What monster is known for being a gothically crazed blood sucking monster? The black and white screen, fangs, widow’s peak, and pale man? This image is associated with the older version of Dracula that we’ve all heard of and seen. However in today’s society, the identity of a vampire has been lost to a softer version and not the original image we have associated with them. From time, we will be analyzing Dracula the book, to more modern texts such as Edward Cullen from the movie Twilight and the television series, Scooby Doo.
In the book, Dracula by Bram Stoker, we get exactly the Dracula we imagine. This book consists of the stereotypically real, gothic and gory vampire that everyone imagines. The vampire with the Transylvanian accent that has been around for centuries, living in his dreary castle in the Carpathian Mountains. Although charming, with impeccable manners including not entering the homes of his victims unless invited to, the count possesses a dark and evil soul. Rendered powerless by the light, the count can change forms from human into an animal, has control over the weather and possesses superhuman strength. However, in more modern texts, such as Twilight and Scooby Doo, the version of vampires have faded into something more jokingly and loving rather than a real horrific demon.
In the movie Twilight, the protagonist is named Edward Cullen who is significantly different from our stereotypical gothic vampire. He dresses as a normal teenager in jeans and a t-shirt and has a normal speech pattern, no Transylvanian accent. He possesses superhuman strength and reflexes and teleportation. Edward is considered a “day walker” because he is free to roam even in the sunlight. He controls and overcomes his bloodthirsty senses and is able to walk free with the other teenagers of his high school class and eventually falls in love with a woman named Bella Swan. Edward throughout the movie is seen as having control over his blood thirst of non vampires. To me, this is ridiculous. No true vampire has ever been able to hold out on blood and seems unrealistic. Throughout this drama series, Bella eventually wants to turn into a vampire and tells her love, Edward, to bite her. No one has ever wanted to be bitten by a vampire and holds true to this unrealistic form of a vampire.
He is seen as more of a sexualized desire to women rather than the Count. In the first movie, when Bella first sees Edward, she immediately asks who that man is out of curiosity. Her friend immediately replies Edward Cullen and begins to explain how attractive he is to Bella and ultimately how he doesn’t date. Bella finds Edward desirable after he saves her life right after noticing him at school. Bella started her journey home when suddenly, a car approaches out of nowhere and she freezes. Edward is a vampire and possesses superhuman strength. He rushes toward Bella and ends up jumping in front of her and the car to protect her. As the car screeches towards them, he puts his arm out in front of Bella and ultimately stops the car with his arm, smashing the side of the car with the power he used.
In the sixth theses, by Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, The Monster Is Really a Kind of Desire, we see how the difference that Edward and Bella share can be translated into a desire ultimately because humans are attracted to this curiosity that a monster possesses. We contemplate certain situations when exposed to this unknowing which makes us question our restrictions and our borders. This can also tie into our fifth theses, the monster polices the borders of the possible, we see how the monster can ultimately make us want to rebel against what is considered normal. Monsters instill a certain fear of exploration and ultimately keep us locked in the bubble we are comfortable in. “To step outside this official geography is to risk attack by some monstrous border patrol or (worse) to become monstrous oneself” (Cohen). We are scared of change which traps us where we are.
Moving onto Scooby Doo, the only thing classifying the vampire in the show as a vampire are his looks. His cloak, Transylvanian accent and his fangs, other than that he is a disgrace of a vampire. He is an innocent creature designed by our society. He has no desire for blood or the stereotypical qualities that come with being a real vampire. Teaching children how to count and puncturing the neck’s of helpless individuals do not match up to one another, therefore cannot be seen or considered as a real vampire.
In Dracula and Scooby Doo, we are given a stereotypical vampire that we are all used to seeing. In Twilight, we see a modernized version of a vampire and how characters develop over time. In Monster Culture, the monster’s body is like a cultural body, he explains how his first theses is about a vampire and states, “when it springs from the grave, it will not know which path to follow” (4). Over time, our perceptions of monsters is skewed because cultural and political shifts change ultimately making for a “new version” of a monster every generation.
In conclusion, monsters ultimately help us understand ourselves, our fears and our moralities. We see, explained through the seven theses, that monsters help us understand our desires and that we do not need to be afraid to step out of what is considered normal. Monsters have led the way in difference and can be used as examples on how we should see the world.
McNally, Raymond, and Radu Florescu . “In Search of Dracula.” Google Books, 1994, books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=P22TnNTonYwC&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&dq=history%2Bof%2Bvampires&ots=hAXC54tiy4&sig=WN_1Yp8Cnl47gTtKzzwCuyhlKnY#v=onepage&q=history%20of%20vampires&f=false.
This article is used to explain the history of Dracula and vampires over a period of time. It goes into depth about the history of the book and also explains the historical meaning of vampires. I used this source in order to strengthen my background evidence on the book. I find this source credible because I found it off of google scholar.
Cohen , Jeffrey. “Monster Culture: (Seven Theses).” Rolling Hills Prep. , 1996, rps.rollinghillsprep.com/downloads/courses/248/13020/WA.%20HMWK%202012-09-21%2013020-1.pdf .
This article is what I used to compare the monsters to one another related through theories. It goes into depth about how people portray monsters and how we see ourselves through monsters. I found this source scholarly because it was found in an academic journal off ebsco.