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Dracula By Bram Stoker


The Gothic horror novel Dracula is written by Bram Stoker. In 1897, the Irish author composed the novel with a different collection of memos, journal entries, telegrams and letters. The writer of the novel places simple facts at the beginning of the story; however, at the later stage, events become complex. The composition of the documents reflects the stack of evidence presented to the court. The straightforward and immediate style of the novel shows that events are happening in the real world. The novel also reflects the perfect blend of adventure and horror, which makes the reader enjoy and contentedly read the story.

Critical Analysis

Bram Stoker is best known for his contribution and for being the author of Dracula. He was born in Clontarf, Ireland. His boyhood passed as a sickly child. He graduated from Trinity College and excelled in mathematics and academics. In the Irish civil service, he served for almost ten years. During the time of his service, he contributed to the drama criticism of the Dublin Mail. Along with his happy and active life, he wrote novels and story writing in the late nineteenth century. The Snake’s Pass was his first writing, which started in 1890. The novel Dracula appeared in 1897. The author took certain folktales and turned them into the most horrific writing of all time.

With Irving’s death in 1905, Bram associated with the literary staff of the London Telegraph. He wrote certain letters and other works of fiction. Many critics have favourably reviewed the work of Bram. The stereotyped characters and the romantic gothic plots are frequently available in his work (Dujovic, 52). Most of the modern readers are not interested in reading those horrific plots. The earliest reviews of Bram’s works show that critics have denounced his characterization and the flaws in his writing. However, the precise description of his writing was praised by many.

The short stories of the Bram Stoker have fared better with the modern readers. The anthologists have included his stories in the horror fiction composition. The best known in this regard is Dracula’s Guest, which was intended as the prefatory chapter of Dracula. Many critics and scholars believe that by writing Dracula, Stoker reflects the real-life story of Vlad, who was a historical figure. Vlad had done certain horrible things and had captured his enemies. The historical context of the novel Dracula dates back to the Victorian era.

In the Victorian era, the study of natural history and philosophy was considered science. By studying history and philosophy, students became gentlemen and clerical naturalists. People of the era believed in the natural laws and the progress associated with them. In the same way, regular interaction between science, industry, and the government was also common in the Victorian age (Salazar, 1). Stoker’s work incorporates a number of examples that are associated with Victorianism. The era was expanding the fundamental, formalized education and the natural beliefs about the role and place of humans in this world. The revival of religious activity also influenced England.

The revival of religious beliefs has contributed to the code of moral behaviours. Religion occupied its place in the consciousness of the ordinary individual, which was not in history, and also did not retain its position after the Victorian age (Maguire, 375). The renewal of religion and its impact on people’s behaviour leads to the concept of Victorianism. Dracula served to establish and support the gender stratification of the community. The ideas in the novel, like the saving of the women from the men, explore the powerful evidence. Jonathan and their colleagues have helped Mina from the powerful forces of evil. This portrayal shows that men were placed at the top of the hierarchy.

The distinct concept of the right and the wrong was also present in the novel. Dracula is explored as the evil force or the wrong characters, while Jonathan and their colleagues characterize it as the good elements. Similarly, the evil elements fail over the good forces. The moral, religious, and social influence is also discussed in the novel. Dracula has to live forever because of mankind’s unquestionable thirst for it (Stoker, 59). The story acts on several sexual, intellectual and emotional levels, which shows the social influence and the ability of authors to unfold the depths of the human psyche. In the same way, Stoker was a religious man, and he also represented religious influence in his work.

The cross, holy water, and the other related elements reveal the religiosity of Dracula. He was highly influenced by the religious beliefs which he describes in his novel. The novel also reflects the Christian allegory (Wise, 335). Demonic Dracula has the power of strength and to damn the souls by turning characters into vampires. The use of good guys for the Mina and the Jonathan is the power of the Christian religion. The dramatic conflict between the good and the evil is present in the novel. The use of the sacred objects of the Catholic beliefs and practices in defeating Dracula and for protection purposes also unfolded the religious affiliation of the author.

