Anti-Christianity is a major reoccurring theme throughout Bram Stokers Dracula. The novel portrays Anti-Christian values and beliefs, through one of its characters. Dracula one of the main characters in the novel is used to take on the characteristics of the Anti-Christ. Stoker uses many beliefs from the Christian religion to display numerous amounts of Anti-Christian values, superstitious beliefs of the protection towards evil, and to compare and contrast the powers of God with those of Dracula. It is a theme that is used throughout the entire book. There are many ways that Bram Stoker’s character Dracula can be considered the Anti-Christ, mostly because of the showing of Anti-Christian values and abuses of the Christian religion.
In chapter one as Jonathan Harker is traveling to Castle Dracula he is met by several people who give him a crucifix when he tells them where he is heading. One superstition is that a rosary will protect you from all evil, and in this novel the evil is Dracula. This rosary protects him when Jonathan cuts himself shaving the next day and Dracula lunges for his throat, but stops when he sees the crucifix around Jonathan’s neck. Later in the book it discusses how you can defend yourself from Dracula and other vampires by the possession of a crucifix or practically any consecrated item from the Christian religion can be used to save you from the attack or presence of a vampire. Another example of one of the superstitious acts is later in the book when Van Helsing uses a Host to prevent Dracula from entering his coffin or when he makes a Holy Circle with the Hosts to keep vampires out and to keep Mina safe.
All of these are examples in which some forms of Christian beliefs are used to prevent the attack of Dracula. Dracula has several powers that the Christian’s believe no one but God could control. For instance, Dracula can control the weather, wild, or unclean animals, he can change form, and has the power of necromancy. Christians believe that consuming God’s body and blood will give them everlasting life with God in heaven, Dracula is remaining undead, or nosferatu, by consuming the blood of the living to survive and to build his strength. By this, Dracula is relying on humans to restore his life after death and not concentrating on God as the source of life.
It is said that you must let God into your heart, Dracula may not enter someone’s home unless they let him in. God is referred to in the Bible as being the light, which symbolizes happiness or life. Dracula’s powers are limited during the light and his powers are stronger in the night, during darkness, which symbolizes evil. Dracula moves to an old abandoned Church not used anymore which can show that God is no longer present which would accomplish Dracula’s purpose of spreading evil. Dracula is also portrayed as the Anti-Christ by having similarities with Jesus but in evil ways. As Dracula feeds on the blood of the living he creates followers as Jesus had disciples.
Throughout the book several times, normally while Reinfield (one of his followers or disciples) is speaking, when Dracula is referred to the pronoun is capitalized, as Christians would do when referring to God. Reinfield views Dracula as god-like and all-powerful, he also refers to him as his master. Throughout the novel, Bram Stoker uses many biblical allusions to show the god-like manner of Dracula, such as the blood is the life said by Reinfield and when Renfield quotes Enoch. Renfield wants to walk by Draculas side as Enoch walked by Gods side. When the count is defeated in the end, he becomes dust. This is important because turning into dust represents Christian freedom in death and frees him from his evil ways.
Bram Stokers Dracula emphasizes role of Christianity against Draculas Anti-Christian presence. Dracula himself is a demonic figure, both in appearance and in behavior, and could be considered the Anti-Christ. In many ways Dracula is represented as the epitome of evil. In the end, he is defeated by holiness. Dracula uses many biblical references and shows a true resemblance between Dracula and anti-Christian beliefs.Bibliography: