Dracula was written in 1897 by Irish Novelist Bram Stoker, Other Novels written Pre – 1940 included; The Invisible Man by H. G Wells (1866 – 1966), Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louise Stevenson ( 1850 – 1894), Dr Frankenstein and the Monster by Mary Shelly ( 1797 – 1851) and Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde(1854 – 1900). These Novels covered important issues and theme which were normally not mentioned in other Victorian Novels.
Themes covered in Dracula are Science, Life, Death, Evil, Paranormal Creatures, Duality of Human beings (how people are made up of good aspects and evil aspects) and blonde women would often be good and brunette women bad in Victorian Novels. However Bram Stoker uses innuendos like kiss which really mean bite and the way he describes three female vampires at the end of chapter three is quite sexual for example “burning desires”, “languorous ecstasy” and “voluptuous lips”.
This makes Dracula unusual and different from the other Novels as sex was considered rude to mention in Victorian times however Bram Stoker was clever and doesn’t directly mention it but allows the reader to think of it. Yet nowadays it has become popular and glamorous for books and films to have “sexy vampires”. One book series that has done this very well is the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer and others could be the league of extraordinary gentlemen, True Blood, Vampire Hunter and Van Helsingr. In chapter two and three, it is written as a Diary of Jonathan Harker.
He uses it to record his time in Dracula’s castle on the hand Bram Stoker also uses structures like Epistolary Novels in which Mina and Lucy correspond through letters. In Epistolary Novels as a reader it is easier to gain insight on the different relationships between people as Lucy writes letters to mina telling her of her suitors, the reader knows which one she likes best and what she thinks of them. On the other hand Diaries are better on informing the reader what happens and talk about little details that you don’t tend to get in Epistolary Novels.
Jonathan Harker and the reader are first introduced to Count Dracula in Chapter two when Jonathan (a solicitor) went to Transylvania on business for the Count. I think that Dracula has very good manors towards his guest (Jonathan) as he says “I am Dracula, and I bid you welcome Mr Harker, to my house. Come in, the night air is chill, and you must need to eat and rest. ” This makes Dracula sound very friendly but formal as he addresses Jonathan “Mr Harker”. The word welcome is one you use towards your guest; he is being a good host thinking of the “chill”.
He wishes to provide food and shelter; this makes the opening greeting a positive one. However Bram stoker uses the word chill which creates very slight tension because the word “chill” is often associated with horror as it creates a spooky atmosphere and is negative. Jonathan writes in his diary “Within stood a tall old man, clean shaven save for a long white moustache. ” Dracula sounds intimidating as the word “tall” is used to show strength and power however the word “old” contradicts this as old people tend to be fragile and weak.
This gives the reader split views of Dracula. This view changes as you carry on reading to chapter three. “His eyes were positively blazing. The red light in them was lurid, as if the flames of hell fire blazed behind them. His face was deathly pale, and the lines of it were hard like drawn wires. ” The reader should be scared of Dracula and think that he is not a typical man or perhaps a man at all. This makes Dracula sound furious and dangerous. Jonathan uses the words “positively blazing” to describe Dracula’s eyes however I think the positively is meant as nearly blazing.
It does not mean positive as in good. Jonathan the goes on to talk about the “flames of hell”. It gives the impression that Dracula is demonic and suffers from unimaginable anger because demons are associated with hell. He then says “deathly pale”. This makes the reader think of the unliving and death. It also makes you think of blood as to be deathly pale all the blood rushes away from your face. Jonathan seems to be reserved and quiet because he says at the beginning of chapter three “let me begin with the facts, bare, meagre facts.
This gives the impression that he is an educational man as you learn from facts and figures not feelings. He is reserving his feelings for himself. Bram Stoker through Jonathan creates and builds tension throughout chapters two and three by using words like “inaccessible”, “accursed place”, “worn and frayed” and “preternatural”. This builds tension slowly as the reader does not pick up on all of these words. It is only until something unordinary and surprising that the reader fully understands and notices what is happening.