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In his novel "Dracula", how does Bram Stoker use Gothic conventions to engage the reader?

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Introduction

Dracula Essay In his novel "Dracula", how does Bram Stoker use Gothic conventions to engage the reader? Gothic writing was popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. Gothic writers usually write their novels to create a sense of fear along with excitement and anguish for the reader. Gothic writing usually followed a pattern of plot, location, and character. In Bram Stoker's novel "Dracula" (which was published in 1897) many gothic conventions are used in order to create the atmosphere of fear and suspense which are essential in gothic writing. The story is very complicated and is told by many of the different characters throughout the novel. They include Jonathan Harker, Mina Harker and Van Helsing. A convention is an essential ingredient required in a particular sort of writing. In Dracula the main gothic conventions used are: strange creatures, diaries and letters, blood, weather, sinister buildings and journeys and quests. In Stoker's "Dracula" strange creatures and manifested in the form of mainly count Dracula. The count is a dark creature that is there to give a sense of fear. In his story Stoker wrote, "A tall man, clean shaven, save for a long white moustache, and dressed clad in black." He also writes, "Without a single spec of colour about him anywhere". This shows that the count is a person who likes darkness and dark colours; He is dull and seems almost colourless. ...read more.

Middle

(Memo, get recipe for Mina). In Bram Stoker's Dracula the main sinister building is count Dracula's castle. His castle is set high up on some mountain top. It is a big building with many towers and turrets. The building itself is dark and separate from everything. It seems almost timeless. Like there is no day and night there, and it is always dark. The castle is like a prison; it can keep people out and is good at keeping people in. It also stops prisoners from escaping. This is why Jonathan finds it so hard to escape. When Jonathan arrives at the castle he fells very nervous and also a little frightened. The place is uninviting and dark. A quote showing why Dracula's castle is sinister is, "Of bell or knocker there was no sign; through these frowning walls and dark window openings it was not likely that my voice could penetrate". This quote shows that the castle is a grim place and not welcoming. As soon as you look at it you feel dread and uneasiness. The phrase "frowning walls" suggests that the place is separated from everything else and enclosed. It makes the castle seem unfriendly and it makes the character feel like the castle will close in on them and engulf them. ...read more.

Conclusion

and entering the west (an area which he doesn't know anything about and is unfamiliar with). This makes it much more frightening as he has come to a place where he doesn't know anyone or where anything is. This means that if he ever needs help Jonathan won't know where to turn to; putting his life at risk should the situation arise. The differences between the east and the west make Jonathan feel out of place and curious. There is an uncertainty or a mystery about the east and Transylvania. This creates an impact on the audience as they feel curious and out of place along with Jonathan. In Dracula, Bram Stoker uses the main gothic conventions to a great extent. He uses them effectively and that creates the atmosphere of suspense and fear which makes a good piece of gothic writing. For the convention strange creatures Bram stoker has got Count Dracula who fits the part fantastically and is a great strange creature to be used in gothic writing. For the diaries and letters convention Bram Stoker uses diary entries from Mina and Jonathan Harker very effectively. They make the readers fell like they are in the story alongside the characters. For the sinister buildings convention Stoker uses a tall, dark and grim castle to great effect. For the final convention, journeys and quests, Stoker makes Jonathan go from a known area to an unknown area. This makes the reader feel curious and out of place. Imran Kola 10.C3 ...read more.

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