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.
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.”