prevent the attack of Dracula. Dracula has several powers that the Christian's believe no one but God could control. For instance, Dracula can control the weather, wild, or unclean animals, he can change form, and has the power of necromancy. Christians believe that consuming God's body and blood will give them everlasting life with God in heaven, Dracula is remaining undead, or nosferatu, by consuming the blood of the living to survive and to build his strength.
By this, Dracula is relying on humans to restore his life after death and not concentrating on God as the source of life. It is said that you must let God into your heart, Dracula may not enter someone's home unless they let him in. God is referred to in the Bible as being the light, which symbolizes happiness or life. Dracula's powers are limited during the light and his powers are stronger in the night, during darkness, which symbolizes evil. Dracula moves to an old abandoned Church not used anymore which can show that God is no longer present which would accomplish Dracula's purpose of spreading evil. Dracula is also portrayed as the Anti-Christ by having similarities with Jesus but in evil ways. As Dracula feeds on the blood of the living he creates followers as Jesus had disciples. Throughout the book several times, normally while Reinfield (one of his followers or “disciples”) is speaking, when Dracula is referred to the pronoun is capitalized, as Christians would do when referring to God. Reinfield views Dracula as god-like and all-powerful, he also refers to him as his master. Throughout the novel, Bram Stoker uses many biblical allusions to show the god-like manner of Dracula, such as “the blood is the life” said by Reinfield and when Renfield quotes Enoch. Renfield wants to walk by Dracula’s side as Enoch walked by God’s side. When the count is defeated in the end, he becomes dust. This is important because turning into dust represents Christian freedom in death and frees him from his evil ways. Bram Stoker’s Dracula emphasizes role of Christianity against Dracula’s Anti-Christian presence. Dracula himself is a demonic figure, both in appearance and in behavior, and could be considered the Anti-Christ. In many ways Dracula is represented as the epitome of evil. In the end, he is defeated by holiness. Dracula uses many biblical references and shows a true resemblance between Dracula and anti-Christian beliefs.
I am not certain that anyone here on enotes could (or should) write this response for you. I do believe that you can take some steps towards getting this done. One way to start would be to identify a particular character. I think picking Dracula might be a good way to progress because there will be a bevy of information presented in the text as he is the primary character. Yet, this is going to be left on to your shoulders and to figure out with which character you best identify throughout the book. The next step would be to reflect on three traits you see that character represent throughout the book and find areas where these traits are demonstrated with particular details that bring out such characteristics.
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