• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

HOW FAR AND IN WHAT WAYS DOES 'DRACULA' BELONG TO THE GOTHIC TRADITION?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

HOW FAR AND IN WHAT WAYS DOES 'DRACULA' BELONG TO THE GOTHIC TRADITION? The gothic tradition is evident in many modern day horror novels, but the main question that is posed is what exactly constitutes the gothic in today's literature, as distinguishable from mere horror fiction, and what makes it superior? Gothic novels have a very subtle difference to regular horror fiction, and in this essay, I am going to point out exactly how, and to what extent, Dracula belongs to the gothic tradition, and why it is not just the regular horror novel. Gothic novels certainly often rely on a series of set pieces that could be related to the use of imagery. The main type of structural feature, which contributes so much to Dracula's gothic status, is the presentation of the plot through multiple narrators. This means that at times in the book, each character can tell very different stories, but ultimately they all converge in the end to contribute to the final story. In Dracula there are multiple viewpoints, and the different range of genres used, such as letters, journals diaries and newspaper clippings enhance this effect. This alone, is the very reason as to why Dracula is one of the best gothic novels around, and all the use of technique compensates for the fact that Dracula is written so poorly. ...read more.

Middle

Jonathan soon discovers he has made a mistake. Bram Stoker uses gothic imagery to describe Jonathans fear when he discovers, 'doors, doors, doors everywhere, and all locked and bolted. In no place save from the windows in the castle walls is there an available exit' Harker quickly learns that Dracula is more than he says, especially after he is bitten, and his immature attitude changes. One morning, as Harker looks frantically around the castle for an escape hatch, he stumbles upon a room where a number of coffins of earth are stored. In an eerie gothic scene, Jonathan looks underneath the cover of one of the coffins, and finds Dracula. Jonathan thinks he is dead, but again gothic tradition comes into it, because a main element of gothic text is irony. Really, we know that Dracula can be dead and alive at the same time, because he is a vampire, but Jonathan does not yet know of this, disregarding all these happenings as superstitions. That night, Dracula appears alive as usual, and Jonathan now suspects something supernatural about his host. Harker remains trapped in the castle as he observes Count Dracula loading his coffins. Eventually, Jonathan escapes from the castle, on the verge of sanity. ...read more.

Conclusion

The character Renfield is extremely complicated, and mysterious, and he actually contributes a lot to Draculas status of belonging to the gothic tradition. In Dr. Seward's diary, he writes 'I am puzzled afresh about Renfield. His moods change so rapidly that I find it difficult to keep touch with them, and as they always mean something more than his well being, they form a more than interesting study. This morning, when I went to see him after his repulse of Van Helsing, his manner was that of a man-commanding destiny. He was in fact commanding destiny--subjectively. He did really care for any of the things of mere earth; he was in the clouds and looked down on all the weaknesses and wants of us poor mortals.' The gothic image of Renfield looking down from the cloud 'on all the weakness and wants of us poor mortals' continues to add to the horror in the novel. The use of dark imagery, and grisly language adds to the gothic scenery, and it is soon easy to see why Bram Stoker's novel is the most widely read of all time. Stoker converges his vast knowledge of science, sexuality of the Victorian times, modernity, religion and most of all superstition, and created, without doubt, a novel that will always belong to the gothic tradition. ?? ?? ?? ?? Mikey Holder English Literature Dracula 09/05/2007 - 1 - ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Bram Stoker section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Bram Stoker essays

  1. Dracula: a novel of fin de siècle fear?

    no real triumph over the vampire and this multiple parentage only emphasises Arata's notion of substandard fertility.

  2. Gothic Horror Stories

    'The Signalman' has fear, mystery and premonition. When the signalman sees a ghostly figure in the darkness of the tunnel this is when fear and mystery comes in. Fear from seeing the ghostly figure and mystery from what it actually was. Premonition comes into the story when the ghost shows the signalman the future.

  1. What boudaries does the vampire threaten? Discuss possible answers to this question with ...

    Dracula moves in to bite Harker but is repelled by the crucifix around his neck. Dracula's unfulfilled desire to bite; to have sexual relations with Harker; is transposed to his three vampiric daughters: a situation permitted through acceptance of heterosexual behavior as the normal and ideal practice; and they do what Dracula has contemplated and desired (Craft p.

  2. Discuss possible answers to this question with reference to at least two critical or ...

    Riquelme p. 415). This homosexual perversity is also present in Browning's film version of Dracula, in which Dracula takes Renfield, a male, as a victim (Waller, p. 384). A homosexual act, because blood is a sexual reference in Dracula. Browning's Dracula features the first males that are lured and bitten by another male (Auerbach, p.

  1. The Vampire is one of the most enduring figures in horror cinema.

    His only real function is to provide a 'normal' berth for the rescued heroine to return to. The crux comes in Lugosi's immortal words: "Your will is strong, Van Helsing." A flower-girl on the London docks or Mina herself may melt before Dracula's gaze, but Van Helsing is able to resist.

  2. "The Gothic is concerned primarily with representing transgression and taboo, there is nothing more ...

    and the imaginative, the rural (traditional agrarianism) and the urban (industrial capitalism), the lowly (Ettrick) shepherd and the wealthy professional. These conflicts remain unresolved both in Hogg's own life and in the book but it is ambiguously suggested that spiritual profundity of the rural is championed whilst the shallow empty rationality of the urban is condemned.

  1. Discuss the relationship between sexuality and cruelty AND/OR or death in any TWO texts.

    is clearly contradictory, since his 'longing' and 'fear' disclose a man in turmoil with his sexual psyche. Certainly, Harker is attempting to control and rationalise his obvious sexual arousal, as the: 'wicked burning desire that they would kiss me with those red lips' (Stoker p.51)

  2. The Gothic: A History

    Many people in gothic literature are duplicitous, showing one face to the world and indulging their Jungian shadow in privacy or with others who are dominated by shadow and darkness. The time period in which much gothic literature developed was a time in which criticism of the church was continuing

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work