Dracula by Bram Stoker

Dracula (Bram Stoker) eBook by Bram Stoker | Rakuten Kobo

The creation of the horror image and the gloomy atmosphere in the novel is realized by spreading the devil world centered on Dracula, making the readers like a horror drama staged in the dark and dirty old castle. At the beginning, the novel presents a series of mysterious and dramatic images, such as a remote old castle, a desolate night, a sudden werewolf, and a strange bat.

The unknown smoke and other images serve as background factors to arouse readers’ memories and impressions of the grim and horrible scenes, so as to present a terrifying world to readers. This technique was also widely used in 19th century Gothic novels. On the one hand, it introduces the characteristics and identity of Dracula, on the other hand, it also employs these images to expand readers’ imagination and enhance their understanding, which sets a tone of terror and panic for the whole novel.

The existence of Dracula and the perception of his image are the self-perception of human eyes or psychology and the vivid description and presentation of the current social mentality. Jonathan’s visit and familiarity with the castle actually started the contest and struggle between good and evil, and at the same time hinted at the subtle relationship of conquest and resistance between the British Empire and the colonized countries at the end of the 19th century. The novel presents the reader with a strange and deviant world. In such a world, the reader is as anxious as the monster is terrifying. Dracula represents a strong possessiveness and a desire for racial invasion. He tried to invade London from far away eastern Europe, and while women were sleeping, he controlled their consciousness and drank their blood to reproduce his own race, expand his territory, and dominate the British Empire.

At the same time, the women who had been sucked into the blood were transformed into social outliers. They broke away from the male authority and were no longer bound by traditional concepts and customs, and freely expressed their likes, dislikes and desires. They possessed the characteristics of the new females emerging in the British society at the end of the 19th century, which was not recognized by the mainstream population at that time. The image of Dracula’s attempt to overturn the harmonious and orthodox order of British society was the accumulation of capital in the British Empire. The shadow of colonial expansion and self-portrait are the reverse of imperial colonial rule. At the same time, Dracula’s whole scheme is a symptom of the waning British empire’s fear of its own political future, a looming fear of the vassal states that are rebelling against colonialism and the rising powers that are gaining momentum.

Transitioning from Young Adult Novels to the Classics

bookstack2The transition from young adult novels to classic novels can be difficult. I started reading classic novels when I was in eighth grade. However, I still read young adult novels. I love both genres!

The key to transitioning from reading young adult novels to reading classic novels lies in the plot. Many young adult novels are affiliated with the supernatural,┬ábe it vampires, werewolves, zombies, or magic. The common factor is an element of fantasy. Most teens dismiss classic literature as boring but what they might not know is that classic novels were catalysts for contemporary young adult novels. Examples include Dracula by, Bram Stoker and Frankenstein by, Mary Shelley. Dracula and Frankenstein are two of the oldest fantasy novels. Frankenstein is considered by some to be the first science-fiction novel and Dracula, of course, was the first novel to debut vampires. They are also two of the most famous classic novels– cult classics, even.

dracula_coverDracula was written in 1897 and Frankenstein was written in 1818. Dracula is the story of a vampire who moves from England to Romania. Jonathan Harker is in charge of Dracula’s move but after spending time in his castle, he starts to suspect that Dracula is a vampire. Once he comes to this realization, he also realizes that he’s trapped in the castle and barely escapes with his life. He makes his way back home but little does he know that Dracula is now terrorizing his fiancee Mina and her friend Lucy by drinking their blood. Lucy begins to become very sick and Mina calls Dr. Van Helsing for help and he realizes what is happening to her but does not reveal it. Mina then becomes sick herself and it is then when Van Helsing and others try and put a stop to Dracula and they follow him back to Transylvania for a final battle.

frankenstein_coverFrankenstein is the story of a mad scientist named Victor Frankenstein who creates a creature. Frankenstein is commonly mistaken as the monster when in fact, Frankenstein is the creator of the monster. Victor has been passionate about science since he was a child and gets the idea of reanimation from watching lighting strike a tree. He reanimates a creature with expectations of beauty and is disappointed with how the creature turns out and rejects him, so the creature flees. Victor sees his creature again framed for his brother’s death. The creature explains his innocence and says that if Victor would make him a female companion, he would leave him alone forever. Victor agrees and makes him a companion but kills her out of fear of them breeding and creating a race. The creature sees Victor kill his companion-to-be and the two fight for the last time.

While it is true that classic novels start off slow, it is worth it to read them until the end. It is easier to ease into classic literature with novels that include aspects of what you’re already used to reading. The familiarity is essential in transitioning!

-Sarah B., 12th grade