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Vampires in Literature
Monsters are a big part of the horror genre whose main purpose is to invoke fear in its reader. Horror gives the reader the chance to escape from his everyday life, into the world of excitement and fantasy, and experience the relief which follows when the horror has ended.
Vampires belong to the literary tradition of horror and started out as monsters of pure evil that preyed on the innocent. Count Dracula, from Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula (1897), is an example of an evil being which belongs to the class of the “old” vampire. Religious fears and the control of the church were much of what contributed to the terrors which the old vampire conveyed. Count Dracula as an example of the old vampire was a demonic creature who has strayed away from Gods grace and could not even bear to look at religious symbols such as the crucifix.
The image of the literary vampire has changed with time and in the latter part of the 20th century it has lost most of its monstrosity and religious connotations. The vampire’s popular image is now more of a misunderstood troubled soul who battles its inner urges to harm others, this type being the “new” vampire.
The vampire will be demonstrated as a representation of man’s evil urges, which makes him identify with both the “old” and the “new” class of vampires. The vampire symbolizes freedom from societies control in regard to morality and sexuality, the evil of which man is capable of; and “the other”, as being an outcast from humanity. Both the new and old kinds of vampires attract people that are marginalised so they recognize the vampire’s otherness. The vampire stands also as an image of sexual deviancies which makes the vampire an outlet for sexual fantasy that does not fit in with the so called norm.