The Central Plot of Dracula

787 WordsJun 20, 20184 Pages
While the character of Renfield is ostensively extraneous to the central plot of Dracula, he fulfils an important role in Stoker’s exploration of the central themes of the novel. This paper will examine how Renfield character is intertwined with the three central themes of invasion, blood and otherness. Firstly, through Renfield’s inner struggle we learn that he is ‘not his own master’ (Stoker, 211). The theme of invasion is revealed by the controlling and occupying powers of Count Dracula. Secondly, the reoccurring theme ‘the Blood is the Life’ (Stoker, 121), is portrayed throughout the novel and has been interpreted through Stoker’s character Renfield. Then finally, a look at the social construction of the ‘other’…show more content…
Again Renfield’s actions mimic that of the other men as it becomes their goal to save Mina from the invasion running through her body. The key to this invasion is the blood. The central theme of blood in Dracula is paralleled through Renfield. Although, there are many mysteries that surround Renfield; he reveals, very clearly, the importance of the blood. In Dr Steward’s office, Renfield, after licking Dr Steward’s blood off the floor explains that ‘the Blood is the Life! The Blood is the Life’ (Stoker, 121). He reiterates this statement again in chapter XVIII, and the reader begins to become aware of Renfield’s obsession with wanting to be like Dracula. When Dr Steward questions Renfield about consuming his pets ‘he said ‘Oh no, oh no! I want no souls. Life is all I want’ (Stoker, 231). Knowing that blood is life, we are now mindful that he wants blood. Through Renfield’s rants, the reader is foretold of Dracula’s need for blood to survive and also they are used to develop the awareness that it is Dracula that has been taking Lucy Westenra’s blood. By blood Lucy has becomes invaded by Dracula and it is Renfield that explains what is happening, that Dracula is ‘waiting for the coming of the bride’ (Stoker, 87). Renfield predicted that Lucy would be joining the Count in his quest. The consumption of blood is one of the fascinations that create the genre of an ‘us versus him’ mentality. In
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