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Dracula – a study guide

by Bram Stoker

❶The story lends itself to a number of different interpretations, and its fame was enhanced by the German silent film classic Nosferatu made in — which you can watch in its full length version below. See the haunting cover".

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I shall enter here some of my notes, as they may refresh my memory when I talk over my travels with Mina. Write what you know. You might be thinking: But Bram Stoker never visited Transylvania. We must therefore assume Stoker, like Harker, did serious research—research on a deeper level than might be provided even by that respected canon of our time, Wikipedia. At stake … sorry. You never want your reader to think that you, the author, do not know what you are writing about.

In the population of Transylvania there are four distinct nationalities: Saxons in the South, and mixed with them the Wallachs, who are the descendants of the Dacians; Magyars in the West, and Szekelys in the East and North. I am going among the latter, who claim to be descended from Attila and the Huns. This may be so, for when the Magyars conquered the country in the eleventh century they found the Huns settled in it.

This is foreshadowing , albeit done in a subtle manner. It can therefore contribute to the mood of a scene and build suspense. I did not sleep well, though my bed was comfortable enough, for I had all sorts of queer dreams. Towards morning I slept and was wakened by the continuous knocking at my door, so I guess I must have been sleeping soundly then.

It seems to me that the further east you go the more unpunctual are the trains. What ought they to be in China? These are unusual dreams, somewhat disconcerting dreams, strange dreams … they are not horrible dreams that bring on sweats and shrieks.

If you evoke a sensory response in the reader, you engage the reader. All day long we seemed to dawdle through a country which was full of beauty of every kind. Sometimes we saw little towns or castles on the top of steep hills such as we see in old missals; sometimes we ran by rivers and streams which seemed from the wide stony margin on each side of them to be subject to great floods.

It takes a lot of water, and running strong, to sweep the outside edge of a river clear. At every station there were groups of people, sometimes crowds, and in all sorts of attire. Some of them were just like the peasants at home or those I saw coming through France and Germany, with short jackets, and round hats, and home-made trousers; but others were very picturesque. The women looked pretty, except when you got near them, but they were very clumsy about the waist.

They had all full white sleeves of some kind or other, and most of them had big belts with a lot of strips of something fluttering from them like the dresses in a ballet, but of course there were petticoats under them. The strangest figures we saw were the Slovaks, who were more barbarian than the rest, with their big cow-boy hats, great baggy dirty-white trousers, white linen shirts, and enormous heavy leather belts, nearly a foot wide, all studded over with brass nails.

They wore high boots, with their trousers tucked into them, and had long black hair and heavy black moustaches. They are very picturesque, but do not look prepossessing.

On the stage they would be set down at once as some old Oriental band of brigands. They are, however, I am told, very harmless and rather wanting in natural self-assertion.

It was on the dark side of twilight when we got to Bistritz, which is a very interesting old place. Being practically on the frontier—for the Borgo Pass leads from it into Bukovina—it has had a very stormy existence, and it certainly shows marks of it. Fifty years ago a series of great fires took place, which made terrible havoc on five separate occasions.

At the very beginning of the seventeenth century it underwent a siege of three weeks and lost 13, people, the casualties of war proper being assisted by famine and disease. There is not a wasted word here, yet Harker and readers travel from 8: Count Dracula had directed me to go to the Golden Krone Hotel, which I found, to my great delight, to be thoroughly old-fashioned, for of course I wanted to see all I could of the ways of the country.

I was evidently expected, for when I got near the door I faced a cheery-looking elderly woman in the usual peasant dress—white undergarment with a long double apron, front, and back, of coloured stuff fitting almost too tight for modesty. The ship is driven ashore at Whitby, Yorkshire during a violent storm. She eventually accepts Arthur Holmwood. The two young women witness the aftermath of the storm, and Lucy begins to sleepwalk, finally making a mid-night encounter with Dracula, who leaves his signature fang marks in her neck.

He is principally occupied with Renfield, a zoophagic patient who is violent and keeps trying to escape. Word arrives in England that Harker is in a church hospice in Europe, recovering from a nervous collapse.

