Dracula, by Bram Stoker - The Superstition That Made the Supernatural Powers

Essay by TypoQueenJunior High, 9th gradeB-, January 1996

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Bram Stoker did not invent the vampyre or the vampyres supernatural

powers, they were both brought to you in part by superstition. Superstition

influenced the abilities, limitations, and characteristics, Stoker gave Dracula

by giving an explanation for un-scientific happenings. For example: 'The

ancients believed that a mans shadow and his reflection in some measure

represented his soul.'[Ashley 3] Could this be why Dracula cast no shadow

and showed no reflection in mirrors? 'Superstition links causes and effects

in ways that defy logic and fail all impartial tests.'[1] The supernatural also

goes counter to logic in truly astounding ways.

Dracula's supernatural abilities were based on ancient superstitions and

fears of the time period. The beginning of the book, also, was set upon the

day of May third- St. Georges Eve- 'when the clock strikes midnight, all the

evil things in the world will have full sway?' [Stoker ] A common fear,

found even today in many children, and adults too is fear of the dark - this

might explain why Dracula is a creature of the night and why he dwells,

feeds, strives, and is at his most powerful at night.

It is also believed that

dark/night represents evil and day/light represents good, which would explain

why he is powerless in day time. He can become or commandeer certain

creatures: the rat, the owl, the bat, the wolf, the fox, and the dog- all

creatures of the night- creatures which were in olden times thought of as evil.

'A wild howling began, which seemed to come from all over the country, as

far as the imagination could grasp it through the gloom of the night.' [ ]

The wolf is just one representation of the gloom and fear the night brings.

He can become or command the elements or he...