I just can not get this scene away from my mind, that courtly Count Dracula with a charming smile on his cruel-looking mouth crept into the kitchen when innocent Jonathan Harker did not notice. Then he put on an apron and checked the roast chicken to see if it is done while mixing salad.
Do not blame me for the idea. I got this from Jonathan’s observation, that “if these chores are his own, and that certainly proved that no one else in the castle”, after all.
If this scene has anything that is impressive, I think it is because the contrast’s sake. It is the contrast between cruel evil vampire and cooking with an apron at the above scene. However, contrast is probably one of the reasons why the vampire image in this book so deeply rooted in our heart.
On one hand, Count Dracula is an evil monster of violence. He is a killer, murderer, and kidnapper. He feeds on blood and corrupts his victims. On the other hand, he is elegant, erudite, and sophisticated. He is an aristocrat and a perseverance patriotic war hero of his own nation.
He is not a purely negative monster such as a non-rational biting beast or a zombie that lost himself. Count Dracula as well as other vampires in this book is a mixture of negative and positive characteristics as a villain. His evil and violence frighten us while his elegance and sophistication enchant us.
Finally, those good not only enchant us, but also enhance our fear. What kind of evil can ruin all good things of Count Dracula and Lucy Westenra? Here we meet a powerful unknown evil that is more fearful than simply violence. Yet this is only fiction and we are safe to read this book. And this may be what makes all the enjoyment.
- student1 → I loved your essay! The argument is well exposed and the structure is good also. Maybe the language used is a little too informal?
- student2 → I cannot pull a premise from this essay. Is it that the contrast between Dracula as The Count and Dracula the vampire increase the terror of Dracula or that it takes a very powerful, and more frightening, force to turn well-bred, aristocrats into monsters?
- student3 → The spelling and grammar is all good. The essay could use a little more formal structure, but is over all clearly laid out and easy to understand.
- student4 → I enjoyed this essay thoroughly although problems with “form” (“grammar, usage, and structure”) DO mar fluency and, to a certain degree, comprehension. The first sentence in the third paragraph is crucial to the essay’s overall structure, as it sums up the fascinating introductory element. My understanding is that the author is expressing the interesting contradiction between the domestic Dracula and the evil one. Unfortunately, the sentence is not expressed correctly. There are other awkward phrasings, but, overall, this essay edified me due to its content!
- student1 → I had a great time reading this, specially picturing the scene you describe. The argument is well exposed and examples are given. The only part that I think could be a little improved is the first one: the contrast exists in the cooking scene but it’s totally different from the contrast you explain afterwards, so it might not be the better example.
- student2 → The inconsistency of Dracula, who views himself as above ordinary society, cooking and cleaning for Jonathan Harker, poses an interesting contrast but does it make Dracula less a monster or the story more frightening? The essay does not convince.
- student3 → You seem to have a good understanding of the text and the tools the author uses to entrance the reader. This being done with both positive and negative images of Dracula.
- student4 → After the wonderful image expressed at the beginning, of the count’s slinking into the kitchen to stick a fork in his chicken(!), we readers do understand clearly the contrastive nature of Dracula’s character. It’s a cogent idea because of the summary details that the writer accrues about Dracula.
- student4 → I liked the finish about “it’s safe to read this book because we know it’s fiction.” Perhaps, Dracula’s duality, which you address well, is what scares us the most. Is it in us, too? I myself had a bad dream after finishing up the book.