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Legacy of the Damned: Late-Victorian Ideas of Religious and Racial Degeneration in Bram Stoker's Dracula
2011 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Bram Stoker's most famous novel, Dracula, was written in a time in British history when long held beliefs were being replaced by new ones. Advances in science in the nineteenth century led to fears that the Victorians were losing touch with God, and anxiety grew that religion would become perverted as a result of too much modernity turning focus away from religious purity. Another issue of the time was that of Eugenics. Observations of hereditary diseases, combined with the theory of evolution, grew into a fear of racial degeneration on the national level. This fearresulted in ideas of controlling human reproduction to guide evolution in a desired direction. Anxieties regarding religious and racial purity are expressed in Dracula.This essay argues that vampires in the novel can represent a perversion of faith, because of the similarities between vampirism and Christianity, and also the similarities between Christianity and paganism, thus vampirism represents false belief. It is also argued that vampires represent the racial "other", who threatens the racial purity of Victorian society, and the world, in Dracula. This essay argues that Stoker issues a warning to beware of degeneration, and that this warning has gone unheeded.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 36 p.
Keyword [en]
Humanities Theology, literature, Victorian, Dracula, Christianity, Race
Keyword [sv]
Humaniora, Teologi, literature, Victorian, Dracula, Christianity, Race
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-53087Local ID: a2956648-5829-4dd5-8532-35344a6c1f7fOAI: diva2:1026460
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 15 credits
Educational program
English, bachelor's level
Validerat; 20110617 (anonymous)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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