Mina travels to see him and they are married. Whilst she is recovering, an escaped wolf from London Zoo attacks the house. Despite further blood transfusions, Lucy dies too. Meanwhile Mina and Jonathan return to Exeter where Mr Hawkins makes them his inheritors, then suddenly dies. When Jonathan visits London for the the funeral he sees Dracula in Piccadilly, looking younger, following which there is an outbreak of attacks on young children in the London area.

They report being abducted by a beautiful lady. On returning in the daylight however, they find her there. He then recruits Arthur Holmwood and Quincy Morris, and the four men confront Lucy in her vampire mode outside the tomb. Next day they return in the daylight and Arthur drives a stake through her heart, following which Van Helsing cuts off her head. The four men agree that they must locate Dracula and kill him, Van Helsing suggests that they exclude Mina from the group for her own safety.

Meanwhile, Mina is visited by Dracula at night. Renfield is savagely attacked and dies, then the four men catch Dracula with Mina, who is now in his thrall. They break into his house at Carfax and two other properties on the Thames, and his house in Picadilly. They plan to kill him, but when he returns home he once again escapes. The Gang of Four swear to track him down. Van Helsin and Mina are confronted by the three female vampyres, who are driven away with Christian symbols back to the castle, Van Helsin follows and murders them in their coffins.

Finally all the characters converge on the Pass where they intercept the cart containing Dracula in his box of earth trying to reach the castle before sunset. They capture the box, open it, and decapitate him.

There have been many film adaptations of the Dracula story — but F. She even went to the extent of buying up and destroying copies of the film. Murnau was forced to change the names of the characters, and to transpose the location from England to Germany. Some characters are missed out altogether — but the essence of the story remains the same, and the visuals are spectacular, much enhanced by the performance of Max Schreck as Count Orlok.

Paul Barber, Vampires, Burial and Death: Folklore and Reality , New Haven: Yale University Press, Rob Lathom, Consuming Youth: Vampires, Cyborgs, and the Culture of Consumption , Chicago: University of Chicago Press, The Novel and the Legend: Desert Island Books, Sally Ledger, The New Woman: Manchester University Press, David Punter, The Literature of Terror: Elaine Showalter, Sexual Anarchy: When Harker arrives at the castle, Dracula makes his meals, waits on him as a servant, makes his bed, keeps him up at night talking, and even wears his clothes.

The three female vampires are blood-providers for Dracula. Harker writes letters asking for help to escape from the castle — but Dracula intercepts the letters, then forces him to write a parallel set of false letters describing his departure from the castle. Dracula has his castle, and establishes a property portfolio in England. More on literature More on the novella More on literary studies More on short stories.

Your email address will not be published. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Bela Lugosi as Dracula Dracula — critical commentary The novel attracts critical commentary on a number of recognisable themes, some of which overlap with each other.

The New Woman Lucy and her friend Mina can be seen as examples of women who are prepared to take their destiny into their own hands. West Vs East Modern studies of the post-colonial world have encouraged a view of the novel as a Victorian allegory of the Christian west fighting against the corrupt forces of the east.

The Rise of Science Dracula is drenched in references to the latest scientific developments and what we would now call new media.

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Dracula is composed as a collection of journal entries, letters, telegrams, and memos. The idea, Stoker tells us in the note at the beginning of the novel, is to present the events .

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10 Writing Techniques from Bram Stoker’s Dracula By: Rachel Scheller | October 22, October conjures up images of crackling fires, shivering leaves, the grinning teeth of a jack-o-lantern and, if you’re a fan of classic horror, that iconic, fanged master of the night, Count Dracula.

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Abraham Bram Stoker was an Irish author, most famous for his novel Dracula. After spending time as a newspaper columnist, Stoker began writing his graphic novel, and incorporated the writing skills he learned. As a vampire, Dracula inverts one of the principal Catholic sacraments: holy Communion. Whereas Catholics believe that they are granted spiritual life by drinking the symbolic blood of Christ, Dracula prolongs and revitalizes .

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Dracula is told from a variety of points of view. Most of the text consists of journal entries that move the narrative forward as they recount events. The entries belong to Jonathan, Mina, Seward, Lucy, and Van Helsing. Before writing Dracula, Stoker spent seven years researching European folklore and stories of vampires, being most influenced by Emily Gerard's essay "Transylvania Superstitions" which includes content about a vampire myth.