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Dracula & gothic genre Essay

Novels of the Gothic genre, like ‘Dracula’, are often set in big old castles or ruins. In this novel there is the setting of Dracula’s castle. This is an old castle in the middle of ‘one of the wildest and least known portions of Europe’. It is on the edge of a precipice and seems to be very grand. Harker describes it in his journal, ‘The castle is on the very edge of a terrible precipice. A stone falling from the window would fall a thousand feet without touching anything! ‘ This description of the castle makes it seem very quiet, rural and frightening. The sheer height of the castle would scare people.

Stoker chooses his adjectives very carefully in ‘Dracula’, here he uses the adjective ‘terrible’ which sums up the gothic nature of the setting. There is also part of the novel set in a Whitby. Here there is a big ruined abbey and an open coastline. It is a dramatic seaside town. Stoker obviously chose it carefully to stress the full force of the weather and uneasy feelings of Mina. The weather in itself creates a scene of a gothic genre. There is a big storm approaching in chapter six and at the end of the chapter we get the very beginning of the storm.

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The weather was not easily explained at the time when ‘Dracula’ was written so this would give the reader unease and increase the fear. The Count participates greatly as an element of the gothic genre. His appearance is revolting and makes Harker ‘shudder’. ‘His eyebrows were very massive, almost meeting over the nose, and with bushy hair that seemed to curl in its own profusion. The mouth, so far as I could see it under the heavy moustache, was fixed and rather cruel-looking, with peculiarly sharp white teeth; these protruded over the lips, whose remarkable ruddiness showed astonishing vitality in a man of his years.

For the rest his ears were pale and at the tops extremely pointed. ‘ Dracula’s pointed ears remind us of wolves which are often used in gothic novels. His mouth is ‘cruel-looking’ and his teeth are odd. Dracula also wears a cloak which has monotones of bats which are often linked to the gothic genre. He is also capable of controlling the wolves that he calls ‘the children of the night’. Wolves are often seen to be very scary as they come out at night and are generally vicious animals.

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