Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dracula: Literary Aspect

Theme: Sacrificial Love

L O V E. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is money. Love is lust. Love is supposed to be God, but often times in today’s post-modern society, the definition of “love” is not what it really is. Dracula depicts many different themes of love – specifically, sacrificial love.

A first illustration of sacrificial love is Mina Murray’s friendship to Lucy Westenra. One discovers in chapter 6 that Lucy has the “defect” of being a sleep walker. One night out of many nights of being in charge to keep Lucy from doing harm to herself, Mina awakes to not find Lucy not in her bed. Lucy just so happens to have sleep walked to the cliffs where they have just visited that very day. Lucy, not being fully dressed, was understandably cold. Mina wrote that she wrapped her shawl around Lucy and “put my shoes on her feet (Stoker 94).” Mina walked on the wet gravel and risked social humiliation for her friend’s comfort. That truly gives a new selfless definition of love in a friendship. It gives a new meaning because even though a lot of people say they love their friends, how much are they willing to lit-er-a-lly give up for friends?

A second illustration is Dr. Seward’s heart-crushing devotion to Lucy. From the outside looking in, Seward’s adoration towards her seems a little pathetic. Why is he giving his own time, his own blood to a woman that he so dearly loves but whose heart belongs to another? “No man knows,” Seward recorded in his journal, “what it is to feel his own life-blood drawn away into the veins of the woman he loves (Stoker 130).” He’s in deep. Although one might feel "piteous" is the right word for Seward's affection, his devotion is a type of sacrificial love. How many guys after being rejected of a marriage would give blood to a woman who doesn't return the love?

Stoker, Bram. Dracula. n.d.