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Key Facts

Main ideas Key Facts

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.