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Dracula

Bram Stoker

Key Facts

Important Quotations Explained

Study Questions & Essay Topics

full title  ·  Dracula

author  · Bram Stoker

type of work  · Novel

genre  · Gothic, horror

language  · English

time and place written  ·  18911897; London, England

date of first publication  ·  1897

publisher  · Constable

narrator  ·  Dracula is told primarily through a collection of journal entries, letters, and telegrams written or recorded by its main characters: Jonathan Harker, Mina Murray, Dr. John Seward, Lucy Westenra, and Dr. Van Helsing.

point of view  · Shifts among the first-person perspectives of several characters

tone  · Gothic, dark, melodramatic, righteous

tense  · Though some of the entries record the thoughts and observations of the characters in the present tense, most incidents in the novel are recounted in the past tense.

setting (time)  · End of the nineteenth century

setting (place)  · England and Eastern Europe

protagonist  · The members of Van Helsing’s gang—Van Helsing, Jonathan Harker, John Seward, Arthur Holmwood, Mina Murray, and Quincey Morris —might be considered the novel’s collective protagonist.

major conflict  · A vampire with diabolical ambitions preys upon a group of English and American do-gooders, threatening the foundations of their society until they dedicate themselves to ridding the Earth of his evil.

rising action  · Jonathan Harker learns of Dracula’s evil while visiting his castle to complete a real estate transaction; Lucy Westenra becomes increasingly ill under Dracula’s spell

climax  · Lucy is transformed into a vampire; Van Helsing and his comrades mercifully destroy her

falling action  · Van Helsing and company chase Dracula across Eastern Europe, where they eventually destroy him.

themes  · The promise of Christian salvation; the consequences of modernity; the dangers of female sexual expression

motifs  · Blood; Christian iconography; science and superstition

symbols  · The “weird sisters”; the stake driven through Lucy’s heart; the Czarina Catherine

foreshadowing  · The initially unidentifiable wounds on Lucy’s neck foreshadow her fall to the dark side by confirming Dracula’s presence in England.

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The theme and motif about Lucy's death is a disgrace to this site

by Somethingisbrokehere, January 08, 2013

Please let me state again: Finding anything sexual about Lucy's death and stating it as "unambiguous" that stake is a reference to a penis is absurd. Have you even read the book? I've read the book and I understand it well. Now here is a question: If a stake really meant penis than what did it offer in the books overall meaning? That a bunch of Christians are killing the undead by nailing their penises through people's hearts? Really? That is exactly what your notes are saying and it is embarrassing to think that someone ACTUALLY BELIEVES TH... Read more

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91 out of 274 people found this helpful

My gosh, it's full of sex!

by Mysticmidget, January 10, 2013

I agree with "somethingisbrokehere". I read through this summary to aid in an essay about this book and was positively shocked...though it gave me plenty of giggles! Dracula has many things about it which make it partly comedy to me, though of course it's only due to the change of the times. The thought of Bram Stoker reading this site's take on his novel is...oh, do try it, it is HILARIOUS. Psychoanalyzing can be taken too far, and I would ask that this site DOES NOT CHANGE THEIR TAKE ON LUCY'S FINAL DEATH, because in the future I might lik

1 Comments

6 out of 20 people found this helpful

Sorry about earlier but let me explain

by Somethingisbrokehere, February 05, 2013

Okay I should've gone into detail more, but the whole penis idea doesn't fit into the plot and doesn't make sense. First of all from a Christian perspective (Mr. Stoker was Protestant) that would be considered an evil thing to do. Since they are undead that would similar to necrophilia which is most definitely unChristian and would go against everything the book is talking about. Also remember, this book was written in 1897 which really wasn't that long ago. The whole idea of stakes being penises doesn't make sense as cleansing (I don't thin

4 Comments

12 out of 34 people found this helpful

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