Prof. Westengard | O628 | Fall 2022

Blog 8

During the late 1920s – early 1930s, the widespread prosperity of the 1920s ended abruptly with the stock market crash in October 1929 and the great economic depression that followed. The depression threatened people’s jobs, savings, and even their homes and farms. The Great Depression began in 1929 when, in a period of ten weeks, stocks on the New York Stock Exchange lost 50 percent of their value. As stocks continued to fall during the early 1930s, businesses failed, and unemployment rose dramatically. The decade was defined by a global economic and political crisis that culminated in the Second World War. It saw the collapse of the international financial system, the largest stock market crash in American history. The story of horror’s most iconic vampire Dracula, began as a novel of the same name, written by Bram Stoker and published in 1897. Like many other movies, it was based on a 1920’s theatrical adaptation of Stoker’s novel. Dracula’s main influence is that it has placed the vampire at the centre of popular culture with its body of works in film, television and fiction, commanding the interest and attention of millions of modern viewers and readers around the world. Dracula’s production began just as the Great Depression devastated america. Workers lost their jobs, families fell into debt, and the number of foreclosed houses rose astronomically. Banks ran out of money and eventually shut their doors. The American people had no confidence in the economy and lived in a state of constant anxiety. This state of anxiety caused by the Great Depression is not unlike the state of anxiety Dracula creates with his presence. The Great Depression was caused by the corrupt, selfish, and gluttonous people who poured their money into the stock market, hoping to get rich quickly. Stock market prices soared, even though production was on the decline and unemployment was on the rise. When investors finally realized what was happening, they panicked, selling millions of overpriced shares and collapsing the economy. Appealing to the industrialists of the 1930s, Dracula himself is corrupt, selfish, and gluttonous. Dracula lacks any sort of moral compass and acts only to serve himself. He torments and murders innocent people, sucking their blood right from their veins. His thirst for blood is insatiable. He constantly looks for new victims, even moving to a more populated area in search for new blood. The film can be an indirect comment of what was happening at the time. Dracula embodies the negative aspects of the American society in the 1930s.

1 Comment

  1. Shaneka

    I like your take on Dracula representing the negativity during the 30s; since it was such a tumultuous, I had seen Dracula as a figure of escapism for these people during this time rather than seeing him as a form of negative energy.

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