Reading Log #6

Dracula

Written by Bram Stoker

Extended Text

Dracula, a famous and classic gothic novel. This novel has been converted and adapted into movies, TV shows and many other books.

In summary, this novel tells the story of a young man named Jonathan Harker, who is an English lawyer. He travels to the Eastern European country of Transilvania, to Castle Dracula. As he makes his way, the local residents warn him by gifting him crucifixes and other charms that prevent evil. There were all repeatedly saying words, which later Harker translates to ‘Vampire’. The closer he comes to the castle the more frightened he becomes, however to his surprise, Count Dracula is dressed respectably and is very well mannered. But, in a matter of days, Harker realises he is a prisoner in the castle. Although trapped, Harker explores and investigates further into Count Dracula and his characteristics, only to find that Count Dracula has supernatural powers and has devilish desires.

One desire, of which Harker discovers is when, one evening he was attacked by three seductive female vampires….however, Count claims towards them that.. “How dare you touch him, any of you? How dare you cast eyes on him when I had forbidden it? Back, I tell you all! This man belongs to me! Beware how you meddle with him or you’ll have to deal with me.” During this moment, I found it very spine-chilling, Bram Stoker put a lot of detail when describing the females approaching him that is created great tension and adding a sexual element to it as well, an example of this is “…she actually licked her lips like an animal, till I could see in the moonlight the moisture shining on the scarlet lips and on the red tongue as it lapped the white sharp teeth…” and this moment brought strong tension towards me as a reader.

Further on, within the story, it also speaks of Harker’s fiancé, named Mina Murray, who lives in England. Mina and her friend Lucy one day come across a shipwreck, all crew are missing and their captain is dead. The ship was carrying multiple boxes of earth, one of which is Count Dracula. Later, Lucy is found pale and ill, with two pierced teeth marks in her neck. “She seemed like a nightmare of Lucy as she lay there, the pointed teeth, the blood-stained, voluptuous mouth, which made one shudder to see, the whole carnal and unspirit- ed appearance, seeming like a devilish mockery of Lucy’s sweet purity.”, During this moment, once again the use of detail is incredible and really helped me as a reader illustrate what was being said very clearly. 

I don’t want to give out too much information from the story, as I personally think that it is a great read and I very much recommend it. One thing I found, which I personally really enjoyed was Bram’s use of detail when describing anything within the book. In the few examples, I have mentioned before, each of those made me so intrigued and passionate to continue to read as I could clearly understand the moment in the book as well as being able to fully picture it inside my head, which most books these days don’t tend to do. Once again, I personally love the concept of Vampires, as I also mentioned in my reading response on “The Interview with the Vampire”. I just find them such intriguing creatures, and because of my passion, I found this book so relatable to myself. 

A major gothic and obvious element in this novel is the supernatural aspect to it. Count Dracula, among the three seductive females and Lucy, were all Vampires. Each was stronger and faster than humans, and each was immortal. Another gothic element is the setting, the castle is set in a very stereotypical, dark and mysterious area. Closed off from society and gloomy. And Vampires tend to have a stereotypical, non-social aspect about them, despite the fact that they feed off humans. 

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