Internet Defense League


Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Bram Stolker's Dracula

Bram Stolker's Dracula was often considered the first Vampire Lore.  While that is untrue, since there have been novels and urban legends before hand. It was the most well known, spawning movies, spin-offs, video games and even comics/manga.  It was the first of the three talking monsters of the Universal movie line. The other two being Frankenstein and the Wolf Man, but I'll get to them next time. Like the other two he was also played by various influential actors. Most famously, Bella Lugosi, and Gary Oldman, the latter of which who escaped typecasting by playing Commissioner Gordon in the Nolan Batman Series, while the former spent his remaining years in movies by Ed Wood.  When I first heard about Dracula all I could think of was "What the guy who goes 'I vant to suck your blehd Bleh Bleh.' " I didn't take him very much seriously.  That was until I watched the Universal Dracula for the first time, I was awed by Bela's performance. He was one of the few horror characters I have seen, that didn't need blood or gore to scare me. 

The story begins with Johnathan Harker, a solicitor (lawyer, not salesman.) from London who came to Transylvania Romania in order to give legal documents over real estate to Count Dracula.  Dracula at first greets him warmly, but finds himself to be Dracula's prisoner. Dracula in turn plans to go to England in order to establish himself there.  There is where he stalks Mina Murray and Lucy Westenra, the former of which is Johnathan's fiancee.  As time goes by Lucy falls ill to a strange disease that causes her to become Anemic.  Peter Seward, the local doctor calls in an old teacher of his, Abraham Van Helsing   Helsing tells his student that Lucy is turning into a vampire.  Lucy dies and becomes Dracula's fourth wife (The first three already back in his Transylvanian home.)  Johnathan escapes the castle just as soon as the Count not only turn Mina, but also make her drink his blood making her telepathically connected to Dracula.  Johnathan, Abraham, Seward, along with their friends chase Dracula to his home in hopes killing him would free Mina from a fate worse than Lucy's.

Now for the fun part. Can It Exist In Real Life?

First before we can answer that let's go over from that book what makes a Vampire.  A Vampire has the following traits:
* Eternal Life
* The Need For Blood..
* Allergic To Garlic, and Silver.
* Powerless against Religious symbols.
* Can Turn Others.
* Master of Mind Control.
* Can Die From Impalement and Beheading.
* Powerless or Fatally Weak Against the Sun.
* Super Strength

Now that we gotten those out of the way, let's see if they exist. For the sunlight, there are people who suffer from a disease known as Photosensitivity. We all suffer from it in various ways such as sunburn, but in some cases, most people can't go out without some kind of sun protection, which results in severe burns to the skin and muscle underneath. For some it's so severe that ordinary lamps could burn them just by shining. Other diseases include sunstroke in which prolonged exposure to the sun would effect the brain, weakening the body.  I myself once knew a guy who suffered from a severe case, that he had to stay in shady spots just to keep himself from fainting.  Next we have the Allergy to Garlic and Silver, while food allergy is not uncommon in Garlic's case, Silver seems to be an unlikely chance of it happening in real life.  However according to there does exist a specific allergy to silver and all metals called Dermatitis. In which someone who suffers from said allergy would have an allergic reaction to just touching said metals.  The need for blood is also a simple explanation.  Those who have a need for blood suffer from Anemia, in which the body has less hemoglobin (the key ingredient for blood.) than most people.  The cause is usually from excessive blood loss, a common trait that happens in both Vampires and victims of Vampirism.  Treatments of the disease include blood transfusion, in which more blood is introduced to the blood stream. As well as Oral Iron, a process in which increasing the iron in your diet is supposed to increase the blood flow.  Turning others is also another easy one. Many people attribute Vampirism and Rabies to go hand in hand since they both have an effect of bloodlust, as well as being able to spread the disease through a bite or a scratch.  Super Strength is another blood related example. There is a real life dangerous example of it known as blood doping, in which a person transfuses blood into their system to increase the blood cell count. However the con of it is that the increase in blood in the system also increases the viscosity which inturn amps up the blood clotting and pressure putting the person at risk of a stroke or a heart attack. Do not do this, it will kill you, or like the victims of Vampirism, leave you in a fate worse than death.  Their weakness against religious symbols, the most popular being the Cross, attributes more to psychological than physical.  Since Dracula takes place at a time when Christianity was the dominant religion, many of Dracula's victims and Dracula himself are Christians to and since they feared the Cross in life that effect imprinted on their psyche in death.  This in turn causes them to die at the sight alone of one.  In other words, it's them self that kills them.  As for the impalement and beheading, it is no different than a human being getting killed, as proven in this very book since it was a Bowie knife that killed Dracula and not a wooden stake like in future installments.  The only thing that is complicated to explain would be the Eternal life.  The reason being is that there is no scientific way to explain how a man, who spends his nights for centuries feeding on the blood of living beings, could sustain his own life for that long.

As for the man himself. Can Dracula Exist In Real Life?  The Answer is an Emphatic Yes!! You see Dracula's real name is Wladislaus Dragwlya III also known as Vlad Dracula the third.  You may know him as Vlad The Impaler who campaigned against the Ottomans. His name derives from his favorite method of executing his enemies.  He was assasinated in 1476 but the exact date and location of his death is unknown. However his cruelty was what inspired Bram to write the book in the first place. 

As usual debate, argue and let me know if I missed anything. Stay tuned for more.

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