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Two Different Eyes

April 13, 2010

Last year, our school had to shut down for two days due to heavy snow. So, we had to make-up for one of those two days, where we had around 50 minutes of all seven blocks. On our school’s snow make-up day, english was my first block. I was pretty excited for that block, because we were watching a movie based on the book we are reading as a class currently: Dracula By Bram Stoker. And so, on that day, we brought in snacks, popcorn, chips, and drinks. There were two versions of Dracula; there was the one made considerably recently, in 1992, and one made long, long time ago before my parents were born (perhaps even before my grand parents were born), in 1931. We’ve all wanted to watch the recent one, because it was in color and there was Gary Oldman, who acts as Sirius Black in “Harry Potter”. However, when our teacher watched it prior to class to make sure that it was appropriate for school, she was surprised by the extreme violence and sexuality in the movie. Thus, we ended up watching the older version of Dracula.

The movie was very interesting. (Hey! I didn’t say that the old version was boring) It was very different from what I had expected it to be like. First of all, when Jonathan Harker arrived at the inn, the inn keeper tells Jonathan about everything without much consideration to it. When I read the text, I thought that the inn keeper would be more hesitant about revealing secrets to Jonathan. In addition, the atmosphere around the inn would be dark and mysterious. After all, weather is a very important factor in Gothic Literature. However, the mood was rather friendly and caring. All the villagers, instead of whispering scary words such as “witches” to Jonathan and making crosses at him as stated in the book, were more focused on persuading Jonathan not to go with eyes full of tears. I could slightly note the change in weather as Jonathan hit the road for Castle Dracula as it went darker and as cloud filled the sky. When Jonathan arrived at Castle Dracula, it was surprising that Count Dracula didn’t say, “come in, and come in at your own will.” That is one of the very important parts of the text, because it reveals the fact that vampires cannot force people to come in, except when they come it at their own will.

Also, when Dracula saw Jonathan bleeding, he was extremely calm. His eyes only glared at the blood for few seconds. This was strange, because on the book, it says Dracula “flew” across the room and grabbed tightly on to Jonathan’s neck. Also, Dracula’s wives were calmer than I thought. Moreover, Demeter, which is a boat Dracula takes to go to England, was named Vesta in the movie. What’s more, Renfield was on it  to assist Dracula on the ship. Last but not least, the MOST unexpected thing was the fact that Mina was Dr. Seward’s daughter!! How could this be?! It was just unbelievable travesty of truth.

Overall, it was interesting to see that one could interpret the same text this way. The movie was different from what I had imagined, although it was entertaining.

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