These are all my theories, of course, so please take them with a grain of salt. And if you or others know things that would blast my theories, please present them. I would love to be proven wrong on this one!
I have read that Bram Stoker wrote Dracula in a tiny “apartment” in Soho, one of the slum districts of England. There are hints in various bios of “darker” behaviors by Stoker.
That sets up an alarm bell with me. Why would a man who is writing a “virtuous” book feel the need to write surrounded by dabauchery and crime? And if the “rumors” are true, he himself was delving into some of this lifestyle.
I would think that if a virtuous man or woman is writing a novel about the darker side and sin, that they would write the novel in a wholesome and pure setting so that the Lord Jesus could help them to write something uplifting and filled with hope and light, even in the midst of the darkness. I would think that the writer would want to be very careful not to get swept up in the evil and tempted too much.
I take the novels I’ve written into the Adoration Chapel (24/7) at my parish and show them to Jesus.
That’s my main reason for suspecting that underneath the veneer of religion and the devoutness of the Christian characters in the novel is a leering disdain for Christianity.
In the novel, Dracula’s character is strong, well-developed, intriguing, sexy (for those times), intelligent–a real man’s man (and woman’s man, too–I’m a woman, BTW.) The Christian characters in the novel seem insipid and foppish compared to him, other than Quincy Morris, the American in the novel.
In many places in the novel, it almost feels as if Stoker WANTS to let Dracula win, but he can’t take his story in this direction because he would become a social pariah and an outcast in English society. At one point, in a confrontation between the team and Dracula, Dracula taunts them by saying, “Your girls that you all love are mine already.”
It just seems to me that Stoker presents the “evil” as a temptation, a “power” that is available to anyone who will venture in and accept Dracula’s “gift.” The various descriptions of the “undead” are simply too fascinating. It’s as if Stoker is holding out something forbidden, a “bait,” and saying, “Isn’t this just hideous? It’s so disgusting and offensive. Isn’t it horrible to think of taking this evil thing into your life?” But what he’s really saying is, “You want it, don’t you, you hypocrite! And you call yourself a Christian!”
I hope I’m not doing Mr. Stoker a disservice here. I’m just basing this theory on my reading about the lives of the authors who lived during that time period.
Let’s move my theory into the present time. Let’s say that Michael Moore writes and produces a charming and touching spiritual story about Jesus.
I wouldn’t trust it as far as you could shake a stick!! Would you?! I wouldn’t believe it. I wouldn’t go see it. I wouldn’t care if Billy Graham and Pope Benedict XVI both announce that it’s the best story about Jesus ever written! Considering the source (Michael Moore), no way!
Michael Moore would have to literally give away all his wealth and join the poorest missionary organization in the world and clean out the weeping wounds of the poor for years before I would be convinced that his sweet story was anything other than a vile satire, a fun-fest at Jesus’ expense, a trick to fool stupid Christians into thinking that he had repented.
Like I said, I hope I’m not doing Mr. Stoker a disservice. And I do think that on the surface, the novel is an excellent heroic quest. Perhaps the Holy Spirit wouldn’t let his viler motives break through into the novel!