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The Characteristics In Monster Novels

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 1160 words Published: 20th Apr 2017

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The “monster” characters in Dracula and Maus share similar personalities. In the first novel, the “monster” is the vampire named Dracula; he is a very greedy and cold-blooded character. One of his main goals is to take over England. To reach this goal he has to create more “monsters” to help him in this goal. “This was the being I was helping transfer to London where…he might…create a new and ever widening circle of semi-demons to batten on the helpless” (Dracula, 60). Both Dracula and the Nazis possess a power that has the ability to harm, manipulate, and even control others; Dracula with his mind control and the Nazis with their guns. Their victims are usually someone cannot protect themselves against the enemy. “[H]e is powerful to do much harm and suffers not as we do” (Dracula, 336). In Dracula, the people that Dracula decided to hunt did not have any special powers to stop him; he targets mostly women, for example, Lucy and Mina. When he bits them he mostly does it in their sleep when they are defenseless. Hitler’s plan was to eventually take over Europe. He uses his power to form the Nazis; he also gives the power to control others. The Nazis use their power to control people that seemed to be below the “ideal” human, they mostly used this power toward the Jews. The Nazis had some character traits that were similar to Draculas’ personality. In Maus, even though the character of Hitler is not displayed in the novel, there are Nazi soldiers that represent the “monster” in the novel. One example in Maus about the Nazis use of power is that the Nazis had hung four Jews in public. “They’ve taken four Jews away for dealing goods without coupons.” “The Germans intended to make an example out of them!” (Maus I, Spiegelman, 83). This quote showed how cold-blooded the Nazis were. Instead of issuing a notice or warning, about dealing goods, they decided to hang not just one, but four Jewish citizens for giving out goods without coupons. The misuse of power to harm the innocent and the desire to rule the land is a common personality that can be seen in the “monsters” the Nazis and Dracula.

#2: Monsters (Reaction of readers/characters to them)

These personalities of the “monsters” in the two novels are able to affect the readers. But why do they affect the reader? Maybe the novel was well written, maybe the reader has some experience with the events that happened in the novel, or maybe there is a type of “monster” that is able to relate to the reader. “You shall be sorry yet, each one of you! You think you have left me without a place to rest; but I have more. My revenge is just begun!” (Dracula, 326) According to Carl Jung, a psychiatrist, there is a psychological term called the “shadow” and it represents the “dark” side of people and their weaknesses. Humans tend to overlook that part of their selves. The shadow is a representation of all the negative feelings and evil thoughts that a person holds in their unconscious minds. Once presented with anything that would represent a part of that negative feeling, and that would bring that shadow into our consciousness, people would fear that thing. Jung said that another reason humans would react this way is because the shadow is often ignored and rejected by people in fear. People do not want to admit that they have evil and negative thoughts. In the novel Dracula, the villain of the book is shown as an extreme of that evil. “[H]e is brute, and more than brute: he is devil in callous, and the heart of him is not; he can, within limitations, appear at will…and he can at times vanish and come unknown” (Dracula, 252). When in villain that is feared possesses all the characteristics the readers do not want to acknowledge that is in themselves, that villain is able to become extremely scary and horrifying,. Another example is in Maus, the Nazis were feared by all Jews even before they really met them in person, the Jews have read stories about the Nazis. “It was many, many such stories…each story worse than the other” (Maus I, 33). Since Maus is a personal recounting of a true story, this made reading the stories of the Nazis and the way they treat humans in Maus even more horrifying. “Some kids were screaming and screaming. They couldn’t stop. So the Germans swinged them by the legs against a wall…and they never anymore screamed.”(Maus I, 108) Whether people want to admit it or not, humans all have this lying, cheating, and violent side in them that they want to avoid. Once someone meets a character that is able to represent the very shadow or personality that they are afraid of, then they fear that very being.

#3: Monster (Characteristics in Popular Literature)

Readers fear these “monsters” because they are able to portray the characteristics that the readers might not want to admit exist, either in themselves or in someone else. Many authors continue to include this “monster” personality in their works, and some of these personalities are seen in the “evil” characters in popular literature that exist today. One example would be in the Harry Potter series. The evil wizard Voldemort is portrayed as a character of terror. “Imagine that Voldemort’s powerful now… You’re scared for yourself, and your family, and your friends. Every week, news comes of more deaths, more disappearances, more torturing …meanwhile, Muggles are dying too. Terror everywhere … panic … confusion … that’s how it used to be.” (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 475). Voldemort targets on the weak wizards and humans (Muggles). He wants to rule over the wizarding world. Voldemort gathers supporters in his quest to get rid of all “mud-bloods and half-bloods” (wizards that had married humans). His cold-blooded-ness is also seen multiple times when he abandons his old name, uses others and when and kills innocent people without a second thought. “Voldemort uses people his enemies are close to, He’s already used you as bait once…” (Harry Potter and the Hal-Blood Prince, 646). Like Voldemort, the Nazis in the graphic novel Maus used other and that was just Like in Dracula and in Maus, Voldemort shows similar qualities that both Dracula and the Nazis show.

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Similar to Voldemort, Claudius, in Shakespeare’s’ Play Hamlet is feared and hated by readers. He is seen as an evil and sly person that kills his brother so that he can take over the throne and become the ruler of Denmark. He abuses his power to harm others; he even planned to kill his own nephew and ends up killing his brother’s wife, Gertrude.


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