Abstract

As powerful as Count Dracula is, his freedom to move in space is quite limited. He must seek the assistance of non-vampires. Slovaks and Gypsies play a vital role in the plot of Dracula. These ethnic groups help the Count to London from his castle in Transylvania and from London back to his castle. Despite the significance of their affiliation with the Count, both the Slovaks and Gypsies have received little attention in Stoker scholarship. This article offers a detailed analysis of Stoker’s inclusion and characterization of the Slovaks and Gypsies in Dracula, discussing not only these understudied characters but their thematic foundations. They are cleverly linked to long-standing Victorian anxieties—Slavo-phobia (fear of a Russian-headed, Pan-Slavic formation in Eastern Europe) and Gypso-phobia (fear of the increasing numbers of Gypsies all over Britain). Stoker uses the Slovaks and Gypsies and their native land, Transylvania, for literary exploitation to feed the text’s xenophobic and imperialist ambitions: to preserve the “purity” of British identity and culture constantly threatened by external (from the colonies) and internal (within Britain itself) foreign elements. It is a narrative strategy to propagate British cultural norms and geopolitical interests. [190 words]

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 523-535
Launched on MUSE
2015-05-29
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Will Be Archived 2021
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