Bram Stoker's Dracula: a Struggle to Maintain Victorian Upper and Middle Class

1881 Words Jun 8th, 2005 8 Pages
The Victorian men and women conveyed in Bram Stoker's Dracula are pure and virtuous members of the upper and middle class. However, hiding behind this composed and civilized conception of England lies a dark and turbulent underbelly. This underbelly is the lumpenproletariat, whom Karl Marx defined as "the lowest and most degraded section of the proletariat; the ‘down and outs' who make no contribution to the workers cause". Victorian culture discriminated against these vagrants, who were seen not only as shiftless and immoral, but dangerous as well. Sex was taboo and purity was held sacred to the Victorian middle and upper class, but prostitution and sexually transmitted diseases ran rampant among the lumpenproletariat. The rich strive …show more content…
Catholic superstition is demonstrated by Van Helsing and his use of the wafers and crucifixes in fighting the vampires. The Catholic population in England was increasing at the time, and these immigrants were predominantly lower class. The fact that the vampires respond so strongly and superstitiously to these symbols of Catholicism showcases them as a representation of the lower classes. The rich in Victorian society, and even the upper-middle class, are in a highly privileged position. Being an affluent citizen affords them freedoms that the poor do not have. This is made evident throughout the novel, as one of the advantages the group has is their ability to bribe: "This is a country where bribery can do anything, and [they] are well-supplied with money" (355). Money affords the group of men with abilities which far outweigh those of the poor. Another parallel between vampirism and the lower class can be seen in the concept of the "fall" from humanity to vampirism. This fall from grace can also be likened to falling from a privileged social class to a despised one. One descends from a realm of good into one of evil, into a horrible, inescapable existence. Mina fears this so much that she insists she be killed, like the men killed Lucy, should she transform fully and begin to take on characteristics of the vampire. The characteristics of vampirism are abhorred, and so too are
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