Crossing thresholds in vampire literature
Nurul Amirah Ahmad
Date of Issue2014
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Before a character becomes victimized, they must first cross over the threshold of the vampire’s lair. In a reverse setting, the vampire must similarly be invited to cross over the threshold of the victim’s abode. This is a recurring motif in vampirism that authors implement to catalyze the plot. This graduation essay seeks to explore the significance of the threshold as a plot convention and its evolution in the gothic trajectory, specifically in influential vampire narratives, The Vampyre (1819) by John Polidori , Dracula (1897) by Bram Stoker, “The Vampire of Kaldenstein” (1938) by Frederick Cowles and “The Lady of the House of Love” (1979) by Angela Carter. The objective of this essay is to assert the primary importance of the threshold as a catalyst in the narrative, based on its recurrence in vampire literatures between early nineteenth century and late twentieth century. The later half of this essay will explore figurative perspectives of the threshold and its place in contemporary gothic literature.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University