Saturday, November 20, 2010

Dracula and Easy Sex

If that isn't an attractive title, I don't know what is.

I am currently reading Dracula for the second time, this time in the context of an English novel course. We have had two classes on it so far (out of five total, I think) and the discussions have been 100% involved in the sexual themes of the book. I am not going to argue whether or not the sexual images/themes are there or not, or whether Stoker intentionally put sexual imagery/themes in the book or or if it's a case of extreme Victorian repression.
I am going to argue that not discussing any other aspect of the book, or only discussing other elements in the book as they relate to the sexual themes, is completely unfair.
(did that sentence make sense?)
I mean, Dracula is a fantastic, lengthy, page-turning book. Analyzing it as a piece of literature, there are a TON of things in it to devour and dissect (or, think about in a less violent manner). There's Victorian society, British imperialism, reverse colonialism, the role of women (Mina is so awesome for the first half of the book, and then suddenly everyone puts her in a gilded cage), the unconscious, memories, ETC ETC AD INFINITUM. I do not understand why all of our discussions have been about sex, or about how these things I just listed are completely sexualized in the book.
There is a reason dirty jokes are the easiest form of humor. Talking about sex in literature is the academic equivalent, in my opinion. I'm not saying we shouldn't have a conversation about it, but....there is a certain point where you should move on.

Does anyone else have thoughts on this? Whether or not you're an English student or have read Dracula?


Snazel said...

You know my background, or lack of it, on this subject. :D But what you're saying does make sense! If anyone is ever discussing only ONE aspect of a book, that seems sloppy to me.

Though while that might be an reasonable thing to do with some titles when you're under a time crunch - To Kill A Mockingbird and racism, say- Dracula and sex seems to be stretching it a bit.

Bahnree said...

Yes! Sloppy is exactly the word I'm looking for. But maybe the prof will make up for it in the other class meetings (although with my experience of her so far, I doubt it).