Bram Stoker – Dracula (1897)

INTRODUCTION:  This passage from Bram Stoker’s Dracula occurs early in the novel, after English protagonist Jonathan Harker has spent the first chapter describing his journey from Western to Eastern Europe and then to Count Dracula’s castle. Since it includes the first scene in which Dracula is physically described, it is a good one to study in order to consider how Dracula is portrayed – specifically, how exactly he is presented as monstrous.

The other important aspect of this passage is the way in which it sets up the novel’s key oppositions: between east and west, tradition and modernity, rural and urban. Initially, these oppositions seem rigid. The challenge of the protagonists as the novel goes on is to figure out how to bridge those gaps: for example, they ultimately defeat Dracula both by using new technologies like the telegraph to communicate with each other and by learning traditional methods of warding off vampires, like staking them in the heart and brandishing crucifixes.


Annotations by:  Jessica Campbell

The annotated text is adapted from: 

Works cited & consulted in the annotations:

  • Lombroso, Cesare. Criminal Man. Translated by Mary Gibson and Nicole Hahn Rafter, Duke University Press, 2006.