By Carol A. Senf
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Extra resources for Science and Social Science in Bram Stoker's Fiction
Ay, or between any of you and death either. Guess, you're about beginnin' to size up the noble red man without his frills! (52) This speech serves to contrast the unsophisticated Dick with the even more primitive native Americans. This sense of Caucasian (or even Anglo-Saxon) superiority is evident in much that Stoker wrote, including The Mystery of the Sea, The Lair of the White Worm, and Dracula. Although Dracula reveals the erotic power of the primitive even at the end of the nineteenth century, the conflict in Shasta is less complex, for Esse is never in danger of falling in love with any Native American men.
N Perhaps Lucy is the equivalent of the people at the turn of the twenty-first century who are unable to program their VCR. Lucy's three suitors, who are old hunting buddies, seem somewhat more comfortable with the use of contemporary technology, Dr. Seward most of all. Seward, who is in charge of a large lunatic asylum, is also presented as being up to date in terms of scientific matters. For example, he keeps his diary on a phonograph and complains late in the novel when he has to revert to keeping his journal with a pen.
The men, emblems 30 Science and Social Science in Bram Stoker's Fiction of the establishment as scientist, solicitor, and aristocrat, have become husbands and providers while Mina, who has the best mind of the lot, has become Jonathan's secretary. . The irony in this tableau, however, suggests that these conventions, just as Seward's science, are merely forms of structured ignorance. The novel grows from this irony: not just from the ignorance of the heroes of a world they cannot understand, but the larger irony that the "other" world is more real than their own.