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Why is 'Dracula' such a great horror story?

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Introduction

Why is 'Dracula' such a great horror story? In my opinion 'Dracula' is a great horror story because it is highly entertaining in its idea of vampirism, its atmospheric descriptions, powerful characterisation and the horrific death of Lucy. The novel is also interesting because of the religious perspectives, such as the use of garlic, holy water and the crucifix as weapons against evil. Jonathan Harker's journey to Count Dracula's home is described in great detail. The atmosphere not only adds to the dangerous ride to Dracula's Castle, but also comes alive as we're reading it. The atmosphere surrounding Harker is incredibly frightening but the detail and descriptions used are so astounding that we can feel the 'strange chills'. I felt like I was sitting beside Jonathan Harker. I 'shared' his 'fear'. Harker is travelling in a Caleche, a small, open, horse drawn carriage which is obviously dangerous. It adds suspense to the story, which makes the reader automatically think something terrible is going to occur. The 'long, agonized wailing' of the dogs seem to go on forever. ...read more.

Middle

He is a 'tall, old man,' who is 'clad in black head to toe.' I would definitely not be happy, if I were to meet him. Dracula has 'hair in palms' and also 'massive eyebrows.' Harker also says Dracula's 'breath was rank.' This image is certainly odd and Dracula is not very attractive! This description of Dracula is frightening for harker mostly, but great for the reader. Stoker's use of language is totally luminous. These animalistic features of Dracula are eerie not only to Harker but also to the readers. Dracula's domestic attentions towards harker are eccentric. The Count does everything himself. He takes Harker's 'luggage' and 'opened the door.' You would wonder why there aren't any 'servants' in a huge castle. Harker realises this oddity, so he 'looked for a bell' but couldn't find one. This adds another mysterious aspect towards Dracula and should interest the readers. The reader reads on, searching for an explanation for a reason why there are no servants. We assure that Dracula is unable to employ humans as they may attack him while he sleeps in his coffin. ...read more.

Conclusion

When killing Dracula or other vampires, Harker uses a crucifix, holy water, garlic or a wooden stake. These are the types of religious symbols that are used. I don't think these are particularly relevant to many modern readers and are unlikely to have any significance for today's audience because few people believe in the church these days. It's interesting though to find out what people used to believe in. Stoker has used imaginative and gruesome details, which interested me a lot. I think this novel is wonderful mainly because of Lucy's death and how her fianc� killed her. It shows how much Arthur loved Lucy. He killed her vampire form and bought back Lucy's soul so it could go to heaven. This dreadful part of the story is brilliant. I found it heartbreaking but I was amazed at Arthur's strong character. I think the novel was fascinating but it dragged and became boring in places. The journey to Transylvania, for example, was very well described and extremely spooky. However, this section could be shortened to maintain tension. I also think some of the character's diary entries could have been more focused on moving the story forward rather than offering lots of information, which we didn't really need. Manjit Kairo 1 ...read more.

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