Dracula is a creature that possesses many powers including mind-control and seduction. He uses his mysticism to lure Jonathan Harker to his castle in Transylvania in order to finalize his plans to infiltrate British society and feast upon its Victorian ideals. Unfortunately, he has to play by certain rules. For instance, he cannot leave his "unholy" soil, he cannot cross running water, and he cannot enter without being invited. Regardless of his limitations, he's able to find faithful followers who will help him seek and destroy his prey no matter how pure and how safe she might feel.

Set in the late 1800s and incorporating many Freudian concepts, DRACULA (modeled after Vlad the Impaler) addresses issues of sexuality, feminism, and immigration. This text is written in a series of letters (epistolary) from the perspectives of the main characters: Mina, Jonathan Harker, Van Helsing, Seward, and Lucy. Unfortunately, the reader never gets to learn Dracula's perspective, which is a true weakness of the novel. In addition, this novel takes WAY too long to implement any kind of suspense or tension, which leaves the reader bored. The most tension I've felt, in fact, comes when I'm trying to avoid certain topics with my students that they inevitably bring up and want to discuss. I probably won't teach this novel again




Is Sir Thomas More a Communist? Or, is he simply basing a society on his Catholic and Humanistic beliefs? Is Utopia truly a Utopian society when people lose free choice and are brainwashed? On the surface, Utopia seems like the perfect community where everyone helps each other and, instead of survival of the fittest, the mentality represents that of a brother's keeper. Only, slaves are treated less than human, sinners are enslaved, people need permits to leave their communities, euthanasia is encouraged, and people lose their individuality. Utopia? Not really.

I admire the fact that More used this book to denounce Henry VIII's tyranny, but he's simply replacing one form of dictatorship for another. He claims that people would be "the same," yet by the end of the novel, distinctions in class have been drawn yet again. Regardless, considering More wrote this in 1515, he was a visionary who loved his religion, hated injustice, and hoped for a better society.

On a side note, More gives some pretty sound advice about brides and grooms inspecting each other like a horse owner would inspect a horse before buying it. I think we can learn something from his ironic comparison