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Compare the force of "the other" in  Bram Stoker's Dracula and in Chopin's The Awakening.

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beevi | College Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted October 14, 2010 at 3:46 PM via web

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Compare the force of "the other" in  Bram Stoker's Dracula and in Chopin's The Awakening.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 30, 2012 at 4:09 AM (Answer #1)

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I would suggest that "the other" in both works is the element of breaking from social conformity.  "The other" is the force that disrupts the social conformist structure in which characters find themselves.  In Chopin's work, Edna finds herself entranced by "the other," a social setting which suppresses her desires, limiting her to not being able to act upon her own wishes.  This "other" haunts Edna, as she finds herself unable to break through of it in her social interactions outside of what she feels with Robert and in her condition as a "mother- woman."  In Stoker's work, Dracula represents "the other" in a form of being that challenges conventional understanding of social interactions.  Dracula is the force against which the men of "accepted" social standing ally themselves and commit themselves to defeating.  In this, "the other" is seen as a negative entity in a social setting that clearly delineates what is acceptable and what is not.  In Chopin's work, "the other" as seen as a part of what it means to be a woman in a male- dominated setting.  In both works, "the other" is that force running counter to social expectations.  The need to understand it is something that neither social setting seems prepared to do, and thus the desire to obliterate or suppress it.

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