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Good vs. Evil: The Bloody Battle Of Nature Against Nurture

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For centuries, humans have been fantasizing with the idea of eternal life and staying young forever. Vampires are creatures frozen in time with superhuman powers, so it is no surprise that they are at the center of many creative minds. However, as time passes by, the vampire character has changed to keep up with its contemporary audience. According to Vučković and Pajović’s essay: ‘The Evolution of the Vampire from Stoker’s Dracula to Meyer’s Twilight Saga,’ “the reasons for the flourishing of the vampire in literature are found in the context of the situation, contemporary science, religion, and psychology” (2).

Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula is an evil, meta-human susceptible to light and garlic, sanguinarian vampire, while Stephanie Meyer’s Edward Cullen is a good and meta-human, but almost invincible vampire who refuses to consume human blood. Count Dracula’s and Edward Cullen’s share numerous superpowers: Super strength and speed, the ability to read minds, and immortality. Shapeshifting is one of the only powers Edward Cullen does not possess but there are other creatures in his world who shapeshift. In contrast, through the years the vampire weaknesses have vanished to the point that modern vampires cannot be killed. Count Dracula is easily killed by a stalk to the heart or exposure to sunlight; he needs to sleep during the day in a dark coffin away from any light to replenish his powers.

Moreover, Dracula’s powers are diminished by the smell of garlic, fire or a Christian cross. To enter a home, Dracula needs the homeowner’s permission, so he uses his mind control superpowers and seduction techniques to convince his victims to invite him in. Whereas, Edward Cullen’s skin glows in the sun, does not need to sleep and cannot be harmed by garlic or crosses. Meyer’s vampires can only be killed when other supernatural creature removes their heads and throws their bodies in the fire. Perhaps just as humans do, mythological characters also undergo evolution. Darwin’s theory of evolution as it is explained in Peter J Russell, “Biology: Exploring the Diversity of Life” states that evolution provides organisms with inheritable traits that make them stronger than their previous generation (52). Stoker’s Count Dracula can consume animal blood but needs human blood to survive while Meyer’s Edwards Cullen is capable of surviving by consuming animal blood. Dracula enjoys hunting and killing people for their blood; in the final chapters of the novel, Dracula hints to revenge as one of his reasons for killing people. In “Can the Vampire Speak? Dracula As A Discourse Extinction,” Attila Varagh points to Dracula’s consumption of human blood as a mean to absorb and assimilate a foreign culture (233). She was refereeing to the fact that Dracula felt like he did not belong in society and his human blood consumption was more out of anger than survival. On the other hand, Edward Cullen and his family made the choice of surviving only in animal blood. Human blood smells very appetizing to the Cullens and every day they must fight their urge and desire for it. Furthermore, Edward Cullen values human life above all and the Cullens lifestyle can be compared to veganism. If it is wrong for humans to kill animals for consumption it should be wrong for vampires to kill humans to consume their blood. Many philosophers think of veganism as “an expression of good moral character” (Alvaro, 766).

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By choosing to abstain from human blood, Edward Cullen’s character can be described as an individual with high morals who makes the conscious decision of not harming humans. According to Vučković and Pajović, “the vampire is a mythological creature who since it first appeared in literature, has been standing in the middle of two words: Good and Evil” (2). Evidently, Count Dracula is unambiguously evil while the members of the group of trying to destroy him are good. Even though Dracula is the main character of Bram Stoker’s novel, it is easy to guess from its first pages that good would prevail against evil and the monster must be destroyed at the end.

While Count Dracula hunts and kills humans without remorse and gets great enjoyment for his evil acts, Edward Cullen believes himself a monster and is constantly fighting the battle between good and evil on his head. Edward and his family’s choice of not harming humans have made them outcast from other vampires who do not share their ethics and appreciation for human life. Edward believes that vampires are inherently evil, “I don’t want to be a monster,” (Meyer,123) he tells the human he loves when some ruffians are after her and all he wants to do is killed them. He defies the nature of the evil vampire because he wants to be genuinely good. Moreover, religion plays a big role in the context of both vampires. In Brand Stoker’s Dracula, there are numerous references to Christianity, one of the main characters is save by a crucifix when Dracula attacks him. Conversely, the references to religion in Twilight explains the belief of the vampire being harm by a crucifix or holy water were a mere superstition of the past. The fact the Count Dracula is harm by religions symbols assures the audience that he is evil while the presence of religious symbols around Edward Cullen and his high moral standards reassure the audience that he is a good vampire.

Although the vampire has been portrayed as evil since its appearance in literature, the evil vampire who used his superpowers to dominate human society is now the ethically conscious vampire who uses his super powers to protect humans. Count Dracula and Edward Cullen may have their superpowers and strengths in common, but they are very different in their choices of life. In brief, Count Dracula made the decision to be evil and kill humans for their blood while Edward Cullen made the decision to be good and protect humans. Vampires no longer belong in nightmares or horror literature, nowadays they are considered almost human and have found a place in romantic literature.

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Good vs. Evil: The Bloody Battle Of Nature Against Nurture. (2022, February 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 6, 2023, from
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