Is there the inevitable fear of failure, loss perhaps, when embarking on a new love or even a new discovery that is so young and youthful? It must be the unknown—the unpredictable that makes humans fear. What happens when someone or something is unpredictable and out of ones control? There may be a sense of worry and anxiety in the unknown, but those are still variables of fear. In Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula there is a sense of darkness hidden within the unknown; but, more importantly there is an overwhelming passion expressed through romanticism. That is, a whisper of lust that acts subtlety through creatures like Dracula to attract humans psychologically. In other words, Dracula is like a magnet that draws in the human psyche to embrace dark romanticism, another way of expressing how humans find the shadows to be both alluring and frightening. There is far more curiosity that exists on human cognition in Dracula and the existence of man in general. Romanticism on its own depicts the power of nature and extreme emotions of mankind that coincide with it. Such romanticism is deeply rooted into the novel that the reader may grow to feel that very emotions the characters feel, this includes that of Dracula himself.
Aside from the dreary and indisposed humor within the novel, there are only strong inferences of passion that make the dark romantic world of Dracula the sire of all gothic literature. As expressed in chapter two of the novel, Johnathan Harker expresses, “I am all in a sea of wonders. I doubt. I fear. I think strange things, which I dare not confess to my own soul”(Stoker). Mr. Harker accepts fear as the emotion which excuses the unknown and darkness that Count Dracula has, but still he questions his fear because he is curious and in wonder by the things which he does not know. There is evidence that the passion that rings throughout Dracula is echoed through fans’ personal desires such as an alternate ending to the film version of Dracula; it shows the human need for passion and suspense, fear and torment as feelings that exacerbate muscles in our bodies and awaken crevices within our souls that are often left cold, surely the objective is to feel in ways that are not a part of daily living. Among the most exceptional of parts in the novel, is the scene when Harker comes in contact with the three women, Harker expresses, “I could feel the soft, shivering touch of the lips on the supersensitive skin of my throat, and the hard dents of two sharp teeth, just touching and pausing there. I closed my eyes in a languorous ecstasy and waited—waited with a beating heart” (Stoker). There the question of fear is shown to be a mysterious one when it comes in contact with dark romanticism. Harker wants the fair woman despite his knowledge of the darkness within the creature. We also see that in the story of The Young Man and His Vampire Brother that vampires are unpredictable creatures depending on the type of genre and themes, since the Vampire at the end of this tale returns to the kingdom of the dead only after returning the favor to the man, it is rather a fairy tale than a tragedy, therefore the human feeling is served on platter to the audience. In comparison, the dark romanticism in Dracula releases all boundaries on human psyche, allowing the audience to form their own clandestine emotions and experiences that can be so dark that the reasoning is left unanswered. All in all, dark romanticism is unpredictable and alluring to the human mind which extends the reasoning for fear in things which humans are simply not in control of.
Sources Romany, Yugoslav. The Young Man and His Vampire Brother.
Stoker, Bram. Dracula. 1897. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990.