The consecrated host, crucifixes, and indulgences are some of the examples present in Dracula. Most of the elements belonging to the religious concept are presented in an unorthodox and improper way. The Dracula is attributed to the different genres of the English literature. Invasion literature, gothic novels, horror stories, and vampire fiction are some of them. The structure of the novel possesses epistolary elements, which are incorporated with the letters and the series of diary entries (Salazar, 1). The critics and the reviewers have examined the number of themes in the novel. The conventional and conservative sexuality, colonialism, folklore, immigration and the role of females in the Victorian era are the main themes of the novel.

The author did not invent the vampire. The influence of the novel on vampires has been responsible for many film and theatrical interpretations throughout the twenty-first century. A lot of the recent books are the derivatives of the Dracula. The majority of the story revolves around newspaper clippings and journal entries. The journalistic style represents the harrowing account and events of the novel. The description of Dracula’s family at the beginning of the story was based on the real story of the fifteenth-century family, Vlad. The Vlad Dracula had a bloody career. The prince of Wallachia was the general who impaled his enemies.

The cruel prince was represented as someone who killed beggars, women and other weak people in his society (Stoker, 59). The wild general forces women to eat their babies. Stokers managed to make Count Dracula similar to that of his ancestor. The similarity of the character with Vlad provides a guise of truth to Dracula. There are many gothic conventions in Stoker’s novel. The gothic elements include the sublime landscapes, innocent young girls menaced by terrible evils and the gloomy castles. Stoker modernizes the tradition of his works and moves from the traditional landscapes into the clamour of contemporary England. The author portrays the collision of two different worlds. One is Transylvania, where the Count lives, while the protagonist lives in modern London. The writer has revealed many concerns about his times, like the effects of scientific progress and the impacts of traditional beliefs.

Dracula, in the present times, is a captivating reading about the different attitudes towards science, sex, and religion (Stoker, 59). The narrator of the story is the protagonist, who is supplemented with different newspaper clippings for the narration of the events. Those events take place in Transylvania and England. Creepy, old and occasionally boring Dracula is a lot more interesting to discuss than to read. Just like the present vampires in 1897 stood for the anxieties and the contemporary fears. The vampire craze of the twentieth century represents the fears of conspiracy and corruption theories. The bloodsuckers represented the globalization of London.

The risks of sexual activity and the presence of technology are also represented by the vampires. Dracula left his native town, Transylvania, which is presently named Romania, located in the southeastern European region, and immigrated to England. The purpose was to feed the teeming millions in the populated city of London (Salazar, 1). The invasion literature was popular at that time, and it had to do with the monsters invading the British Empire. Literary figures like Rudyard Kipling, Arthur Conan, and H.G. Wells have also written sensational and adventurous stories from all around the world. Stoker, in this regard, does not consider himself a great artist; instead, he is a businessman.

Stokers managed the Lyceum Theatre in London. He wrote novels to pay the bills. He was astonished by the lasting impact of the Dracula. His writing style for Dracula is piecemeal and disorganized way. The novel was popular at the time of 1897, and it was received well. However, it was not a blockbuster hit (Maguire, 375). The film version of the novel started appearing in the late twentieth century. The popularity of the novel skyrocketed, and it had a considerable impact on society’s popular culture. Every bloodsucker in the literature, from the Cullen Twilights to the True Blood of Eric, the Count owes their life and also the chauvinistic story of the Stoker’s seducing the suitable English ladies. In other words, Dracula is the wonderful, repugnant grandpappy of Bella Swan.

Every vampire book or film in the twentieth century owes something related to the novel of the Stoker. Edward Cullen found his work needed revisiting to polish his human girlfriend, Bella, in order to negate that all the work does not originate from the novel of Stokers. Regarding popular culture, Dracula is present everywhere. The Count in the Sesame Street is projected on the basis of the vampire of the Stokers. The author has a lot to say about the political culture of his times.

