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Bram Stoker’s Dracula Dr. Beth Torgerson. Review, Chapters 17-22 Characters Characters Plots Plots Themes Themes Dracula Film Poster 1931.

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Presentation on theme: "Bram Stoker’s Dracula Dr. Beth Torgerson. Review, Chapters 17-22 Characters Characters Plots Plots Themes Themes Dracula Film Poster 1931."— Presentation transcript:

1 Bram Stoker’s Dracula Dr. Beth Torgerson

2 Review, Chapters Characters Characters Plots Plots Themes Themes Dracula Film Poster 1931

3 Evolution Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, 1859 Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, 1859 Survival of the fittest Survival of the fittest Which characters represent social evolution? Which characters represent social evolution?

4 The Origin of the Species (1859) Darwin’s theory on “the struggle for existence” is about the interconnectedness of all living creatures and how life itself depends upon death—through the eating of food! On the food chain: On the food chain: “[W]e do not see or we forget, that the birds which are idly singing round us mostly live on insects or seeds, and are thus constantly destroying life; or we forget how largely these songsters, or their eggs, or their nestlings, are destroyed by birds and beasts of prey….” (p in Norton Anthology ) “[W]e do not see or we forget, that the birds which are idly singing round us mostly live on insects or seeds, and are thus constantly destroying life; or we forget how largely these songsters, or their eggs, or their nestlings, are destroyed by birds and beasts of prey….” (p in Norton Anthology )

5 The Origin of the Species (1859) On the beginning of life evolving into more complex species: “There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.” (p in Norton Anthology ) On evolution as progress: “And as natural selection works solely by and for the good of each being, all corporeal and mental endowments will tend to progress towards perfection.” (p in Norton Anthology )

6 Social Darwinism Herbert Spencer, a Victorian psychologist and social theorist, adapts Darwin’s biological theory to discuss social evolutionary theory, i.e. social Darwinism. Herbert Spencer By Miss A. Grant

7 Degeneration Max Nordau, Degeneration, 1892 Max Nordau, Degeneration, 1892 Cesare Lombroso’s “Criminal Man” Cesare Lombroso’s “Criminal Man” Which characters represent social degeneration? Which characters represent social degeneration? Count’s crimes versus crimes of civilized heroes Count’s crimes versus crimes of civilized heroes

8 Max Nordeau’s Degeneration (1892) Nordeau’s theory : If species, including man, can evolve, then species can potential de-volve, degenerate as well. Nordeau’s focus is primarily on man. “The concept of degeneracy… was first clearly grasped and formulated by Morel [who wrote the following]: ‘The clearest notion we can form of degeneracy is to regard it as a morbid deviation from an original type. This deviation, even if, at the outset, it was ever so slight, contained transmissible elements of such a nature that anyone bearing in him the germs becomes more and more incapable of fulfilling his functions in the world; and mental progress, already checked in his own person, finds itself menaced also in his descendants’.” (p. 471, Broadview edition of Dracula ) “The concept of degeneracy… was first clearly grasped and formulated by Morel [who wrote the following]: ‘The clearest notion we can form of degeneracy is to regard it as a morbid deviation from an original type. This deviation, even if, at the outset, it was ever so slight, contained transmissible elements of such a nature that anyone bearing in him the germs becomes more and more incapable of fulfilling his functions in the world; and mental progress, already checked in his own person, finds itself menaced also in his descendants’.” (p. 471, Broadview edition of Dracula )

9 Max Nordeau’s Degeneration (1892) On the signs of degeneracy: “squint-eyes, harelips, irregularities in the form and position of the teeth….” (p. 472, Broadview edition of Dracula ) On the “mental development of degenerates”: “That which nearly all degenerates lack is the sense of morality and of right and wrong. For them there exists no law, no decency, no modesty.” (p. 472, Broadview edition of Dracula )

10 Cesare Lombroso’s “L’homme criminal” Translation: The Criminal Man (1895) After dissecting criminals, Lombroso notices an abnormal depression where the spine and the skull meet that reminds him of the skeletal structure of inferior animals which initiates his theory on “the criminal man.”

11 Cesare Lombroso’s “L’homme criminal” On the criminal : “an atavistic being who reproduces in his person the ferocious instincts of primitive humanity and the inferior animals. Thus were explained anatomically the enormous jaws, high cheek-bones, …love of orgies, and the irresistible craving for evil for its own sake, the desire not only to extinguish life in the victim, but to mutilate the corpse, tear its flesh, and drink its blood.” (p , Broadview edition of Dracula ) On the criminal : “an atavistic being who reproduces in his person the ferocious instincts of primitive humanity and the inferior animals. Thus were explained anatomically the enormous jaws, high cheek-bones, …love of orgies, and the irresistible craving for evil for its own sake, the desire not only to extinguish life in the victim, but to mutilate the corpse, tear its flesh, and drink its blood.” (p , Broadview edition of Dracula ) — “monstrosity” and “hairiness” are given in a later list as signs of criminality (p. 469 Broadview edition of Dracula ) On criminality : “a return to the characteristics peculiar to primitive savages” (p. 469)

12 Assignments For Friday, May 4Discussion Board Closes at 2pm For Friday, May 4BREAKOUT SESSIONS For Monday, May 7Chapters 23-27, Pages For Wednesday, May 9GAME SHOW REVIEW


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