Dracula is well known now and it is all because of the novel of the same name. Bram Stoker wrote the novel in 1897 and now his character is a regular monster. Find out why the world fell in love with Dracula and what the original Dracula was like.
Jonathan Harker has recently become an English solicitor and is on his way to Transylvania to visit Count Dracula at his castle. During his stay, Jonathan helps Dracula but soon realizes he is a prisoner in the castle. There are no servants in the castle and something is off about Dracula.
To pass the time, Jonathan explores the castle and runs into some unwanted company. As Dracula plans to head to England, Jonathan knows that his end his near. That makes him plot to escape while Dracula is away.
In England, the Count arrives on a ship during a storm. Soon after, he terrorizes the town from the shadows at night. Lucy Westenra is bitten by the vampire and her fiancé, Arthur Holmwood calls on his old friend, professor Abraham Van Helsing to diagnose Lucy. The fight for Lucy’s life takes center stage and Dr John Seward and Quincey Morris, two friends of Lucy who also proposed to her but were rejected, take on the demon of the night.
Dracula however is no slouch. He has been alive for centuries and has knowledge and experience that is unmatched. Add to that his super strength and his many power which include turning into a bat, wolf or a person, summoning a storm, fog, or snow, and hypnotic, telepathic and illusionary abilities. Will he terrorize England or will his reign come to an end?
The novel is told in the form of letters, diary entries, and newspaper articles. One thing I will say should have been written differently were the chronological order of the dairy entries and letters. Some letters go back in time and make you remember what already happened or you will get lost.
As mentioned in the summary, Dracula has a lot of powers that were seemingly left out when he became mainstream. Like the fact that he can walk on buildings like a reptile. Getting to see Dracula as he was intended made the novel worth reading.
The reason why this novel became a mainstream success was because of how scary It was deemed. Critics said it was far too scary and using England as the setting didn’t sit well. Some people found Dracula’s weakness of garlic hilarious, adding to its popularity. Stoker’s approach to the vampire legend was well received for the most part.
Lastly, I want to talk about the tone of the novel and how it comes across. It was published in 1897 so there is going to be a disconnect. The characters felt like an exaggeration and didn’t feel like authentic. They were too nice and kind and angelic. Not that it was a bad thing. It is no wonder the protagonists aren’t remembered and only Dracula is.
I enjoyed the novel overall and I am glad to have read it. It is long and while it could have been shorter, it doesn’t take away from the novel. You will see the plot twists coming but the story itself is a great one that I do recommend if you are curious about the origins of Dracula.