Discuss an element of thematic appreciation in Stoker's Dracula.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that one of the most fascinating themes in Stoker's work is how love figures into salvation and damnation.  This is a thematic appreciation that really can play a prominent role in the analysis of the work.  The idea of how love is separate from the salvation of human beings or the damnation of their souls is an very unique element out of Stoker's work.  It seems that the construction of the salvation of the soul is constructed outside of love.  This means that love does not play a prominent role in the construct of saving or condemning one's soul.  I think that this is something unique because the Romantic period that preceded Stoker's Victorianism made it very clear that to find love and to have love is the key to spiritual redemption.  The ability for the Romantic notion of the soul to be redeemed rested in the ability to love.  That is not the case in Stoker's world.  The psychic link that Mina shares with Dracula has no impact it seems on her ability to be saved or damned.  She has to be rescued from Dracula's power or she will be condemned.  The strictly moral absolutism of the Victorian era is one where there is a construction to save the soul of the individual outside of love.  In fact, if one argues that Dracula actually "loved" Lucy and Mina, this love inhibits their ability to be saved.  It is a very interesting thematic element of the novel to see how love plays a role, if it plays a role, in an individual's salvation or damnation.