English 25 Paper Assignment Two

The Dracula Paper

As before, I will ask you to turn in an electronic copy via email.  Papers that come to me after the start of your class time will be considered late.  If you have a legitimate reason for lateness, talk to me about this before the due date.  A full draft is due, printed out, on Wednesday October 23.
Due Friday October 25, at the start of class. 

Five pages, double-spaced. 

Choose one of the following topics:


Dracula is more than just an abstract story of good vs. evil; the Count stands for specific things that seem threatening to Victorian sensibilities, and the heroes represent specific virtues.  Consider the characteristics of the Count, and also the common characteristics that hold together the group of vampire hunters.  What specifically is "good" in this novel?  What specifically is "evil"?  Is the line between them always clear?  How does this evolve as the novel progresses? 

Write a paper in which you explore what the good vs. evil conflict in this novel means.  In other words, what does Stoker want us to understand as we read through each stage of this novel's conflict?  You may want to consider whether this "evil" is primarily an external or an internal threat.

Note that this is probably the easiest of the topics, since we spent so much time in class talking about this.  If you choose this topic, I will be looking for you to advance these ideas beyond just a rehash of what we talked about in class.


There are a lot of direct and indirect references to religion in this novel.  Dracula himself is a kind of bare-bones Christ figure (follow me, drink of my blood, and you will be granted eternal life).  Renfield has "religious mania" and is often compared to a disciple, although he seems uncomfortable with the notion of souls.  Lucy rises from the grave after three days.  Etc.  Also, religion (or at least the forms and artifacts of religion) seem to play a role in defeating Dracula.

How is Stoker using the notion of religion in this novel?  Is he warning against religion, or a certain approach to religion?  Advocating a certain approach to religion?  Or is his position more complex?


Develop your own topic about Dracula, or comparing Dracula to one of our other readings.

If you do want to develop your own topic, you need to talk with me ahead of time, so I can approve your topic.  I almost certainly will approve your topic if there is enough for you to sink your teeth into (heh heh, groan, sorry), but I do need to know ahead of time.