The Invasion of the Other in Dracula

Reading Stoker’s Dracula made me think immensely about the theme of the other and to what extent the Count was a variation on the usual archetype of the other because he was an imminent threat to those around him. As an other, he did everything in his power to learn the ways of those who were included in everyday society. The extent of his learning was through literature. The Count did not see the gaps that learning through literature can produce. He also attempted to learn England through maps, much as we in this class are attempting to further our understanding of Dublin through a variety of means. I do not kid myself that I will, “know,” Dublin through this practice. Stoker makes a point to constantly make clear that the Count is foreign which seems to make him equally as threatening as his fangs. This is in response to the fear in Britain at the time that the colonies would invade due to the harsh treatment they had faced. This treatment is evident in the Famine maps which showed the population of Dublin to have decreased by about 10%. The otherness that Dracula represents also shows that he must assimilate in order to achieve the invasion he seeks. He has to learn the culture and language of the British in a sufficient way to get his point across. This alludes to how a language can slowly die like Brown refers to in his essay, “On Cultural Nationalism”. When viewing Dracula as the other, I have sympathy for him as someone who is ousted for where he is from and what he is, both of which he cannot help. All of the images I found of different incarnations of Dracula picture him predatory and larger than life. Through all of the years, he continues to embody the threat of invasion.

1 Comment

  1. I really liked how you described Dracula’s nature as an ‘other’, and in a way I also have some sympathy for him. I think it shows that no matter how hard someone or something tries to assimilate and ‘infiltrate’, there are always things that cannot be learned and will end up being a weakness. This reminds me of the importance of knowing one’s roots and really understanding history in order to find consolidation and unity.

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