Sunday, October 10, 2010


Please read up to page 159 of Dracula for next week. 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) In our edition of Dracula, Phyllis A Roth writes, "Perhaps nowhere is the dichotomy of sensual and sexless women more dramatic than it is in Dracula and nowhere is the suddenly sexual woman more violent and self-righteously persecuted than in Stoker's 'thriller'" (412). For your post, explore the depictions of women in the novel. Could "vampirism" be a way in which women can express an otherwise repressed sexuality? Consider Jonathan's run-in with the "Brides of Dracula." How is he both allured and repelled by these women? Explore how Lucy and Mina both exceed but then at times transgress the stereotype of the angelic, Victorian woman. In what ways do both characters play "dangerously" with the role of the New Woman? How does Vampirism become symbolic of "dangerous" female sexuality?

2) Examine the role of Dr. Seward in this novel. What do you think is the significance of the insane asylum in this novel? What is the significance of the emerging "science" of psychology in terms of the themes of this novel and with the idea of the vampire in general? Why is the character of Renfield signficant?

3) Explore Dracula's relation to modernity. What is the role of technology in this novel? How, and why, does it work side by side with superstition and ancient Catholicism? How does Dracula use modern technology for his own ends?

4) How does "blood" work symbolically in this novel? Consider the significance of the many blood transfusions that were given to Lucy. How might we consider the transference of blood as a sexual act? What does that say about the symbolic "exchange" of fluids in this novel? Given that Victorians were so obsessed with "blood," bloodlines, and "race," how could this constant exchanging of fluids and "mixing" be considered an "uncanny" sort of trope in the novel?

5) The novel Dracula is told from several perspectives. Choose one character and analyze how this character “tells” the story of Dracula. What sort of medium does this character use? How would you define or characterize his or her point of view?

6) Take a moment to read through mcmahont’s last blog on Carmilla and Orientalism. What similar themes do you see developing in Dracula?

No comments:

Post a Comment