Dracula vs Metamorphosis: Compare & Contrast
The character Van Helsing in the novel Dracula has been portrayed as an experienced man with high competencies, by the author. His description in the novel is comprised of a doctor, philosopher, and metaphysician. His strong qualities have been observed throughout the novel. Besides all of these, Van Helsing is formed of some unskilled manners, which leads him to come across as somewhat incompetent (Stoker 45). On the contrary, Helsing is the only character who correctly measures Dracula’s specific brand of evil. Helsing is being portrayed as the best match against Dracula, by the author. He keeps the sense of both modern methods of Western medicine and the belief and knowledge of superstitions, backed by folk remedies. He stands himself in both worlds, the old – fearful respect for traditions, the new – ever progressing modernity. On one hand, Dr. Seward, who’s obsessed with the modern techniques only, projects his experiences on Lucy’s illness. Where on the other hand, Helsing exactly diagnosis Lucy’s cause of sickness and also suggests an appropriate treatment (chamber covered with garlic) picturing the old folk remedies to fight evil. The entire character of Van Helsing encounters no such transitions instead of remaining relatively static. After letting the earth free from Count Dracula’s evil, the presence of Helsing departs as he first arrived, dropping the impacts of righteous and religious commitment. Stoker has portrayed Van Helsing’s character as the symbol of constant good, a hero who incredibly saves the world (Stoker 78).
Gregor Samsa, in the novel Metamorphosis, undergoes a complete physical transformation, from human to a bug. The transition also changes Gregor’s character a little, in the novel. Gregor’s character is described as a man of utter commitments, having no complaints. After the collapse of his father’s business, Gregor immediately accepts and transforms himself into a money-earner man, for his family. He does the job of a traveling salesman, highly disliked to him. He overtakes his responsibilities along with its hardships, without questioning. Even after converting into an insect, Gregor accepts and faces the reality patiently, with no complaints. He does not wonder, bemoans, or tries to rectify the cause of his transformation, instead, he quickly adjusts himself to be a bug. The author mirrors the calm nature of Gregor of never complaining of becoming a bug, leaving the essence of strangeness. Dealing with his human thoughts and feelings, with the new body happens to a confliction for Gregor, to be faced in the storyline. Besides his body change, Gregor still wants to go to work, earn money, and provide for his family. This is the stage, which makes Gregor realize his helplessness that he can’t be the role model for his family as he desired to be. He can’t even go outside in his current state complying with a new body. Gregor’s insect body leaves a very strong psychological impact on him. Soon Gregor discovers that he enjoys the action of crawling on the walls and ceiling, and it’s easy for him to hide in the dark under his sofa. Going through paths, Gregor’s humanity still remains as it was. He still feels a human inside along with human emotions and strong memories allied with it. He panics when his mother and Grete move out the furniture from his room. He desperately clings to a woman picture in his room, so no one able to take it away, shows the features of his humanity. Ultimately, Gregor fails to accept his new body change and to find the new motive within his family. He feels so ashamed of this fact, which disguises his presence in the house and to his family (Kafka 67). His entire existence haunts the thoughts of resuming his role as the family’s money-earner. He decides to permanently disappear from his family for their betterment. Hence, he dies for his family interests by accepting his fate without complaints.
Both the character’s ‘Van Helsing’ and ‘Gregor’ hold a strong influence on the audience in their own perspectives. The authors of both novels try to relate the character with the value of the community. Dracula reflects the past concepts of lust, evil, sex in relation to the early 19th and 20th centuries. It was the time period when homosexuality and sex were highly controversial. The writing of evil explores the inner fears of the author’s own personal views. Therefore, he puts a character named Van Helsing, a hero, which rid the earth from this evil. It reflected thoughts on society standards for women which were extremely limited, as per the 19th & 20th centuries. The author oversees the increase of inhuman power relating to the community. Helsing destroys this power of monsters with pure honesty & no greater developments, by keeping in mind the both impacts of old and the modern world. It points to the value of both the old and the modern community, in our lives. ‘The Metamorphosis’, sharply describes the metamorphosis of Gregor, reflecting one’s internal faith of commitments, which usually lacks. Gregor sets an example for the community regarding the hardships humans conquer with tons of complaints. The present world human is unsatisfied and denies accepting the reality along with its consequences. Frans tried to explore such insecurities of humans by shaping Gregor’s character. Another significant element in the novel is a matter of time. We push away and take the time very easily. Being humans, we forget to value time in our routine times. We happen to realize our goals, mostly when time beats us. Through Gregor, the author insists on value time, because it never remains the same. Though Gregor accepted his role towards his family being a human, time transitioned his life upside down. Even becoming an insect, Gregor never forgets his humanity and the role of his life. He accepted the reality, whatever it brought to him. He quickly adjusted to life’s changing dilemmas. He never questioned nature or its creator for his metamorphosis. He always kept good thoughts for others. Even he chose to die for the best family interest, as he was unable to fulfill his role as a money-earner.
Stoker, Bram. Dracula. Mineola: Dover Publications, 2000. Print. ISBN- 13: 978-0486411095
Kafka, Fraz. The Metamorphosis, New York: Penguin Books, 2008. Print. ISBN-13: 978-0143105244