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An Analysis Of Bram Stoker's Dracula

1055 words - 4 pages

Bram Stoker’s Dracula is the story about how the small company of men and a woman lead by Professor Abraham Van Helsing combats against Count Dracula, who moves from Transylvania to England in order to manipulate people as “foul things of the night like him, without heart or conscience, preying on the bodies and the souls of those [they] love best” (223). Stoker employs an epistolary format in this novel and nowadays, Dracula becomes one of popular literary works representing epistolary novels written in the nineteenth century. The term “epistolary novels” refers to the novels composed of different types of documents, such as journals, letters, newspaper clippings and so forth. One of the effects created by using an epistolary format is providing the characters’ inner state throughout the story, which “focuse[s] on a broader exploration of the insights that made up the conscious self by and [the broader context]” (Ştefan 73). Consequently, Stoker’s use of fragmentary narratives delivers the main characters’ emotions and thoughts in more picturesque ways. In Dracula, the epistolary format of the novel increases terror and suspense, which derived from tension when the story alters after alluding characters’ insecure future and immense power of Dracula affecting not only the main characters, but the third parties who are irrelevant to them.
A reader’s anxiety accelerates from altering the story from Jonathan Harker’s journal to Mina Murray’s letter when Jonathan commits to escape from Dracula’s castle. While Jonathan stays at Dracula’s castle coercively, as he depicts himself as “a veritable prisoner, but without that protection of the law which is even a criminal’s right and consolation” (40), he always seeks for an opportunity to get away from the “prison.” Then, he realizes that June 29 is “the span of [his] life” (37), the date he puts on the last letter sending from Dracula’s castle. As Jonathan is placed in such an isolated location without interaction with anyone except Dracula, Jonathan does not have many methods to reveal his emotions and thoughts; therefore, he keeps writing his journals in order to record the experiences he had, but also to convey his inner state while he was staying at Dracula’s castle. Also, Jonathan’s passage reveals that his habit of writing a journal functions as a temporary remedy to alleviate his uneasiness: “For now, feeling as though my own brain were unhinged or as if the shock had come which must end in its undoing, I turn to my diary for repose. The habit of entering [journals] accurately must help to soothe me” (33). The tension derived from Jonathan’s anxiety for his safety maximizes in his journal written on 29 June and 30 June. In Jonathan’s journal written on 29 June, he eavesdrops on the conversation between Dracula and three vampire women and recognizes that the following day is his last day of being as a human. He decides to crawl down the castle wall to go home and leaves farewell to Mina and others...

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