Dracula, by Bram Stoker is a book about a young lawyer, called Jonathan Harker that goes on a journey to Transylvania to help a mysterious man called Count Dracula. Because the book is made up out of personal letters, journal entries, telegrams etc it feels like we are eavesdropping on them as they are not having proper conversations in some points of the book, this lets us go deeper into the character to see their real personality and how they feel about things.
Jonathan Harker thought he was just helping Count Dracula immigrate to England and purchase a property there, but the longer he stayed with Dracula, the more he realized what was really going on. Jonathan figured out pretty quickly he was a prisoner “there was that in his eyes and in his bearing which made me remember that I was a prisoner, and that if I wished it I could have no choice. The Count saw his victory in my bow, and his mastery in the trouble of my face”. This shows the Gothic element of fear, Jonathan was scared for his life and knew he was going to die after he helps Dracula. He realized this when one night he tried to escape out of his castle, where he is seduced by three of Draculas beautiful brides, But Dracula manages to save him. this also shows the gothic element of seduction and sexuality.
Another Gothic element in this book was the Gloomy, dark and decaying settings, such as Count Draculas castle. His castle is located in Romania, close to the black sea and gives the reader an eerie dark feeling about the setting. Because the novel contrasts between settings (Transyvania’s gloomy and dark landscape with hidden rooms and abandoned houses to the English manor and other places in Western Europe) the Transylvania setting feels more negative as they are almost like 2 opposites, and they can’t be compared with eachother. This gives the reader a clear understanding of what is the bad/dark setting and what is the good.
In conclusion this is a good example of a novel with great Gothic themes and really helps the reader feel uncomfortable and scared for the characters, It makes the reader feel uncomfortable thinking of what it would be like being trapped in a castle not knowing if you are going to live or not with vampires ready to kill you at any moment.