About the Author
Bram Stoker (1847-1912)
Abraham "Bram" Stoker was an Irish author, best known for Dracula, the world’s most famous gothic horror novel. Stoker suffered from a mysterious illness that left him bedridden until age seven, when he began to go to school and never suffered a relapse of the malady again. This left him with a great deal of time to think and to nurture his creative imagination. Stoker graduated from Trinity College with a mathematics degree and spent his life working in the theatre world. He wrote eighteen other novels, but none approached the quality or popularity of Dracula. Though Dracula was a success, its popularity peaked after Stoker’s death. Stoker is said to have died of exhaustion following a series of strokes at the age of 64.
Dracula is the classic horror story of a Transylvanian vampire who, using supernatural powers, makes his way to England and victimizes innocent people to live on their blood. Yet he is not an unthinking monster. We see his character as a thinking, feeling (though evil) person. Dracula is a story concerned with foreign invasion, good versus evil, passivity versus action, and technology versus the old ways.
Questions for Dracula
The vampires in Dracula remain in a state of eternal beauty and youth. They also pursue the young and beautiful. What message was Stoker trying to convey by their fixation?
What are the supernatural powers of the vampires in this novel? What are their limitations?
A pathetic fallacy is a literary term that describes an author’s attribution of human emotion or agency to inanimate objects or forces of nature. Bearing this in mind, what do changes in weather signify in the novel?
What three adjectives would you use to describe Dracula? How would you describe describe Mina and Van Helsing?
What clues do the locals give to Jonathon that he may be entering a bad situation?
Do you ever feel sympathy for Dracula while reading the novel? Why?
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