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'Dracula' by Bram Stoker

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Alice Reeve-Tucker

on 17 November 2015

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Transcript of 'Dracula' by Bram Stoker

'Dracula' by Bram Stoker
Key facts

Written in 1897 by Irish author Bram Stoker.

Tells the story of Count Dracula's attempt to move from Transylvania to England, and the battle between Dracula and a small group of men and women led by Professor Abraham Van Helsing.


What is an epistolary novel?

It is a novel written as a series of documents. The usual form is letters, although diary entries, newspaper clippings and other documents are sometimes used.

The word epistolary is derived from Latin from the Greek word ἐπιστολή epistolē, meaning a letter.


The epistolary form can add greater realism to a story, because it mimics the workings of real life.

It is thus able to demonstrate differing points of view without needing to use an overarching narrator

- understand what an epistolary novel is

- Analyse Stoker's description of Dracula's castle

- Evaluate what this description makes the reader think/feel/understand
Create a mindmap: what do you know about vampires and the novel 'Dracula' by the VICTORIAN author, Bram Stoker?

3 minutes

1. List the features of Count Dracula’s house. What can we infer about the kind of place this is?

2. Highlight all the references to sound and silence. How do they contribute to the sense of foreboding?

3. Why does Harker keep thinking he is dreaming? How do his references to dreams add to the mood of the passage?
Modern forms?
Recently, electronic "documents" such as recordings and radio, blogs, and e-mails have also come into use.

1. Highlight all the references to the senses in these passages. Choose two of these references and explain how they help to show Harker’s feelings in this part of the story?

2. What do you notice about Count Dracula’s speech and manner? How do his words and behaviour confirm or confound our expectations of a monster?
35 minute task: Wednesday

How does Stoker use language to in this passage to convey Harker’s disturbed mindset? In your answer you should consider:

• Harker's reflections on being kept prisoner

• Harker’s description of the Count

For each section, make at least two PEE points, where you:
- make a point that answers the question
- quote evidence to support your point
- identify any language devices, analyse the meaning of the quote, evaluate its effect on the reader (what does the language make the reader see/feel/think)

You should aim to write about 1 side of A4 in response.
Monday's prep:

30 mins: reread the passage and plan your response.

Consider which quotes you want to analyse and what you could say about them (remember you need only closely analyse 4)

Then, on Wednesday, you'll write up your response in class.
Images of Count Dracula
We will be watching clips from film interpretations.

Note down use of:

i) costume

ii) accents

iii) light

iv) sound

v) setting
Powers in the novel:
Superhuman strength of 20 strong men
killed by stake through the heart followed by decapitation
Count has the ability to remain inactive for centuries
superhuman agility (climbing)
telepathic powers
command nocturnal animals (bats and rats)
manipulate the weather (mists to hide himself, storms)
Can shapeshift: bat, dog, wolf, fog,
Can pass through tiny cracks
Can transfer his vampiric state to others by feeding on them

In 1462, Vlad Dracula, a member of the Order of the Dragon, returns from a victory against the Turks to find his wife, Elisabeta, has committed suicide after receiving a false report of his death. Enraged that his wife is now damned for committing suicide, Dracula desecrates his chapel and renounces God, declaring that he will rise from the grave to avenge Elisabeta with all the powers of darkness. In a fit of rage, he stabs the cross with his sword and drinks the blood which pours out of it.
Count Dracula: A centuries-old vampire and Transylvanian nobleman, Count Dracula inhabits a crumbling castle in the Carpathian Mountains. Beneath a veneer of aristocratic charm, the count possesses a dark and evil soul.

Van Helsing: A Dutch professor, described by his former pupil Dr. Seward as “a philosopher and metaphysician, and one of the most advanced scientists of his day.” Called upon to cure the ailing Lucy Westenra, Van Helsing’s contributions are essential in the fight against Dracula. Unlike his comrades, Van Helsing is not blinded by the limitations of Western medicine: he knows that he faces a force that cannot be treated with traditional science and reason. Knowledgeable about vampire folklore, Van Helsing becomes Dracula’s chief antagonist and the leader of the group that hunts Dracula down and destroys him.

Jonathan Harker: A solicitor, or lawyer, whose firm sends him to Transylvania to conclude a real estate transaction with Dracula. Young and naïve, Harker quickly finds himself a prisoner in the castle and barely escapes with his life. He demonstrates a fierce curiosity to discover the true nature of his captor and a strong will to escape. Later, after becoming convinced that the count has moved to London, Harker emerges as a brave and fearless fighter.
Mina Murray - Jonathan Harker’s fiancée. Mina is a practical young woman who works as a schoolmistress. Eventually victimized by Dracula herself, Mina is also the best friend of the count’s first victim in the novel, Lucy Westenra. Mina is in many ways the heroine of the novel, embodying purity, innocence, and Christian faith.

Lucy Westenra - Mina’s best friend and an attractive, vivacious young woman. The first character in the novel to fall under Dracula’s spell, Lucy becomes a vampire, which compromises her much-praised chastity and virtue, and banishes her soul from the promise of eternal rest. Determined that such an end is unfit for an English lady of Lucy’s caliber, Van Helsing’s crew hunts down the demon she has become and kills it, following the rituals of vampire slaying, and thus restoring Lucy’s soul to her body and to heaven.

