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Dracula

Dracula

  

by Bram Stoker

Analysis: Writing Style

Immediate, Straightforward

Dracula is composed as a collection of journal entries, letters, telegrams, and memos. The idea, Stoker tells us in the note at the beginning of the novel, is to present the events of the story "as simple fact," even though some of the events are (to put it mildly) hard to believe. The collection of documents is like a stack of evidence being presented at court.

That's right—as the reader, you get to act as judge and jury. The writing style is straightforward and very immediate: The characters write in their journals practically as events are happening, so we experience the events almost as the characters do.

Check it out:

I began to look at some of the books around me. One was an atlas, which I found opened naturally at England, as if that map had been much used. (2.50)

Yup: That is a boring account of a man looking at a book. We get dull details... but we also get some thrilling ones:

In a sort of sleep-waking, vague, unconscious way she opened her eyes, which were now dull and hard at once, and said in a soft, voluptuous voice, such as I had never heard from her lips:—

"Arthur! Oh, my love, I am so glad you have come! Kiss me!" (12.70-71)

Even though that's a secondhand account, we get a full, immediate description—"dull and hard" eyes and "soft voluptuous" voice. (Anyone else picking up on some sexy/demonic gender role destruction there?)

In any case, we get chilling accounts of Dracula lizard-climbing up the walls of his castle... but we also have to hear about logistics. So. Much. Logistics.

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