So, I’ve finished reading Dracula. My previous posts suggested that I found this read thoroughly frustrating. That didn’t change. I did, however, find an interesting topic to write my very short essay about. Vampire as a Jungian archetype. After all, there have been vampire stories going back as far as Babylonian times around 2000 BC. It’s the monster that we all fear but at the same time this monster has freedoms or a lack of inhibition that we desire.
Of course, this is not a new idea but it did take some time of searching my psychology books and the internet to get a topic that wasn’t entirely about feminism or sexism. In fact this topic covered both nicely.
Overall, I wish that the men in the story had been a bit stronger but it would have taken from the overall story. In the end I felt sorry for Mina because she, and possibly Dr Seward, were the only two characters I could relate to in the smallest of ways. Mina was a strong and independent woman but by eventually submitting the requests of the men in her life she nearly lost her own.
OK, I know that it’s Victorian gothic. I have to say I prefer current gothic novels.
So now I’ve started Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’. I had this gut feeling I would not like it because of my reaction to the fourth read of Dracula. The book I have is dated July 1987 so I guess that’s when I last read it. What a delightful surprise to find I am thoroughly enjoying it.
It took a while to get into the style of writing. It opens with a series of letters – this it has in common with Dracula as the latter is written using diary and letter entries. But the discovery of Frankenstein on the ice and the journey of Robert Walton to the North Pole environs is interesting and makes for a wonderful read.
The book was written much earlier than Dracula – almost 80 years – but the style up to page 32 could be compared to more modern novels in that it moves quickly but informatively. Stoker spent a lot of time describing places and weather in great detail. Shelley also describes the environment but in a much more economical way. She also engenders empathy with her opening character by his description of his childhood and it’s impact on his current adventure.
So onward to adventure. I wonder if this time, I will still think the Boris Karloff representation does the book justice?