Although simplistic, the statement that an nineteenth Century text can be used to learn a younger audience about terrorist act in today ‘s terror-filled universe, is valid. While Bram Stoker dealt with near-terrorism of his ain time-specifically the staggering settlements of Britain and the fright of reverse-colonization-the premiss used in his novel is a really valid illustration of our perceptual experiences of terrorist act today. The statement that Stoker ‘s Dracula can be used to research terrorist act contains three parts: First, we must understand how Stoker ‘s fresh tantrum into a British fright of an unknown civilization that would occupy and level Britain ‘s civilization. Then, we must understand how the novel portrays the sociological underpinnings of terrorist act, which can be straight related to our perceptual experience of terrorist act today. Finally, we must demo how those underpinnings can be understood by the pupils who will read the novel in today ‘s schoolroom.
In 1897, when Dracula was published, the novel represented the fright of an “ other ” that became more existent as the once-great British Empire was reduced by revolution and war. The Gallic Revolution had left many in England to inquire why a revolution would non convey great alteration even to their ain state. As Victorian societal norms were threatened, Stoker ‘s novel created a contemplation of Eastern Europe that helped transfuse fright of an “ other ” occupying England like a malignant neoplastic disease and turning it into a contrary settlement, harmonizing to Stephen Arata in “ The Occidental Tourist: Dracula and the Anxiety of Reverse Colonization. ” Because Dracula identifies himself as a warrior from the Carpathian part, and because he is a lamia, “ forges apparently “ natural ” links among three of his chief concerns: racial discord, the prostration of the imperium, and vampirism ” ( 630 ) . He adds that Stoker chose Transylvania as the scene for his narrative because the part of the Carpathian Mountains was, non unlike our modern Middle East, a changeless bloodletting of war. In fact, during the old ages that Stoker wrote the novel, British newspaper histories helped organize the perceptual experience that this country was populated by blood-thirsty Turks and Armenians, Arata says ( 632 ) . Because Dracula represented these sorts of warriors, Stoker made him into fable for the faceless “ others ” in Eastern Europe who could endanger England physically, but besides by assimilation. After all, Arata indicates that one time the Anglo-Saxon blood had been tainted with foreign blood, it would get down to vanish, merely as English society would get down to vanish. “ In Dracula vampirism designates a sort of colonisation of the organic structure, ” Arata says. “ Horror arises non because Dracula destroys organic structures, but because he appropriates and transforms themaˆ¦one literally ‘goes native ‘ by going a lamia oneself. ” ( 630 ) Once adequate people “ travel native, ” the contrary colonisation begins ( 631 ) . In his novel, Stoker ‘s Jonathan Harker pointedly underlines the British fright of rearward colonisation: “ This was the being I was assisting to reassign to London, where, possibly, for centuries to come he might, amongst its pullulating 1000000s, sate his lecherousness for blood, and make a new and ever-widening circle of semi-demons to secure on the helpless. ” ( 53-54 ) .
While this explains the fright of Dracula and the “ other ” in Stoker ‘s universe, the tactics used by Dracula are those which can be closely aligned with terrorist act tactics today. In the novel, Dracula has himself and several boxes of Transylvanian soil moved from his palace to London, where the boxes are scattered across the metropolis in strategic locations. He so uses each location, and the usage of assorted animate beings and his ain alteration in signifier to take victims and get down his secret invasion of British society. The fact that he blends in so good is besides an component that causes great fright.
That fright is embodied in Dracula because “ the British characters see their ain political orientation reflected
back as a signifier of bad religion, since the count ‘s Occidentalism both mimics and reverses the more familiar Orientalism subventioning Western imperial patterns ” ( 634 ) .
