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

Study the extract from Jonathan Harker's Journal in Bram Stoker's 'Dracula'. How does the writer create an atmosphere of mystery and horror?

Extracts from this document...


Study the extract from Jonathan Harker's Journal in Bram Stoker's 'Dracula'. How does the writer create an atmosphere of mystery and horror? 'Dracula' was written by Bram Stoker in 1897. It falls within the genre of gothic horror. Gothic horror consists of novels and tales that developed as a reaction to the Age of Reason by Thomas Paine, and dominated English literature from 1764 with The Castle of Ortanto by Horace Walpole into the early 19th century. The characteristic theme of gothic horror is the stranglehold of the past upon the present or the encroachment of the dark ages of oppression upon the "enlightened" modern era. Enclosed and haunted settings (castles, crypts, convents, mansions), gloomy images of ruin and decay, episodes of imprisonment, cruelty, and persecution are used to express this. This essay looks at how Stoker creates an atmosphere of mystery and horror in Chapter 2, which is written in the first person and forms part of Jonathan Harker's journal. The use of personal pronouns throughout allows emotions to be conveyed strongly, by directly addressing the reader, making them feel they are part of the story. ...read more.


References to gothic architecture with lines such as 'up a great winding stair' again emphasize the sense of gothic splendour. They enter a 'well-lit room' with 'a great fire of logs', Stoker uses to keep the reader's attention with a series of anticlimaxes. The warmth and sanctuary of the room also forms a stark contrast with the chill horror of Dracula himself. We now come to the second description of Dracula. His face is described as 'a strong, a very strong, aquiline' and he is said to have 'bushy hair that seemed to curl in its own profusion', his 'ears were pale' and 'the tops were extremely pointed. This animal imagery gives a cruel, wolf-like impression of the protagonist. Dracula is said to have 'sharp, white teeth' which 'protruded over the lips'. This gives an impression of fangs, he is monstrous. He is said to be 'of extraordinary pallor', the paleness hints towards death and bloodlessness. It also reiterates the impression of great age. His paleness shows he does not go out into the sun, instead hiding in the dark and the shadows. ...read more.


The view from the castle is said to be 'magnificent'. The castle is on the 'edge of a terrible precipice' and as far as the eye can see 'is a sea of green tree tops' occasionally broken by a chasm or the 'silver thread' of a river. This idea of dramatic natural landscape typifies the genre. The beautiful scenery however shows that the castle is far away from civilisation, Harker is alone. Stoker uses the repetition of the word 'doors' to emphasise Harker's despair and increase the tension. He feels he is a prisoner, 'I am a prisoner!' the personal pronoun conveying to the reader a feeling of helplessness and lack of control. The exclamation mark again emphasises his despair and fear about what is happening to him. In conclusion, in Chapter 2 Bram Stoker uses a variety of different techniques to create an atmosphere of mystery and horror. He uses many ideas that typify the genre of gothic horror, ranging from pathetic fallacy to the description of gothic architecture. Stoker utilises all of mankind's greatest fears in this classic, and the story of Dracula is sure to strike fear into people's hearts for years to come. Stephen Dole 10NW - 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. Marked by a teacher

    How does Bram stoker manipulate audience response to Jonathan Harker and Dracula in his ...

    5 star(s)

    This can be deduced from the notes in Jonathan's journal, "a country which is full of beauty of every kind," showing he is interested in his surroundings, and other cultures. Therefore, we see him as an open-minded man; Bram Stoker is portraying him like this because he wants us to

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Write about Chapter 1 of Bram Stoker's Dracula as an introduction to the rest ...

    4 star(s)

    They wore high boots, with their trousers tucked into them, and had long black hair and heavy black moustaches... It seems as though Transylvania during that time was made up of many cultures... a lot of words often repeated, queer words, for there were many nationalities in the crowd There is also much detail about the setting.

  1. How does the writer create an atmosphere of fear and horror in the opening ...

    This comes as a surprise to both Harker and the reader, as there seems to be no reasons for this, giving hints that there is a sense of foreboding that is unknown to Harker and the reader, but known to the landlord and his wife.

  2. Dracula. How Does Bram Stoker Create an Atmosphere of Fear and Horror?

    Harker tells us that the mountains "Frown down upon us". He also adds that "There were dark, rolling clouds overhead" and "In the air, the leafy, oppressive sense of thunder", this is known as the pathetic fallacy. When "Dracula" started to get closer, "The horses began to heigh and snort

  1. Gothic Horror Stories

    So killing him just because of his eyes is purely a mad man's act. Madness and insanity fits very well in the gothic horror genre. It builds suspense and thrills the reader. The other character is the old man, who is the innocent character, who is sleeping throughout the story,

  2. Comparison of Gothic and Baroque Architecture.

    The outside view on a Barock building was characterized by sculptures ornaments and figures at the outside wall and was usually surrounded by a huge garden areal which was also kept in Barock style. That means that the bushed were cutted to figures and the lawn was cutted needly.

  1. How does Bram Stoker use Gothic conventions to create an atmosphere of suspense and ...

    another phrase, which creates suspense for the reader and shoes just how weird Dracula is and once again it gets the readers thinking just what Dracula is. As we know everything and anything can throw a shadow as long as it is solid. The laws of physics tell us that.


    deep green water, and there was a singing in my ears, as I have heard there is to drowning men; and then everything seemed passing away from me; my soul seemed to go out from my body and float about the air.'

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