Human beings do not have the ability to posses omnipotent control over one another. In Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula, however, Humanity, Dracula, God, and Nature influence each other, both directly and as an instrument, through which they must put forth their own respective power. I will scrutinize the many ways that control and power exist in Bram Stoker’s Dracula in the entirety of this essay.
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The main challenge to God’s supremacy in this novel is Dracula. God is unable to help the character of Lucy. Therefore, she falls victim to Dracula. Two potential explanations for this are: God does not have the power to rescue Lucy from Dracula. Dracula is almost outside of God’s control. Since Dracula has renounced God, God no longer has supremacy over Dracula. Also, God feels that she is being justly punished for her unacknowledged sins.
It seems that the most likely of the two choices is that God is unable to save the innocent. However, this is not to say that God is incapable of control. God maintains power over Dracula in numerous ways: Holy items (crucifix) and holy water. The first time we see Dracula’s response is when Harker is shaving. Dracula approaches Harker and sees his crucifix. He is forced to stop looking at the crucifix and Dracula says, “our ways are different than that of your England” and “you should not put your faith in such objects of deceit.” Harker sees that Dracula has a hatred for God. Another time that we see the crucifix is at the grave of Lucy. She returns to her coffin only to find Van Helsing waiting for her. Van Helsing, with faith in the cross, uses it to compel Lucy back into her coffin. Lucy is powerless against the cross. God does not have complete control over Dracula, he does possess acute power over the vampire.
Throughout Dracula, the reader continually sees demonstrations of Dracula’s abilities. It seems that the vampire’s powers are significantly more extensive than God’s. Some of his powers are: he is practically immortal, he can become younger by drinking blood, he has no shadow or reflection, he has power over the weather and he has the power to transform into a bat.
Dracula is close to immortality. Dracula has lived for centuries. Driving a wooden stake through his heart and cutting off his head is the only way Dracula can be killed. Dracula has the ability to grow younger by drinking blood. This keeps him alive. “In the blood is life!” Dracula casts no shadow. He is not living. The light seems to pass right through him. Dracula has no reflection. The first time that we have an idea that he despises mirrors is when Harker says, “there is not a single mirror in the entire castle”. Dracula can control the weather. He caused a great storm when his ship the Demeter comes to England. During this storm Dracula enters England.
Although Dracula has influence over nature, it too has some control over Dracula. He may at times seem to be stronger than Nature. However, he is not outside of nature’s boundaries. Nature controls him several ways: Dracula sleeps in unhallowed earth, he is powerless during the day, and by placing a wild rose over him, he can become stopped. Dracula must sleep in unhallowed earth. As a result where ever he goes he must take some of the unhallowed earth from his home in Transylvania. When he comes to England he brings cases of unhallowed earth so he can sleep.
Dracula has many powers, but he is unable to control the sun. His powers weaken as the sun rises. Although he can still travel, he is weak and easily susceptible. As morning arrives, he cannot change into whatever form he pleases: he has to remain as he is until nightfall.
Another weakness and vulnerability of Dracula is a wild rose. With a wild rose, Dracula is stunned and powerless, much like his reaction to garlic and a crucifix. Nature, in Dracula, can in fact determine what Dracula is able to do and, therefore, is dominant over him.
We cannot forget about humanity. Humanity is the balance of power. Also, humanity is in the middle of this novel. Humanity overpowers nature, Dracula, and God. Humanity is responsible for the creation of holy artifacts. These things allow God to put forth His control. Without belief in God, humanity would not have the desire to make such things. These “creatures of the night” would then be able to rule with fear over humanity. Only humanity can manipulate these artifacts to use against Dracula. No one else can use these, no one has the ability to possess a direct sphere of influence over Dracula; God only has the power to show his glory through humanity.
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Without an invitation, Dracula cannot physically enter a person’s home. Therefore, Dracula must be cunning and sly. He has to lure his prey outside of their houses or persuade them to allow him to enter. An example of this is when He did this with Lucy. She was drawn outside of her house as she slept, in her dream. When Lucy was drawn to Dracula, he was able to draw blood from her, thus making her like him, a vampire.
Evil cannot kill evil; humanity’s good is the only answer for Dracula’s monstrosity. The only way a wild rose can be placed over Dracula’s coffin is by the hands of a human. To carry out such an act, the wholesomeness of humanity is need to complete this task. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist for somebody to be able to infer that humanity has a lot of power in this novel. Without a human being, God and nature are useless against Dracula’s evil.
In Bram Stoker’s Dracula, there is an evident struggle for control. In all of the universe, it is impossible for people to have entire domain over one another. This is made visible in Dracula.
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