Today ‘s “ Other ” and fright of terrorist act
In Dracula, the “ others ” were assorted races, including “ Wallachian, the Saxon, and the Turk, ” Dracula says. “ Why, there is barely a pes of dirt in all this part that has non been enriched by the blood of work forces, nationalists or encroachers. ” Likewise, many Americans view the Middle East as the same sort of topographic point. Because the civilization of the part is marked by force, spiritual war and a deficiency of what Americans view as civil rights, there is a sort of tunnel-vision outlook that classifies Arabs and Muslims as the same sort of barbarian vanquishers as those depicted by Dracula. Journalist John Kilner ( 5 ) points out that the definition of terrorist act is debated as an East vs. West inquiry. His description centres on whether terrorist events, such as Sept. 11, have hardened attitudes against assorted racial groups and political systems. “ Terrorism and its wake, many observers have suggested, has raised or increased chauvinistic sentiments, every bit good as anti-Islamic, anti-refugee and anti-asylum searcher sentiments in some states, ” Kilner says. He besides points out that recent terrorist act has triggered argument on Islamic frock, security, Islamic schools and multiculturalism, among other subjects ( 5-6 )
This “ hardening of attitudes, ” as Kilner calls it, is non unlike the attitudes portrayed in Dracula. The attitudes against the Eastern European Dracula finally caused Dr. Van Helsing to carry other characters in Dracula that a devilish program was afoot. The characters came to detest Dracula, who, of class, represented the same sort of hatred in English society against the “ other ” races that could endanger it. Not unlike contemporary terrorists, Dracula mastered his victims ‘ heads, so their organic structures, but finally, he conquered their land. In his concluding comments, Arata implicitly points out that “ before Dracula successfully invades the infinites of his victims ‘ organic structures or land, he successfully invades their cognition. ” ( 645 ) . Arata besides points how Dracula invades by get the hanging the British society, and so, by association, begins to get the hang their heads, and finally, their lands ( 645 ) .
In all studies of modern terrorist act, and surely in the instance of the Sept. 11, 2001 onslaught on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, we see a Dracula-like appropriation of American civilization, followed by a disabling onslaught. The terrorists trained to wing planes in the state and lived in strategic locations that would finally take them to carry through their onslaughts. These actions can be paralleled with the usage of the boxes of Earth by Dracula and the picking of Jonathan Harker ‘s head in the beginning text. Modern terrorists, much like Dracula, seek to utilize cognition to travel in secret in Western society. Merely as Dracula told Harker he needed to larn the linguistic communication, modern terrorists seek to larn Western civilization and linguistic communication. “ Well I know that, did I move and speak in your London, none there are who would non cognize me for a alien, ” Dracula tells Harker ( 26 ) . Likewise, those who would terrorise Western states seek to larn to travel as indigens. Dracula ‘s success is due to the fact that he uses his physical properties and his head to intermix into the society he is get downing to suppress, Eric Kwan-Wai Yu ( 160 ) says.
Indeed, Dracula is a title-holder of rational labour every bit good as a brilliant ‘mimic adult male. ‘ Having perfected his English, he easy passes for an Englishman. It should be noted that neither the keeper of the Zoological Cardens nor the teamsters realize that he is a alien Probably the lone clip English people suspect his foreigner. ( 160 ) .
The truth, nevertheless, is that he is a alien who is from that Eastern European part that Victorian Society, along with other western states, has decided is backwards. It is an shocking idea that such work forces ( or animals ) would return to London and pervert the public, despite the fact that many of the eastern states were merely somewhat different than England, Jason Dittmer said.
“ With new provinces in south-eastern Europe gaining independency. Western Europe was so forced to do a determination: how to place these liminal infinites on the border of Europe. These provinces were Christian and within the boundaries of Europe as they were normally understood-yet this district had been abandoned by the enlightenment as barbarian. Oriental infinites fit to be ignored or treated as a tabula rasa by the West ( 54 ) . ”
Puting in all into the schoolroom
By placing the similarities between modern twenty-four hours terrorists and the character Dracula, we can get down to paint an reliable image in the schoolroom of the post-modern construct of terrorist act. Besides, the political frights and worlds that Stoker ‘s Britain faced at the stopping point of the nineteenth Century and beginning of the twentieth Century can be compared to similar frights and worlds in the twenty-first Century. Because such similarities can be aligned, the text is a perfect tool to learn about terrorist act, political forces and perceptual experience of political motive in modernness. It must be understood, nevertheless, that a clear image of the fright of terrorist act versus a clear image of menace are two different issues.
