How Does a Marxist Reading of Dracula Open Up Meaning?

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Unremarkable though it may seem, to affirm the obvious truism that Bram Stoker’s Dracula originates from a century that historians often describe as the most significant in terms of revolutionary ideology, whilst wishing to avoid the clichéd view held, it is undeniable that the more one delves into the depths of this novel the greater wealth of meaning demonstrates significant correlation with Marxist ideology. The 19th Century saw the emergence of revolutionary socialist Karl Marx, who himself used the vampire metaphor to describe the capitalist system as ‘dead labour which, vampire like, lives only by sucking living labour’. Through Stoker’s opulent use of narrative structure, use of setting and imagery, this novel presents a multiple…show more content…
Dracula, representing the feudal aristocracy and Harker working for him implies this scene symbolises how the aristocracy suck the life out of their workers and retain the vast majority of production for themselves. Hence Dracula’s comment ‘This man belongs to me’ furthermore supported by Dracula continuing ‘Now go! I must awaken him, for there is work to be done’ Thus, accentuating the demand and exploitative characteristics as it is only after he no longer has any use for Harker's blood himself does he allow them to have their turn, this scene is symbolic of treatment of the exploited working class in a feudal system. The concept of exploitation is further accentuated by the fact the crew of light is endowed with the ability to take full advantage a system in which ‘bribery can do anything, and we are well supplied with money’ Currency is the weapon that separates the higher classes from the proletariat.

Stoker additionally explores aspects of the feudal system through the idea of free will. Upon arriving at Castle Dracula, Harker is greeted with ‘Welcome to my house, enter freely and of your own will’. It seems Harker is free to do as he wishes, however Harker is now at the mercy of his new surroundings and the Count. Harker recognizes similarities between the Count and the driver, who transports him to the castle: ‘the strength of the hand shake was so much akin to that which I noticed in the driver’, subsequently, for Harker to leave he would need the

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