The Extent to which You Think the Gothic Novel Represents Recognisably Modern Anxieties

2868 Words Feb 2nd, 2018 12 Pages
Since the 1800's, vampires have often found their way into literature, legends, and popular culture. The vampire's first appearance in Gothic fiction came from John Polidori's publication, The Vampyre in 1819, and from then the fascination of the vampire and gothic literature as a whole grew and can be viewed as a commentary on the period of time in which it was written. The strong image of the vampire is a strong metaphor for communicating the zeitgeist of the time. By analysing Bram Stoker’s, Dracula (1897) and Sheridan Le Fanu’s, Carmilla (1872), as both novels are very important as they both helped mainstream vampire literature and created characters that have remained popular for over a century. An examination into these texts and the significance of the vampire on modern anxieties and anxieties of the time can be understood. In order to do this an analysis will be placed upon the main themes within both texts, such as degeneration, patriarchy, gender and class.

The use of vampires within Carmilla and Dracula can be seen as significant in representing colonialism and the worries of degeneration that were established towards the Fin de siècle of the nineteenth century. Both texts present the hierarchy of civilisations through binary opposites such as the West being presented as good and light, and the unknown and mysterious East being described as negative, mysterious and…