Many reviewers of his work and critics have looked at Dracula from a different angle. They explained it as a fear of the British Empire about the colonized nations and the oppressed people to take revenge on the British for their brutalities. The important thing that makes Dracula so scary is that he is a foreigner (Stoker, 59). The critics unfolded the multiple themes of the novel, and some of them consider it as the collapse of the British Empire and imperialism. The immigration of Dracula towards the British is a kind of invasion. The folks worried about the years spent by the British in colonizing and suppressing other cultures have indicated some people were inedible and off.

The concern was that suppressed people might come back and demand the payback of their suffering from the British. The Stockers make a big point by unfolding and describing Dracula as an emphatically alien (Stoker, 59). He was weak in English. He spoke with an imperfect accent and required Jonathan’s guidance while dealing and negotiating with British individuals. The cultural norms and procedures were also new for Dracula, which resembles his status as a foreigner. The invasion of Dracula is reproduced with the little level in the “invasion” of Lucy’s English home. His ability to victimize Lucy advocated that he could victimize the whole nation.

In the same way, the description of the women in the novel is the depiction of the most dangerous women and also the sexiest. Dracula is a cultural touchstone from which everybody became inspired and wanted to read it again and again. Similarly, Stokers explored the real facts in the story. He presented the novel as a series of supposedly real documents. He provided the facts of the case and events to the reader, which were written out by the people who experienced the issues directly (Maguire, 375). The narrative techniques applied by Stoker in his novel Dracula put the reader in the position of judge or jury.

The reader, while going through the novel, has the privilege of the variety of different eyewitnesses, which are otherworldly and terrifying. The author also uses the first person technique in narrating the events and the story of the novel. The positive of the first-person technique is that the reader can hear about the facts and events from multiple perspectives. The access to multiple views enhances the rationality of the reader. There will be no sympathy with the particular character (Wise, 335). The techniques implied by the Stoker’s are also effective in sustaining the suspense until the complexity of the novel is resolved. The author has set the protagonist of the novel as a very rational individual. The young lawyer is an organized and logical person.

By implying the rationality in the protagonist, Stoker has encountered the horror of melodrama which will occur after him. The sense of terror in Stoker’s narration will become more believable and less feverish. The author saved his gothic melodrama from becoming ludicrous and laughable by not choosing the emotional and nervous style of the hero. The careful and calculated way in which the authors unfold the mystery of Count Dracula achieves the mystery of his subject matter (Dujovic, 52). The mystery mitigates the horror and exaggerates every chapter with a sense of anxiety and terror. Stoker uses a lot of devices to let his readers know that the protagonist is a sensible and rational character. The composition of Dracula’s story revolves around the mystery. The author borrows the techniques from Wilkie Collins, who uses the same narrating style in his detective novel.


Concluding the discussion on Dracula, it is said that the novel describes the real picture and the events of life. The horror novel is attributed to various horror fiction works and the invasion literature. The author established many traditions in the subsequent vampire fantasy. The novel is the standard form for adaptation by many literary theatres and actors in the coming decades. Throughout the novel, Bram Stoker also depicts the different appearances of Victorian society. The perfect blend of adventure and horror in Dracula provides a fascinating story for the readers.

Works Cited


Maguire, Muireann. “Book Review: Catherine Wynne (ed.): Bram Stoker and the Gothic: Formations to Transformations.” (2016): 374-376.

Salazar, Anthony. “Curing the Vampire Disease with Transfusion: The Narrative Structure of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.” English Language and Literature Studies 7.3 (2017): 1.

Stoker, Bram. Dracula: The Postcolonial Edition. Universitas Press, 2016.

Wise, Nicholas. “‘A review of The Dracula Dilemma: tourism, identity and the state in Romania’ by Duncan Light, Surrey, Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2012, 196 pp. £ 55 (hardback), ISBN 978-1-4094-4021-5.” (2014): 334-336.



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