Literary Review of Bram Stoker's Dracula Essay

1230 Words Apr 2nd, 2011 5 Pages
Review of Bram Stoker’s Dracula Prior to the creation of the literary classic “Dracula”, Bram Stoker spent his time managing the Lyceum Theatre and legendary actor Henry Irving. According to Jennifer Dorn, when the novel was first published in 1897, critics regarded it as a “pulp fiction potboiler” (Dorn). The novels declaration as a literary masterpiece came many years later. A graduate of Trinity college, Stoker came from a middle class Irish family, the son of a civil servant. The publication “The Literary World of Bram Stoker,” by Jennifer Dorn, declares that Stokers vision of the setting of London’s Victorian upper-class society, derived from his station in the acclaimed Lyceum Theatre and from his memories of summer travels to the …show more content…
Though you will find that many of his novels “explore woman’s entrapment within domestication and subjection and their dangerous and sometimes violent attempts to escape from this restriction.” (Wikipedia, Gothic Fiction). This could leave the reader wondering if Stoker was really a sexist or a secret applauder to the feminist movement by creating female characters who exhibit such independence. There are many interpretation of Stokers inspiration for the characters in Dracula, and of the Count himself. According to a biography written by Barbara Belford, Stoker based his dark vampire character on his actor friend and employer, Henry Irving. Stokers “slavish devotion” to the actor can be compared to the relationship between Renfield and the Count (Miller). In the novel, Renfield is driven mad with powerful loyalty to the Count. Belford insinuates in “The Biography of the Author of Dracula,” that the relationship between Irving and Stoker was of the same dominate nature. Belford goes forward to declare that the Stoker slyly includes in his novel repressed homoerotic and sexual tendencies, possibly his own, that were forbidden by society standards of that time. This issue brought forth the fears of societal sexual independence in the Victorian era. Another speculation for the inspiration of the Count Dracula in Stokers novel is of the Prince of Wallachia, Vlad III. He ruled over what is now known as Romania during the years