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Sex Power Mystery Darkness Beauty Elegance Evil The vampire encompasses all of these aspects and more No other monster enjoys the same status as the vampire Dracula the most popular of the species is a cultural icon From movies to toys to breakfast cereals he occupies a place in our imaginations Scattered in almost every major city exist movements of those who either wish to be vampires or even believe themselves to be such How is it that the vampire has risen to dominance over other far older monsters such as Polyphemus or Medusa There is no one answer to this question Is it his role as a sexual figure After all the vampire decidedly goes against societys sexual mors He sneaks into a young beautiful womans room in the dead of night and without her knowledge or consent maneuvers close enough to her to bite her neck He seduces his victims to the point where once bitten they return and return again until their doom descends upon them Is it his role as an incarnation of gentleman death a dark figure in the night who slays without remorse Death kills indescriminantly and so shall we Is it due to the inversion of the standard Self Other dialectic found in most Western literature Is it the nature of vampirism itself The appeal of the vampire is ambiguous as is the nature of its teratology He is a mass of contradictions a multifaceted monster whose abnormality lies within his own normality One outstanding aspect of the vampire is his physiognomy Rather than exterior deformity as a device to depict the evil that lurks within the vampire physically resembles an attractive human With vampires the Other and the Self are combined into one frightening apparition The monster is both a gentleman and a killer a combination not likely to be found He is a monster not always recognizable as such Physically he is virtually indistinguishable
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