The castle is on the very edge of a terrible precipice. A stone falling from the window would fall a thousand feet without touching anything! As far as the eye can reach is a sea of green tree tops, with occasionally a deep rift where there is a chasm. Here and there are silver threads where the rivers wind in deep gorges through the forests.
But I am not in heart to describe beauty, for when I had seen the view I explored further; doors, doors, doors everywhere, and all locked and bolted. In no place save from the windows in the castle walls is there an available exit.
The castle is a veritable prison, and I am a prisoner!
Taken from the end of Chapter II, this passage exemplifies the dark and ominous tone Stoker creates in the novel. The tone of Harker’s journal changes with amazing rapidity as his stay in Castle Dracula progresses. In the course of a single chapter, Harker feels stripped of the robes of honored houseguest and considers himself bound like a prisoner. Here, Stoker demonstrates his mastery of the conventions of the Gothic novel: evoking the ruined castle, the beautiful but overpowering landscape, and the mounting sense of dread. Though Stoker did not invent Dracula or vampire lore, he did more to solidify it in the imaginations of English-speaking audiences than any author has since. Passages such as this description have spawned countless imitators, and scores of horror films owe a debt to the simple but powerful repetition of Stoker’s “doors, doors, doors everywhere.”