Please read up the rest of Dracula and Stephen D. Arata’s essay “The Occidental Tourist: Dracula and the Anxiety of Reverse Colonization” (located in the Dracula edition assigned to this course). Below are a few questions we'll be exploring this week. Feel free to draw from them, or to develop your own questions. You should also feel free to respond to another student's post.
Your blogs will be due on Wednesday at 11:59 pm.
Your comments on other student blogs will be due by FRIDAY at 11:59.
In addition to your blogs and comments, you also must post in one or more of the discussion forums on my blog by Friday at 11:59 pm. You do NOT have to post in all of the forums, but I will be assessing you on how well you are able to respond to the various prompts and each others' ideas. Remember that Forum C is an open forum, so if there is something you would like to discuss that hasn't been addressed by me or another student, please post there.
1) Arata explains that Dracuala is an extension of the vexed “Eastern Question” (462) What does he mean by this? How do we see these anxieties playing out in the novel?
2) Arata exerts that the presence of vampires hearkens in “the decline of empire,” relating how Stoker “thus transforms the materials of the vampire myth, making them bear the weight of the culture’s fears over its declining status. The appearance of vampires becomes the sign of profound trouble” (465). What do you think he means by this statement? Given the flood of vampires in our contemporary culture--filled with financial meltdowns, political strife, and an increasingly heterogeneous immigrant population—are vampires a sign of “profound trouble” in our current society? How so?
3) On page 466, Arata claims, “All the novel’s vampires are distinguished by their robust health and their equally robust fertility. The vampire serves, then, to highlight the alarming decline among the British, since the undead are, paradoxically, both ‘healthier’ and more ‘fertile’ than the living.” What does he mean by these statements? What is the construction of Victorian masculinity in this novel? In comparison, consider how current ideas of masculinities are constructed in, through, and against more contemporary vampire characters.