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What elements in the first six chapters make it clear that Dracula is in the gothic genre

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Introduction

What elements in the first six chapters make it clear that 'Dracula' is in the Gothic genre? Does it also have elements of the horror Genre? Novels of the Gothic genre, like 'Dracula', are often set in big old castles or ruins. In this novel there is the setting of Dracula's castle. This is an old castle in the middle of 'one of the wildest and least known portions of Europe'. It is on the edge of a precipice and seems to be very grand. Harker describes it in his journal, 'The castle is on the very edge of a terrible precipice. A stone falling from the window would fall a thousand feet without touching anything!' This description of the castle makes it seem very quiet, rural and frightening. The sheer height of the castle would scare people. Stoker chooses his adjectives very carefully in 'Dracula', here he uses the adjective 'terrible' which sums up the gothic nature of the setting. There is also part of the novel set in a Whitby. Here there is a big ruined abbey and an open coastline. It is a dramatic seaside town. Stoker obviously chose it carefully to stress the full force of the weather and uneasy feelings of Mina. The weather in itself creates a scene of a gothic genre. ...read more.

Middle

There are often innocents in a gothic novel that can easily be trapped and lead astray. In 'Dracula' there are generally two innocents. One is one of the main characters, Jonathon Harker and the other is Lucy Westenra. Harker is incredibly curios of the castle and seems oblivious to the many hints given to him by the villagers and the old lady who gives him the crucifix. Also the many strange elements of the castle and the Count, it takes him a long time to realise Dracula is not a normal man. He obviously does not want to let his company down as he is a young graduate and this is his first assignment. Lucy is a typical gothic innocent. She is extremely beautiful and flirtatious. This is shown by her three proposals. She also has some odd and different undertones to her character though. I think this is shown in her disturbed sleep and her sleep walking as Dracula approaches. She seems to be over-sensitive to the signs and approaching of Dracula. There is usually always a young, beautiful, innocent girl in all novels of the gothic genre who usually get tricked by the evil character e.g. Dracula and fall in love with them. ...read more.

Conclusion

There is little description of blood or the actual event, 'There was no cry from the woman, and the howling of the wolves was but short. Before long they streamed away singly, licking their lips'. However, the thought of the Count setting wolves on the woman and the wolves were eating her fits into the horror genre. The last point which has an element of the horror genre in the first six chapters is the baby in the bag, 'she pointed to the bag which he had thrown upon the floor, and which moved as thought there were some living thing within it ... One of the women jumped forward and opened it. If my ears did not deceive me there was a gasp and a low wail, as of a half-smothered child.' The baby is an innocent creature and it is horrific to put it into a bag and then kill the baby and eat it. Yet again there is little description of blood however, as the thing in the bag is a baby I think it comes under the horror genre because babies are seen to be sweet young innocents and to take their lives and mistreat them is an element of the horror genre. I think the first six chapters of 'Dracula' have elements of both the gothic and horror genres. However, I believe it is mainly a gothic novel. Ellie Burton ...read more.

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