Comparison of Dracula and Bram Stoker's Dracula Essay

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Compare/Contrast Dracula and Bram Stoker's Dracula

A noticeable difference in the way movies have changed over the years is evident when comparing and contrasting two films of different eras which belong to the same genre and contain the same subject matter. Two vampire movies, Dracula and Bram Stoker's Dracula, present an interesting example of this type of study.

Comparing the 1931 version of Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi, with Frances Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula 1993 version yields some similarities. Both films are of the same genre: Horror. Both films are set around the same time period. Also, both deal with a vampire coming to England and causing disruptions in people's lives. Beyond these few similarities are
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In the 1993 version, Van Helsing refers to Lucy as "a willing recruit, a whore of darkness, a bitch of the devil."(Bram Stoker's Dracula). Also, Mina chooses whether to be with Dracula or with Jonathan. We wonder at the end whether she will choose to remain with Jonathan after Dracula's death.

Beyond the differences in gender portrayal, the 1931 version portrays ethnocentric ideals: we have an all-white, patriarchal ensemble conquering a vampire. In this instance, the vampire could easily be interpreted as a nineteenth-century British colony in Africa: unknown, mysterious, and evil. There is no reason to try and understand it, but there is every reason to subdue it (you know, the principles of colonialism). Even though the 1993 version contains an all-white cast, it is a little more integrated: at least we have a Texan with the Europeans. The ethnocentric ideals of the 1931 version still exist in Coppola's version; however, they are called into question: Mina stops the men from killing the vampire.

With respect to age, the 1931 version used an older cast than the 1993 version. The older cast seems to portray a more conservative society. The younger cast portrays a questioning, more liberal society (maybe the society being formed as Generation X grows older?).

Continuing with contrasts, we see a number of these in the area of social themes. To begin with, religion is