Queer Coded: Dracula

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Figures 9-15 (youtube.com)

In a later scene, when Renfield is overcome by Dracula (in the form of a bat) and faints, Dracula appearing as his “human” self, shoos his wives-who want to feast on Renfield- away, and bends down to drink Renfield’s blood.

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Figures 16-17 (youtube.com)

These scenes-especially the last one involving Renfield’s faint- correspond directly with the passages from chapters two and three because they can be interpreted as homosexual lust and longing. Renfield unknowingly teases Dracula by sucking his bloody finger. This, coupled with the crucifix, makes Renfield an immediate object of Dracula’s desire because Renfield has now become an object that Dracula can’t have. When Dracula finally gets to the unconscious Renfield, Dracula is fulfills his carnal desires. Another reading of this scene could also be rape or the deflowering of a virtuous person.

An audience can interpret these scenes in many ways. In some ways, these scenes show the hidden, misunderstood plight of homosexuality and their presence in society. In other ways, these scenes-especially the final scene with Renfield-can be interpreted as unwanted sexual advances and lust. And also, just like Stoker used his book, these scenes can be interpreted as a way to combat and ultimately release oneself from societal constraints. But the one thing these three representations of homosexuality show is the necessary courage and self-awareness needed in order to survive in a world that doesn’t always understand or show kindness to those that are different.

Works Cited

Bram Stoker. Dracula. 1897. Literature.org. Web. Knowledge Matters, Ltd. n.d. 12 April 2010.

Chown, Jeffery, Ph.D. “Apocalypse 1897: Francis Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula.”  www3.niu.edu. Web. Northern Illinois University. 2000. 18 April 2010.

Dracula. Dir. Tod Browning and Karl Freund. Perf. Bela Lugosi, Dwight Frye. Universal, 1931. Film.

Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens. Dir. F.W. Murnau. Perf. Max Schreck, Gustav von Wangenheim, Greta Schröder. Jofa-Atelier Berlin-Johannisthal and Prana-Film GmbH, 1922. Film.

n.p. Walt Whitman. n.d. Photograph. Web. 12 April 2010.

n.p. “Writer Bram Stoker Based Dracula Vampire Mainly on Walt Whitman”. Truelegends.info. Web. TrueLegends. n.d. 12 April 2010.

Schaffer, Talia. “A Wilde desire took me: the homoerotic history of Dracula.” Accessmylibrary.com. Web. Gale. 2010. 17 April 2010.

 

 

 

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