The Modern Gothic and Literary Doubles: Stevenson, Wilde and by Linda Dryden (auth.)
By Linda Dryden (auth.)
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Additional info for The Modern Gothic and Literary Doubles: Stevenson, Wilde and Wells
Even so, Wells sounds a cautionary note about making utopia practicable. Human nature, Nature herself must be recognized as largely given: I suppose we should follow Morris to his Nowhere, we should make the whole race wise, tolerant, noble, perfect – wave our hands to a splendid anarchy, every man doing as it pleases him, and none pleased to do evil, in a world as good in its essential nature, as ripe and sunny, as the world before the Fall. But that golden age, that perfect world, comes out into the possibilities of space and time.
And out of the midst of it shone two burning points like eyes, and I saw a writhing and stirring as of limbs, and something moved and lifted up what might have been an arm. The doctor took a step forward, raised the iron bar and struck at the burning points; he drove in the weapon, and struck again and again in the fury of loathing. (TI, 207) Leicester’s transformation from a man ‘handsomer than most men’ to a writhing mass of repulsive slime takes place in the heart of suburban London (TI, 196).
Underlying all of this are also implications of a decadent, perverse sexuality on the part of Count Dracula, as Ellis observes: ‘the English confine legitimate sexuality to the marital bed and the ideology of love, while Dracula’s alien sanguinary desires suggest wilder passion and perverse sexual practices (oral sex, tribadism, homosexuality)’ (Ellis, 195). After Lucy Westenra is vampirized, the Count turns his attentions to Mina Harker and ‘exposes her to an hyperbolic emotional world, redolent of a terror and sexuality that she plainly cannot name’ (Ellis, 197), and she cannot name her terrors because ‘unspeakability’ is a function of the Gothic mode.