Linked Imagery in 'Dracula' and 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' 12th Grade

Throughout the Gothic novel Dracula, Stoker uses symbology and imagery to reveal social anxieties and fears of the late Victorian era, for example the use of animalistic description and blood. Wilde, in his own Gothic novel The Picture of Dorian Gray uses imagery to explore the nature of man, especially in relation to sin, pleasure, and influence. These differing uses of somewhat similar devices show how sharply these two novels diverge. While Stoker focuses mainly on the social fears of the time, such as the degradation of man into beast, Wilde intensively explores the psyches of his troubled characters.

One of the dominant themes within Dracula is duality, a fear of the double or doppleganger. In Dracula there is a struggle in defining the blurred lines between man and animal, a struggle conveyed through the physical appearance of Count Dracula himself. The character’s introduction is fraught with animal-like descriptions. He is described to have “moved impulsively”, acting on instinct as an animal would as opposed to conforming to morals that dominated 19th century Britain. The count’s hair curls in its “own profusion’, he has “peculiarly sharp white teeth”, and his ears are “extremely pointed”, like those of a wolf. It is...

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