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How has the physical representation of Dracula supported his manifestation to a monster?

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stepht99 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 29, 2012 at 2:31 PM via web

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How has the physical representation of Dracula supported his manifestation to a monster?

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akannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 30, 2012 at 2:15 AM (Answer #1)

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I think that the initial description of Dracula's physical representation helps to conjure up the image in the reader's mind of "the other" or something not of this world. It is in these terms in which Dracula's physical manifestation as a monster is something that is deliberate in the text. The brute strength and force with which Dracula presents himself is a part of this description, along with the isolation in which Dracula lives.  Harker notes this in his description of Dracula, in that there is no other person in the castle with him, confirming the sense of isolation and monster- like qualities to Dracula.  The climbing the wall like a lizard as well as the lack of reflection in the mirror are both physical operational elements to Dracula that help to render him as a monster.  The ritual- like components to Dracula's being also help to develop the idea that Dracula is a monster.  Elements such as the need to be among soil from his own home in London as well as his wanderings at night in addition to the need to consume human blood all add to this. Finally, consider the ending in which Dracula is killed by both stabbing and decapitation.  This is a death that helps to physically reinforce the "monster" element.  Dracula has to be constructed as a physical form of a monster, in some sense, as the need for literature at the time was to have a clear and defined force that represented "the other."  This constructional element to the narration is what makes Dracula appear to be a monster and is thus physically represented in this manner.

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