Beyond Dracula: Bram Stoker’s Fiction and its Cultural by William Hughes (auth.)

By William Hughes (auth.)

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In effect, the Giant facilitates the repentance of those he, on first sight, persecutes. All are judged on their inner merits rather than through the superficial appearances that characterise a society where there are 'some very rich and .. many poor' (UTS 45). Even the saintly Knoal succumbs, as the final victim of the Giant, though much of his parting speech to Zaya conveys the resignation of a martyr: ' I am the last victim, and I gladly die' (UTS 68). His redemptive and medical mission over, Knoal may at last Jay down his life .

The Epistle to the Romans bluntly states that ' the Wages of Sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord' (Rom. 6:23). The entry of sin into Stoker's allegorical paradise is, however, problematic in that, far from being the apparent consequence of an explicit act of disobedience, the change is not merely permitted but in effect facilitated by the All-Father, a deific though intangible presence whose beneficence in the volume is otherwise rendered as being beyond question.

His humility is thus entirely appropriate for a Christian knight on the eve of battle. 16 Zaphir's prayers - and his behaviour whilst at prayer - are, however, equally an expression of the story's contemporary Protestantism, albeit simplified for a junior audience. Where the Biblical David, armed by Saul with helmet, sword and mail refuses to do battle using the weapons, saying 'unto Saul, I cannot go with these, for I have not proved them' (I Sam. 17:39), Zaphir, similarly 'doffed his splendid armour, which shone like a sun on earth, he took off the splendid helmet, and he laid by the flashing sword; and they lay in a lifeless heap beside h im' (UTS 36).

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