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Eastern And Western Lifestyles In Dracula, By Bram Stoker

Decent Essays
During the Victorian Era, which ranged from 1837 to 1901, there was strong growth and prosperity throughout Eastern and Western Europe. Inventions including the railroad, steam engine, and medicinal advancements changed the way people lived. Within the original story of Dracula Bram Stoker used the two main settings, Transylvania and London, as a way to depict the differences Eastern and Western Europe. Stoker used descriptive weather scenes as a symbol to understand natural political and technological divide between the East and West. Stoker uses the dark, unpredictable and uncertain characteristics of a storm as a metaphor for the mystery, lack of wealth, and superstition of the East. In the opening of the novel, as Jonathan Harker begins…show more content…
Soon after Lucy’s death, Doctor Seward was describing the scene in Hampstead, a very wealthy division of West London in his journal, “How sweet it was to see the clouds race by, and the passing gleams of the moonlight between the scudding clouds crossing and passing… how sweet it was to breathe the fresh air, that had no taint of death and decay; how humanising to see the red lighting of the sky beyond the hill, and to hear far away the muffled roar that marks the life of a great city”(page). Stoker emphasizes the air quality in Western London, which was much higher compared to the East. East London, which was home to many of the lower class, became notorious for its harsh living conditions, unsanitary smell, and crime-ridden streets. Growth was also much slower in the East, but Seward notices the “muffled roar” of West London, noting the prosperity difference. Stoker also uses the color red to describe the lighting in the sky. Throughout the Victorian Era, the color red was used to symbolize power and importance, which the West was famous for. Through weather imagery, Stoker is able to compare and contrast Eastern and Western Europe in terms of politics and wealth. While Western Europe is advancing and developing a strong economy, it is isolating the East which was dissipated by wars. From his clear difference in descriptions, Stoker clearly favors
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