By utilizing Dracula in the schoolroom to learn approximately terrorist act as it relates to post-modern times, we must utilize cautiousness to explicate that Stoker ‘s rendering of panic was besides written for an audience that would bask a “ surface ” reading for amusement intents as good. While the book can be mined for usage in an educational scene, perceptual experience should be a keyword that is used to explicate the context of the novel and its relation to the alleged “ War on Terror ” of today. In fact, while Kilner points to specific instruction on the point of terrorist act as “ It seems best to make what teachers do-systematically program an attack to researching issues raised by terrorist act, with due consideration to the sensitivenesss that this issue raises ( 6 ) . ” He so points out several lesson thoughts that could be used to that terminal ( 7-11 ) . Sociologist Jeffrey S. Victor points out, talking from a social-science position, the fright instilled the thought of terrorist act is much more powerful that the terrorists themselves ( 9 ) . Victor explains that much of the fright produced by the onslaughts of Sept. 11, 2001, like the few onslaughts by Dracula on the occupants of London, grew into what he characterizes as a “ moral terror ( 9-10 ) . ”
THERE IS Legitimate CONCERN in the United States about foreign terrorists assailing Americans on U.S. dirt. However, the concern has been hyped beyond ground. One merely necessitate compare the terrorist menace with the Cold War danger posed by intercontinental missiles transporting 100s of atomic bombs, deliverable in proceedingss by the former Soviet Union. More significantly, the terrorist act panic has resulted in the worst maltreatments of power since Richard Nixon ‘s old ages in the White House. ( 9-10 )
For the grounds cited by Victor, pupils must be made to understand that perceptual experience of an immorality and the truth of the immoralities are two really different thoughts. This construct is besides illustrated in Dracula, wherein Stoker, for most of the novel, shows Dracula as an infallible threat with shape-shifting, invisibleness, mind control and bloodlust used in his armory of arms. These are the creative activities of Stoker and would non do any entity identified as an “ other ” to British society unbeatable. Quite to the contrary, Van Helsing points Dracula ‘s failing out as a simple mental defect which has caused his encephalon to stay undeveloped. He is cunning like an animate being, but has the urges of a kid, Van Helsing explains: “ Well, in him the encephalon powers survived the physical decease ; though it would look that memory was non all complete. In some modules of head he has been, and is, merely a kid ( 263 ) . ” The modern terrorist besides shows failing, but it is undermined by the moral terror that Victor speaks about.
Victor argues that naming terrorists “ evil ” and overstating the Numberss of people involved in terrorist activities are a manner to blind the populace to the existent menace versus the sensed menace. “ The enemy ‘s qualities are ever the mirror antonym of those in one ‘s ain civilization. So, for illustration, Bush disposal functionaries have invariably painted the terrorist enemy as motivated by their “ hatred of freedom. ” U.S. attempts to counter terrorist menaces are framed as “ contending for freedom ( 10 ) . ” Terrorists are besides said to figure in the “ 10s of 1000s, ” harmonizing to Victor, and to be in metropoliss across the universe in “ sleeper cells ” ( 11 ) . This brings the image of the diversely staged caskets all over London which enable Dracula to efficaciously terrorise London.
All of these elements, taken together, created panic in Stoker ‘s novel for the Britons who read in day-to-day newspapers about the menace of barbarian hosts from Eastern Europe, but besides help to make the panic that defines terrorist act in its post-modern sense.
Bram Stoker ‘s Dracula is an accessible vehicle to theoretical account and discourse post-modern terrorist act in the schoolroom. Through the word picture of Dracula, the similarities of beliefs about a homogeneous “ other ” that threatens Western Civilization, and the perceptual experience of fright, the novel gives an reliable parallel image to the post-modern construct of terrorist act in the West. While there are analogues, nevertheless, the 1 that is most unsafe is that of perceptual experience.
The perceptual experience of immorality and the mass graduated table of the enemy, whether he is Dracula or a collective of a terrorist group, is where the existent panic lives, grows and breathes. Much like the encephalon that Van Helsing described in Dracula, the perceptual experience begins without memory, survives decease and grows into the emotion of a child-brain. Through the usage of mass media, people are invariably bombarded with the images and words of the “ other ” that threatens the West, specifically the United States. In sociological footings, Victor calls it a moral terror. In practical footings, the moral terror should be managed in the schoolroom to let pupils to pull out the analogues and the power of authoritative literature, but, in the terminal, to larn critical thought accomplishments that lead them to an informed apprehension of what the existent menaces are to Western Civilization and the hereafter of their states. In this manner, Dracula, the novel is immortal in a manner that Stoker likely did non mean. It is still a really entertaining read, but it besides informs a different populace and a different organic structure politic of the difference between existent panic and imagined panic.