Literary Analysis : Bram Stoker 's Dracula

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Sigmund Freud’s essay “The Uncanny” theorizes the duality of certain themes common in gothic literature as strange and frightening yet familiar, further explaining that the “uncanny effect is produced by effacing the distinction between imagination and reality.” (Freud pg.396) Bram Stoker 's, Dracula, captures the thematic zeitgeist of gothic Europe; the repression and trappings of a rigid and formal society masking the carnal and base desires of the population at large. Freud 's analysis of the uncanny, of attraction mixed with disgust, lays bare the underlying sentiment of stoker’s narrative; emphasizing on purity and virtue by definition of polite society and the church, while remaining at odds with the fundamental realities of the human biological condition. Stoker’s subliminal representations of themes such as the duality of Victorian sexuality, Oedipal fantasies, and the threat of foreign seduction and aggressive female sexuality suggest the repressed and hidden drives of the unconscious mind throughout the novel. Interpreting through character development and common themes found in the Stoker’s, Dracula, suggests the monster Count Dracula is a projection of the repressed desires of man, while the “living” alludes to the traditional Victorian values deemed acceptable to society, or already known and familiar. Dracula’s central premise revolves around the battle between living and the dead, and the preconceived notion it is neither good nor evil that drives the
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