Focusing on the understudied, opening chapters of the novel, I show how Harker's appropriation of dominant meat-eating ideology fosters a 'nutritional imperialism', and how, by contrast, the Count's meatless, cannibalistic diet explodes the distinctions between carnivorism and cannibalism, giving him the upper hand in a consumption-based power struggle with the Victorians.
is the second of three essays in this issue that treats a critically neglected Gothic thematics: carnivorism and animal consumption.
Jackson Petsche, in 'An Already Alienated Animality: Frankenstein as a Gothic Narrative of Carnivorism', plots what remains a relatively new trajectory for critical studies of Mary Shelley's novel, shifting the critical focus from the human to the nonhuman subject and casting carnivorism, rather than the supernatural, as the defining feature of the novel's Gothic character.
In many ways, the discourse of cannibalism participates in carnivorism
by positing a difference between human and nonhuman, forbidding consumption of the former while permitting consumption of the latter.
For example, how do the distinctions between carnivorism and cannibalism trope the nonhuman and unhuman bodies as specular sites of death and horror, equally incapable of keeping their demons at bay?
13) Both in these less traditional episodes of vampirism and at the castle, the Count serves as the voice of silenced animals, observing or staging meals where they are consumed, voyeuristically preying on humans and eroding, with his nonhuman gaze, the species difference and dominion that carnivorism is meant to enforce.
As the monster is himself the product of such practices--he is created from 'pieces' of nonhuman animals killed for their flesh--William's reaction illustrates a symbolic confrontation with the horrors of carnivorism.
However, I take this claim further by illustrating that the creature's monstrosity stems not merely from his animality but from an already alienated animality in the form of industrially slaughtered meat; he is partially composed of nonhuman animal remains, and is thus a reminder of the already alienated status of the slaughtered animals which carnivorism seeks to efface.