by Bram Stoker
Analysis: Narrator Point of View
Who is the narrator, can she or he read minds, and, more importantly, can we trust her or him?
First Person (Multiple Central Narrators)
The novel is composed of a series of journal entries, letters, newspaper articles, and memos. Bram Stoker explains the rationale for this structure in a brief note before Chapter 1 (See "What's Up With The Epigraph?" for more on that). In order to make the story seem realistic, Stoker presents the novel as a series of supposedly "real" documents – the reader is given just the facts of the case, written out by the people who experienced the events directly. This narrative technique puts the reader in the position of a judge or jury (or both): we hear the evidence of a variety of different eyewitnesses, and we're supposed to interpret the evidence as best we can. We're not given a central third person omniscient narrator who can tell us what to think about the events. Another effect of this technique is that we hear about the same events from multiple perspectives – we have access to multiple points of view, so there isn't just one character that we sympathize with.