Answer these questions please ?What are some main ideas in Dracula? and What message is the author conveying through this piece of literature? (Think about Big Ideas, not just plot)

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

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I think that one of the primary ideas that comes out of the book is the battle between redemption and salvation.  The notion of "being damned" is not only linked to Dracula's taking of Lucy and his biting of Mina, but seen in a larger sense.  Dracula represents evil and a sense of the ungodly, while the vampire hunters represent good and the force of righteousness that seeks to stamp out evil.  The very idea of being able to demonize or find an embodiment of evil occupies a large role in the text, making it a statement of good vs. evil, sin vs. redemption.  I think that another large theme that comes out of the work is the idea that mortality is defined by acts and goodness, making it of more worth than eternal life cursed with damnation.  The vampires, and Dracula himself, are immortal and eternal.  Yet, they wander the earth with a sense of incomplete and immorality to them.  Stoker, through the vampire hunters, makes a critical point of being able to say that it is better to live a virtuously mortal life with the knowledge of death as present than to live one that is limitless but with sin as a constant companion.  Finally, I would say that the book has a unique statement on Victorian society.  On one hand, conventional social forces win.  The vampire hunters kill Dracula, Harker's marriage to Mina triumphs, and Mina is saved.  Yet, I think that there is an eerie tone that accompanies such a vision.  The conclusion of the novel where Mina feels that others would never really believe such a story compels the reader to feel a sense of disquietude about the conclusion.  While Dracula is gone, others might be there, others "might stalk the earth."  If we accept the premise that there is a battle between redemption and sin present, then it is quite plausible to suggest that the victory against Dracula simply represents one small battle in which good triumphs over sin.  Yet, like Dracula, sin and damnation might be eternal, following all at every waking moment, convinced of nothing more than the certainty of its presence, while others fail to believe it so.

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