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How does Bram Stoker use the conventions of Gothic literature in the Novel 'Dracula'?

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Introduction

How does Bram Stoker use the conventions of Gothic literature in the Novel 'Dracula'? Bram Stoker, author of the novel Dracula, published his well-known book at the end of the Victorian era, 1897. Stoker's use of Gothic conventions has created a devilish yet irresistible character. Readers and cinema goers have been thrilled, entertained and petrified across the world with his novel. Stoker has developed a strong and yet powerful character 'Jonathan Harker' who is the rescuer, the 'Goodie' in this fight against evil. Stoker portrays Harker to save the day, in this case save Mina and Lucy, Mina being his newly wedded wife, and kill the notorious 'Count Dracula'. In his novel, Stoker begins the story as Harker and his Journal, writing about what he sees and does. Not are they only facts but clues to where he is going, or what is going to be expected for him. Some facts include, nationalities in Transylvania "Saxons in the South" and "Szekelys in the East and North". Stoker begins with Harker on a train to go meet Dracula who supposedly is just another colleague for Harker to transfer to London from Transylvania. When Harker is travelling along Transylvania, he describes that "every know superstition in the world is gathered into the horseshoe of the Carpathians", to where he is going, this suggest that here there is an evilness that he is being drawn to or awaiting him. ...read more.

Middle

Stoker uses this effect of Gothic writing to show that something devastating will happen to Harker. After Harker is lead to his room, which is his sanctuary the only place in the castle that Dracula cannot hurt him if there was any misfortunes with the count should ever happen. When Dracula tells Harker about "the children of night" which are the wolves of the forest next to the castle, nervousness and suspicion manifested upon Dracula. Stoker now reveals more about the Count with the chapter, "A Close Shave", when Harker has an encounters with Dracula. "Eyes blazed with a sort of demoniac fury" and "grabbed Harker's neck". Stoker creates an uncomfortable environment for Harker and a odd, dramatic twist to the readers. Then the Count quotes "take care how you cut yourself" when Harker is shaving. During the encounter in the lavatory Harker notices that "there was no reflection of the count" in the mirror. Again Stoker uses the uncomfortable environment for both Harker and us, the reader. During the chapter, "The Vampire Women", Stoker creates a new convention of infection, that there are not just one of these "creatures" that murk around, but "the kiss" which Stoker cleverly engineers to transfer this virus, of being a vampire. ...read more.

Conclusion

When "the coffin" was found "empty" readers where dazzled by either the strangeness or fearful gist that that fears that Lucy is awoken. Stoker creates the 'final Showdown' against good and evil. After the return of Harker and Count Dracula, who has been forced to transported back to Transylvania by Gypsy's he has hired and the earth of his land to keep him at bay. Stoker uses the earth as Dracula's way of keeping alive, with out it, he is even less powerful, as is, without being in his own land, he is vulnerable. Stoker makes all the characters come together and fight there way to get to Dracula before he is reunited with his land. An adventure and heroic scene has been contrived, for an obvious 'save of the day'. Mina is well when the Count is annihilate. Stokers use of Gothic conventions have created frightening, heroic, dramatic and above all strange and new characters in his novel to creates exciting atmospheres of life defying situations where all of the world, friends and family are at stake. Gothic settings, Church yards, far away Castles, Family Tombs, also create suitable atmospheres in which new dramatic and exploited characters are designed to thrill the reader into carrying on to read of Bram Stokers Novel. Gothic Literature has been used to create a spooky, mystifying settings, atmospheres and suspense in the literature to enhance interest in Gothic books. ...read more.

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