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Dracula and the Vampire Lestat


            "The old mysteries have given way to a new style,"" This quote alone illustrates the changing nature of gothic literature through the centuries. Indeed, the styles of texts presenting vampirism have greatly altered with the times, reflecting a large proportion of societal values. In the novel Dracula, Bram Stoker has presented and old' view to vampirism, closely linking it to the conservative morality of society at the time, in terms of sexuality and religious beliefs. In contrast to this The Vampire Lestat, written by Anne Rice, portrays a much more updated presentation by questioning many these conservative values and reflecting numerous of the more modern ideals in relation to themes of sexuality, religion and the gothic. Thus, presentations of vampirism in terms of sexuality, religious beliefs and point of view are remarkably contrasted in both these texts. However, despite this, in terms of viewing both The Vampire Lestat and Dracula as Gothic texts, there arise many similarities in their presentations of vampirism. .
             The theme of sexuality is one of the primary areas where there is evidence of the distinction between the new' and old' styles of vampirism. In the sexually repressed age of Queen Victoria, erotic feelings were often disguised. Stoker's Dracula pervades strong sexual themes, blending the violent and bloody attacks of the vampires with a passionate yearning for sensual experience in mysterious night-time settings. Laced throughout this gothic novel arise many of these sexual expressions, however, despite this underpinned sexuality there remains a conservative ideology of woman subversive to man; the idea of the pure woman being seduced by the overpowering man, in what is thought to be a lurid sexual act, yet also strives to maintain a level of the conservative and uphold the social morals of the nineteenth century. An example of this in the text Dracula is expressed through the character of Lucy.


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