Bram Stoker's Dracula


The setting of the story begins in 19th century Europe, in the eerie
country of Transylvania. A solicitor from England named Jonathan Harker is
sent by a business man to meet with an old Count named Dracula at his
castle located far from civilization. Residents of Transylvania who become
aware of his destination begin crossing themselves and giving him garlic
and blessings. As a result of these gestures, Mr. Harker soon develops an
uneasy feeling about visiting the mysterious Count. He arrives at Castle
Dracula regardless, and makes his acquaintances with Dracula. He soon
realizes that the count is no normal human, but an evil, blood-sucking
vampire, who can command animals and elements with the wave of his hand.
Harker escapes but the Count has devised an intricate plan to move to
London and exercise his evil forces on innocent people there. However, a
group of friends, including an open-minded but ingenious professor, a
psychologist, an American, a rich man, as well as Jon an Harker and his
wife Mina, learn of the Count's sinister plan and pledge to destroy him
before he can create an army of un-dead vampires. They systematically
destroy his coffins with holy wafers and chase him out of England back to
Castle Dracula. There they carry out an ultimate plan to destroy Dracula.

The Author uses suspense as a storytelling device rather effectively
throughout the story. There are a fair number of parts in which the reader
is left suspended on the edge of seat, eager to find out what is to happen
next. However, there were parts where suspense could be used in a manner
that would enhance the gravity of the plot. Nonetheless, The book is
written in a unique way that allows suspense to be used easily and
effectively built up. Dracula is written in first person like many other
novels but then it differs slightly. The book starts off as a first person
Journal of the first character describing his experiences. But then it
switches to someone else's journal, and then to letters between two
characters, and later to a newspaper article. It follows this pattern
roughly throughout the book. At various points, the plot builds up with
one character's journal and then it jumps to another character's journal so
that you must read a ways through it before the exciti conclusion to that
particular event is revealed. At other times deductions must be made on
what a character has written to ascertain what has occurred. There is a
good example of this when the first character, Jonathan Harker, is
imprisoned in the castle close to sunset and knows that the Count will
attack him that night. His journal ends as he describes what he might do
to escape. But the success of his escape is not evident until the first
part of his fiancee's journal is completed. This sort of suspense can be
quite frustrating and annoying at times. Thus it's purpose is often
defeated and the plot suffers. But there is also the more prevalent type
of suspense used where the character is on the verge of an important
discovery or he is in a dangerous predicament but the author is slow to
divulge what is to happen. When the suspense was used properly, it proved
to be both interesting and very dramatic.

In conclusion, Bram Stoker's Dracula turned out to be a very exciting
and fascinating novel. The plot was well structured and was very
suspenseful. The author used his historical knowledge of Europe,
particularly Hungary and Transylvania, very well in conveying a certain
idea in the book. For example, Count Dracula was described as a noble of
the Magyar peoples of eastern Europe who fought valiantly against invaders
during the 14th and 15th centuries. Full insight was given into the minds
and personalities of almost all of the well developed characters.
Initially, the Count remained somewhat mysterious for a specific reason.
This allowed for the main characters to slowly discover who the Count
really was thus developing the character slowly for the reader. The
intrigue built into his character intensified the mystery. Suspense was
used extensively throughout the novel. The book probed deeply into peoples
superstitions, fears, and beliefs of the supernatural, and how others are
skeptic of them are sometimes proved wrong. In all, Dracula is a clever,
exciting, and suspenseful novel that uses a ruthless villain to terrify you
but forces you to read more.