Vampiric Narratives: Constructing Authenticity in Bram Stoker’s Dracula
Using Bram Stoker’s Dracula as a textual tool, this essay will explore not only the authentication of the Self and its subsequent deconstruction when confronted by its Other, but will also discuss how such a confrontation and the search for authenticity and authority are fashioned and perpetuated in the construction of personal histories. Acknowledging this presence illuminates the larger implications of the anxieties surrounding the unstable construction of the Self and its complex, sometimes contradictory, relationship to its long-repressed Other(s). This essay will begin by examining the Self as a psychological construct that initially seeks the affirmation established by the existence of its mirroring double figure. The Gothic novel intuitively gives voice to the repressed and in so doing, confronts the Self with its uncanny double, a reflection which the Self perceives as a threat to its own existence. This engagement of the uncanny as a device of the Gothic transforms the familiar into the unfamiliar, and, consequently, the psychological authentication of identity experiences a series of oscillations between the Self and the Other that leads to an identity crisis. This confusion is rooted in the confrontation between two estranged figures struggling to establish one as the authentic Self.
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