John Seward - A talented young doctor, formerly Van Helsing’s pupil. Seward is the administrator of an insane asylum not far from Dracula’s English home. Throughout the novel, Seward conducts ambitious interviews with one of his patients, Renfield, in order to understand better the nature of life-consuming psychosis. Although Lucy turns down Seward’s marriage proposal, his love for her remains, and he dedicates himself to her care when she suddenly takes ill. After her death, he remains dedicated to fighting the count.
Arthur Holmwood - Lucy’s fiancé and a friend of her other suitors.. In the course of his fight against Dracula’s dark powers, Arthur does whatever circumstances demand: he is the first to offer Lucy a blood transfusion, and he agrees to kill her demonic form.

Quincey Morris - Another of Lucy’s suitors. Quincey proves himself a brave and good-hearted man, never begrudging Holmwood his success in winning Lucy’s hand. Quincey ultimately sacrifices his life in order to rid the world of Dracula’s influence.

Renfield - A patient at Seward’s mental asylum. Variously a strong behemoth and a refined gentleman, Renfield indulges a habit of consuming living creatures—flies, spiders, birds, and so on—which he believes provide him with strength, vitality, and life force.

In pairs/threes put the plot events in the correct order - see who can get the correct order in the fastest time!
1 E
2 A
3 H
4 G
5 D
6 J
7 C
8 I
9 F
10 B
How might this CHANGE to the plot affect the way the audience views the count?
Writing task:

Write three paragraphs DESCRIBING your first meeting with Count Dracula

1. What does he look like (dress, physical appearance etc.)
2. How does he move?
3. What does he sound like? Speech?
4. What is the setting? Time? Place?
5. What happens? paragraphs.

t was a bitterly cold day. Everyone was in black. The cars were black too. There were people standing around in a group waiting for the coffin. Crows were flying in the sky. It was really eerie.

What's good?
What's bad?

The undertaker's men were like crows, stiff and black, and the cars were black, lined up beside the path that led to the church; and we, we too were black, as we stood in our pathetic, awkward group waiting for them to lift out the coffin and shoulder it, and for the clergyman to arrange himself; and he was another black crow in his long cloak. Then the real crows rose suddenly from the trees and from the fields, whirled up like scraps of blackened paper from a bonfire, and circled, caw-caw-ing above our heads.

Rob Lloyd-Parry tells the stories in role in a candle lit environment – all very atmospheric.

Limit in Bowes Room will be about 60, I imagine.

Works best with about 30 – a more intimate setting.

Thursday 19th, 7:45, Bowes Room
Chocolates and cakes provided

Exploring Gothic texts!

Each group will be responsible for an extract.

You need to:
LOOK up new and unfamiliar words
UNDERSTAND what is happening the in the text
EXPLAIN what is gothic about it
ANALYSE some good quotations by filling in your worksheets

You will then present your ideas to the class

Conventions of Gothic Literature:

The setting
The setting of the Gothic novel is a character in itself. The plot is usually set in a castle, an abbey, a monastery, or some other, usually religious edifice, and it is acknowledged that this building has secrets of its own. It is this gloomy and frightening scenery, which sets the scene for what the audience should expect.

De Vore states, "The setting is greatly influential in Gothic novels. It not only evokes the atmosphere of horror and dread, but also portrays the deterioration of its world. The decaying, ruined scenery implies that at one time there was a thriving world. At one time the abbey, castle, or landscape was something treasured and appreciated. Now, all that lasts is the decaying shell of a once thriving dwelling."[59] Thus, without the decrepit backdrop to initiate the events, the Gothic novel would not exist.

An element of fear
This is typically connected to the unknown and is generally seen throughout the course of the entire novel. This can also be connected to the feeling of despair that characters within the novel are overcome by. This element can lead characters to commit heinous crimes.

You will be analysing some extracts from GOTHIC TEXTS:
What key themes link these covers?
Gothic writing extracts:
i) Understand the 'story' of gothic extracts
ii) Identify gothic features (focusing on setting)
iii) Identify gothic language (building on vocabulary)

1. each group is going to feedback to the class about their extract - everyone must speak
2. the class will listen and make notes - noting on their extracts particular phrases or ideas they like

Prep: 1 hr.
i) read both 'Dracula' extracts and use a dictionary to look up new words
ii) complete the questions on meeting Count Dracula but only 3 Pee paragraphs - due next Tuesday

Some of you will need to write an extra paragraph for your writing to persuade, because it doesn't look as if you truly spent one hours work on your prep.

This will need to be completed by Saturday.
The Fall of the House of Usher
- response of the mind and soul to the setting
- theme of the lake reflecting the house
- clearly unsettled state of mind of the narrator
- creepy house (personification)

slow, long, build up to seeing the house: builds suspense, takes the reader on a journey
set in a dream/nightmare that is very vivid and eerie
Personification of the trees is very disturbing and creepy
Effective use of contrast between its former glory and current state of delapidation
Theme of strangulation and choking recuring
The Woman in Black
Establishes the theme of decay
Uses animals to add to eerie setting - zoom in on the crow 'Satanic looking thing' adds to the atmosphere of evil
Moment of contrast - what it could be like in nice weather
focused detail on the gravestones
Deliberate setting: night is coming, it's late autumn
Ends on the shocking moment of discovery: disease, death, horrifying ending
setting (November, dreary, isolated)
description of the creature - use of specific colours (dull yellow, dun white) and unnatural movements (convulsive motion agitated its limbs)
Clear emotional response of horror: 'breathless horror and disgusts filled my heart)
Disturbing nightmare, adds to creepiness of the setting - full of gothic images (grave worms crawling)
Pathetic fallay at the end
Full transcript