I hadn’t read Dracula until college.
Before that, I had only ever seen the Dracula of pop culture. My first insight was with Dracula on Scooby-Doo and then from the various incarnations of Dracula movies until I had to read it for college.
I figured I should probably start spreading the incredible book from 1897. It’s so much better than I expected. It’s actually scary!
I was thinking it was going to be like Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, which wasn’t super scary in my opinion. It was much more literary.
That’s exactly what I was expecting with Dracula too.
It’s not what I got at all.
From the very opening of Dracula, it was evident I was getting a different kind of book than what I was used to.
It’s written as journal entries.
This has come to mixed reviews from me because I’ve read some that were great and others that were totally butt.
Dracula was cool though. It gave a vibe similar to Lovecraft initially by having a horror scene where the monster is never really seen.
But when the main character actually comes into contact with the Count, it’s absolutely obvious he is horrifying. Stoker plays off the idea that Satan is actually an extremely beautiful angel and makes the Count very charming. He has nefarious goals underlying his demeanor, but it plays with the idea of the Count being a master of deception. Another word for deception is lies, and the Devil is described as the “master of lies” in the Bible.
I actually wrote an essay on Dracula in college about how he was the ultimate warning from God about evil, and I’ll probably revisit that idea soon on the blog (I just keep wanting to explore a bunch of things, but I promise they will be coming soon).
The plot of the book is pretty smooth. It starts with following an English lawyer named Jonathan Harker who goes to castle Dracula to help the Count. While there, some odd things begin happening and he finds out that the Count is actually a vampire. Then he seeks the help of Dr. Van Helsing to help his friends and family as the Count starts picking them off one by one.
I’m stopping there. Going any more in depth could ruin some of the book, and that’s just sad.
I really enjoy Dracula because it’s legitimately scary. I honestly would catch my heart beat spiking (I wear a Fitbit to track things like this cause I’m a health nut too) while reading.
It’s also really interesting because it came out and critics hated it. Then as time went on, it got adapted to plays and then movies after Stoker had passed away. This is when the book also really got some steam to become the classic that it is.
After further inspection too, a vampire deals a lot in sexuality and intimacy. This makes the biting, sucking of blood, entering a body with teeth compared to a phallic object, and hypnotic abilities all the more interesting. It actually is the only thing that helped redeem Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series in my opinion. Though, those books did exactly as they were supposed to. They got terrible critical reviews, but they will remain a classic series and responsible for launching a supernatural/paranormal young adult genre into the mainstream.
Dracula is really interesting and should be studied more than just read. It’s a great October read, but it’s a much better deep study.