How does Dracula connect to To Kill a Mockingbird?
In both the world of Dracula and in 1930s Maycomb of To Kill a Mockingbird, a hidden poison erupts and threatens the health and stability of the community. In Dracula, it is the arrival of Count Dracula and a group of his vampires into London, the center of a British empire that at that time spanned the globe. Dracula is treated by Harker and the other protagonists exactly like a virus that must be eradicated. Dracula himself hopes to spread his vampirism across the globe as if it is a virus.
Harper Lee shows that racism is a poison that warps white people's judgment and moral sensibility. The white citizens of Maycomb would rather see an innocent black man convicted of a crime that he didn't commit than upset the racial apartheid of the South. The people of the town condemn, rather than applaud, Atticus for doing the right thing in defending Robinson to the best of his ability. As with the vampires, the disease of Maycomb's racism becomes potentially deadly, in this case to an innocent child like Scout, when she is attacked in her Halloween costume simply because her father stood up for a black man.
On the surface, this is a challenge. It is a challenge because there is not an immediacy in terms of connection between both works. I would suggest that perhaps one area of connection would be in how human beings rise to confront what they perceive as evil. Harker commits himself fully to defeating Dracula, knowing that the odds are not in his favor. Atticus commits himself to defending Tom Robinson, knowing that much is not in his corner in doing so. Both men see the need to confront what is seen as evil and rise up against it. For both men, standing up and facing what they see as wrong and injust is not something to be compromised. Harker does not negotiate with Dracula and his pursuit of him, while Atticus recognizes that there is a moral conviction that cannot be bargained away. In both works, the characters that face what they see as evil and unjust forms a major part of the plot structure. It is both pursuits that drive each novel, and in doing so, there is some level of a lesson about what it means to be human that is evident.
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