In this essay I hope to bring to notice the strong colonialist undertones that lay buried within the pages of this book. What’s interesting to note is that Stoker’s Dracula was published towards the end of the 19th century, when the English Empire was sloping towards her decline. By now the English began to question the morality of imperialism, and eventually came to doubt their status as a world power. As a result of this, they were slightly apprehensive about being colonized – either by the new emerging powers (USA and Germany), or by the “primitive” people whom they once ruled over.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula in my opinion symbolizes a reverse colonization. The book in its very essence portrays Count Dracula as the very embodiment of the east, on a quest to invade and colonize the west.
The reason the Count is bent on colonizing his colonizers can be found in the lines that he confides to Harker “There is hardly a foot of soil in all this region that has not been enriched by the blood of men, patriots or invaders,” proceeding which, the count questions the superiority of his race. Another interesting feature is that throughout the book the Transylvanians are portrayed as superstitious and daft, while the English on the other hand are shown to be polite and modernistic in demeanor.
If you think about it, what’s most scary about the count is not that he imbibes on blood and breaks bodies, but instead, it is the psychological fear associated with how he transforms bodies into something they’re not. This again can be regarded as a colonization of the body, wherein the weaker race fades out and takes on the characteristics of the stronger one. The reason Bram Stoker’s Dracula is scary, is not because of its inherent gore, but because it echoes the fears of the Victorian era.