Stoker's Atmosphere of Fear: Narrative Technique in the Opening of "Dracula" 11th Grade

The opening chapters of Dracula by Bram Stoker set the scene atmospherically and build the feeling of fear steadily through a combination of themes which were feared in Victorian times. Gothic literature was a new and exciting concept for the stoic Victorians, who weren’t used to the overdramatic mannerisms of the gothic characters, and the hyperbolic description that Gothic writers use. The mundane style in which Stoker begins Dracula is traditionally in keeping with the attitudes and importances of Victorian society, it immediately shows the paradoxical nature of the novel - between the normal and the supernatural. Stoker builds an atmosphere of fear by introducing that which is unknown to Victorians - people were completely terrified by things they couldn’t understand. Stoker exploits this very early on with the unexplained blue flame and the paranormal strength of the cab driver.

Stoker begins to create an atmosphere of fear slowly in chapter one with the introduction of Jonathan Harker, a completely innocent middle-class solicitor going on a seemingly innocuous business trip but, he is going abroad and here is the first sign that something maybe amiss. The first sense something is mysterious is the hot and spicy food which...

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