Study Guide

Dracula Genre

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Novel; Adventure, Fantasy, Horror/Gothic Fiction

Dracula is a novel. But what, exactly, is a novel? "Novel" is one of the loosest categories to describe literature out there. A novel is a work of fiction, usually written in prose (not poetry), and it's usually pretty long. Dracula definitely fits all those criteria, so we're going to call it a novel—despite that totally misleading author's note (check out "What's Up With the Epigraph?") that claims this book is nonfiction.

But what kind of novel is it? It's such a complicated text that it can fit in several different categories.

There's a lot of action and a lot of risk-taking, so we could call it adventure fiction. After all, Jonathan Harker shimmies down the side of a castle over a rocky abyss to escape from blood-thirsty vampires. That's an Indiana Jones-caliber move.

It could also be called a fantasy novel, because—spoiler alert—vampires don't really exist. But because it's about vampires (and not fairies and unicorns) it's not just fantasy: It's horror or Gothic fiction. Some folks even like to call Dracula an early work of science fiction, because of Stoker's obsession with super modern (for the time) technologies, like blood transfusions and phonographs.

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