Dracula Summary.

Essay by nyhka May 2003

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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.