Gothic Tropes in Dracula: Novel and Film 11th Grade

This chapter from the novel ‘Dracula’ by Bram Stoker includes an abundance of conventions typical of the Gothic genre, primarily employed here through Stoker’s characterisation of Johnathan Harker, Count Dracula and the three seductive women. Published in the late 19th Century, at a time when the focus of the Gothic genre was often on the darker elements of the human psyche in the familiar setting of the modern world, ‘Dracula’, for the most part being set in Victorian Britain, indeed conformed to the genre norms of the time. However, this chapter contains a number of conventions established early on in the genre; a protagonist suffering an excess of emotional distress, caused by supernatural phenomena, the events taking place in in unfamiliar locations, distanced from the present. Indeed, such elements ensure the foundations of this novel are deep-rooted in the Gothic style.

The overtly sexual tone of this chapter establishes this a theme of the novel, indeed one which is common in the Gothic genre. Stoker depicts one of the recurring Gothic stereotypes of female characters in his portrayal of the three women introduced in this chapter; they are attractive, illusive and sexually assertive. Johnathan recounts how the “fair girl...

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