Wide Reading Task Number 3 – Dracula

“There are darknesses in life, and there are lights. You are one of the lights. You will have a happy life and a good life, and your husband will be blessed in you.”

Dracula written by Bram Stoker is a novel about a young English lawyer (Johnathan Harker) who travels to Transylvania in Eastern Europe, to conclude a real estate transaction with a nobleman by the name of Count Dracula. As he proceeds to the home of Count Dracula, he gets given warnings on the way by the peasants in the countryside, as Harker is passing through the countryside, peasants give him crucifixes and other charms, and they mutter strange words that translate into “vampire”.Harker investigates more into Count Dracula and in the end, find out that he possesses supernatural powers and diabolical ambitions. After Harker is attacked by three beautiful seductive female vampires, he fears for his life and escapes from the castle.

At home in England, Harker’s fiance (Mina)’s friend Lucy not long after visiting a Russian shipwreck with the only cargo is a set of fifty boxes shipped from Dracula’s Castle. Mina, one night finds Lucy with glowing red eyes at the cemetery. Lucy starts to go pale, and she bears two tiny red marks on her throat. Unable to determine a diagnoses Dr. Seward calls for his mentor, Professor Van Helsing.

Harker, suffering from a brain fever, reappears in the city of Buda-Pest.  Lucy’s room is covered in garlic, which trains her illness, but her mother who is unaware of the garlic powder accidentally removes it, leaving Lucy vulnerable to further attacks. Lucy is further transformed into a vampire and Van Helsing kills her.   

The castle in Dracula is a ver ancient castle. When the reader reads the word castle it automatically creates this key idea of the haunting, and the word castle also provides a ghostly atmosphere. Castles have a lot of history and mystery circulating it, which is why they are often used in Gothic fiction. The main building in Dracula is, Dracula’s ancient and sinister castle. His castle has many turrets and towers, and it’s dark, mysterious and isolated from civilisation. It is set up on top of a high mountain top. the environment around the castle is very dark, so it’s hard to determine between day and night. The castle is not welcoming, “bell or knocker there was no sign; through these frowning walls and dark windows opening it was not likely that my voice could penetrate”. This castle could be compared to a prison or a dungeon, because you can neither get out or come in, that is why it was so difficult for Harker when he was trying to escape.

The supernatural in Dracula. To give a sense of horror and uncertainty this dark entity (Count Dracula) is placed in the story. Stroker describes Dracula as not having a “single spec of colour about him”, this gives the reader an uneasy, spine-tingling about this character. The supernatural continues to occur, when Mina is looking for Lucy, the clouds are posing a sort of cloud over them, creating a shadow; as if the shadow was some sort of barrier making sure that Mina doesn’t find Lucy.

In conclusion, I think Dracula is the classic gothic novel with all the classic techniques of a gothic novel, the setting of the castle it had pointed steeples, it was in the middle of nowhere, it was big and intimidating just like every gothic castle should be, Stroker did a really good job, using words that really captured the feeling of the castle and it’s surrounding. I really liked the novel I thought it was really good to read and the author really painted a clear picture in my head with describing all the setting, and the way that the characters were feeling. The features of gothic fiction that Stoker used like setting and the use of the supernatural just adds to the novels beauty and the feeling of the book, that makes it so good and entertaining for the audience to read, and its what makes the novel different from any other book. Stoker wrote a really good novel and I would highly advise it for anyone.

One Comment

  1. Hi Ayla,

    Further development of the gothic elements in the text. How do you know that a classic gloomy castle is a marker of gothic fiction? Examine this more.

    Increase your own personal response- by using these techniques, what impact/effect does the story have on you? What reactions/thoughts do you have about the text? Do you think these are intended by the author? Why/why not? Justify your position.

    Mrs. P

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