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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Department of English


Blood as Reference to Fear in Dracula


My research project intends to examine the function of blood in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Blood, in terms of the novel’s plot, functions as a way to either end, corrupt, or save an individual’s life. Its multi-functional status reveals its importance in the novel’s plot. However, this definition ignores the underlying function blood holds. The following paper explores blood in Dracula and how Stoker’s presentation of blood reveals fears surrounding religion, sexuality, xenophobia and social degradation, and disease. I intend to focus on the relationship between blood and these five specific anxieties. The immense popularity surrounding Stoker’s Dracula led to an array of literary criticism examining various aspects of the novel offering a multitude of theories. However, not many critics have explored blood on its own despite its significant role in the novel. An emphasis on blood and establishing a firm understanding of the symbolic meaning behind its usage offers a deeper and more insightful understanding which would further aid existing scholarship.

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