Dracula Review and Analysis on Realism vs Fantasy
Start writing a post

Dracula Review and Analysis on Realism vs Fantasy

Reading for fun is much better than required reading

Dracula Review and Analysis on Realism vs Fantasy
The Partners' Network

For one of my classes where we got to choose what we wanted to read for fun, I decided to read Dracula by Bram Stoker because it’s a book that my sister lent to me a couple of years ago and never got around to reading it. I also like the gothic/horror genre and realized I hadn't read much of those in school. The story is iconic so I don’t think there’s no need for much explanation, but it’s about Dracula finding ways to spread his undead curse through out London--threatening the characters including Lucy Westerna who becomes Dracula’s first victim. She first becomes ill as she slowly transitions into a vampire, drawing suspense for a long duration of the novel that questions whether she’ll make it or not. The book is formatted in an epistolary style, which is where the story is spread out in a series of letters and diary entries that are told by the protagonists in the novel, including Mina Harker, Jonathan Harker and Van Hellsing. The book starts off with Jonathan’s narrative, and it appears that it’ll just be his narrative since we spend a good portion with him at Dracula’s castle.

I actually liked Jonathan’s part the best since there’s this sense of dread lurking in the castle that Jonathan has become a prisoner in. There’s this one part of the novel that Jonathan is shaving in the mirror and he accidently cuts himself, and it takes him a bit to realize that Dracula is right behind him because Jonathan can’t see him in the mirror. Jonathan questions what’s going on as he looks back in forth at the mirror and then at Dracula whose tempted to drink Jonathan’s blood but manages to restrain himself. Today’s readers already know what Dracula is, but there’s still a sense of suspense of whether or not Jonathan will make it out of the castle alive. I think his story would’ve been goon enough to warrant as a short story, but it’s still interesting that his part is only just the beginning of what’s to come.

I don’t recall reading another book with an epistolary format, so reading this style was interesting and different. I’ve read books where character’s have written diary entries or letters, but not an entire book that relies on this format. Interestingly, most of the notes written down are essential to the plot because the notes are used to track down and kill Dracula, so the epistolary does serve a purpose for the book’s plot and not just an insight into different characters’ minds. I liked that the book was split into different characters’ perspective. At first it looks like the story will stay on Jonathan since the audience spends the first half of the novel with him, but then there’s a transition and the book moves on to other characters, including Hellsing who actually appears a bit later, Dracula also doesn’t appear that much, but his presence lingers through out the novel and provides dread, affecting all the characters in some way that connects them together.

Most of the books that I’ve read in school stay in the realm of realism, and some of them involve romances (which is actually one of my least favorite genres). I like reading genres that are different than what I usually read in classes, such as the gothic and horror genre. In Northanger Abbey there was a promise of horror as the main character, Catherine wishes for her gothic stories to come to life, but since she’s living in reality and not in a supernatural realm, her wishes don’t come true. But either way, Northanger Abbey was still an enjoyable book to read because it was interesting to hear about Catherine’s desire for horror despite that a young woman such as herself shouldn’t have these thoughts. In actual gothic/horror books, the authors break the rules of realism, which means that anything can happen. There can be ghosts and other supernatural occurrences, and I think the rule breaking of reality just makes reading a bit more enjoyable, at least for me. Reading is an escape from reality, and I want to feel like I’m in a different place. I guess I could relate to Catherine since I sometimes desire for something different to occur so that things are more interesting and unique, but we just have books to fill in that void.

Some pieces of work that escape realism that I read in college were Faust, Hamlet, and Beowulf. They don’t really share a connection with Dracula except that they have horror, gothic or mystical elements to them. They’re interesting to read about because they’re different than other books such as Waiting for the Barbarians and Their Eyes Were Watching God. Those books focused on real-world issues such as society and race. I like to focus on other aspects in literature that’s different than what occurs in our reality, whether it’s horror, supernatural, gothic, fantasy, etc. I still enjoyed books such as The Blacker the Berry and The Awakening, but I think it’s a bit more enjoyable to read something that takes place in a universe unlike our own.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments