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Love Versus Lust in the 1992 Version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula

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Love Versus Lust in the 1992 Version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula

The name Dracula is a well-known one and, as such, it is used in various other forms of media in reference to the orginal. When taking a look at the 1992 version of Dracula the idea of love versus lust (both blood and sexual) is present in terms of Dracula and his interactions with the women in the movie.

Count Dracula is seen as a seductive being, capable of enticing young women for their bodies and blood. We see this sexual and blood lust when Dracula targets Lucy Westerna. He has no emotional draw to her and uses her to satiate his appetite. When depicted with Lucy, Dracula seems like a monster. [1] (Capolla, Dracula). In this form he is detached from his human side which makes him “other” than normal. [2]. Monsters are used to exemplify the differences a society faces and for a lot of people, differences are scary. This “othering” is done to establish sides and show how one side is “good” and the other is “bad.” It allows people to take comfort in being with others who are the same and having a common enemy. By depicting Dracula in this form, it makes it very clear he is very far from being human. Like an animal, he is emotionless and is only driven by his lust and instincts.  

As amorous as he is in attracting young women like Lucy, we later see how he has all along focused on one women in particular – Mina Harker (nee Murray). Mina is a reincarnation of Dracula’s first wife and true love, Elisabeta.[3] Rather than live a human life and die in the end, Dracula became immortal in the hopes of one day being reunited with her. For centuries, Dracula endures living as a vampire and it is not until he fatefully meets Johanthan Harker that his waiting comes to an end. Finally, he finds his Elisabeta in the form of Mina and he is determined to make her his. We see a drastic change in Dracula now. Before, he was an old, frightening looking man then he was a wolf-like creature. Now, he has transformed himself into a dark, handsome man who Mina is unexplainably attracted to. His love for is more than evident, but it is not until the scene were he has the ability to turn Mina into a vampire and join him in immortality that his love truly shines through. [4]However, he falters. Rather than subject her to an eternity of mundane existence, he wants her to live a happy, human life. He is willing to put his happiness aside and selflessly chose her happiness instead. Although Mina does end up drinking his blood, we know it was her choice and Dracula did not force her to.

Examining love versus lust in the 1992 version of Dracula is important in seeing the growth of a vampire. In the past, the vampire was seen as a horrific monster only capable of killing and chaos. However, we are given a chance to see how vampires also have human-like qualities and allows the audience to sympathize with them instead.

References:

  1.  He appears in his wolf form and we see him violently rape and bite Lucy in the garden
  2. In Cohen’s Monster Cultures the theme of “The Monster Dwells at the Gates of Difference” explains this concept fairly well (Cohen, pg. 5)
  3. At the beginning of the movie we see that he only became a vampire because he was so distraught over her death and lost his faith in the church (Capolla, Dracula).
  4. This was finally the moment he had waited years for – his chest was scratched open with his blood welling and ready for her to drink to become his (Capolla, Dracula)
1992 Dracula and Cohen's Monster Culture: Seven Theses https://d2l.arizona.edu/d2l/le/content/563364/viewContent/4841247/View

These images show the stark contrast in Dracula's character as a wolf and man --> wolf vs. man

I found this fanpage very interesting as it takes a look at the various roles Dracula has played overtime.

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