An Atmosphere of Fear and Horror in the Opening Chapters of Dracula

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An Atmosphere of Fear and Horror in the Opening Chapters of Dracula One of the ways in which Stoker creates an atmosphere of fear and horror is through character. A young naïve inexperienced traveller is going to meet a man known as the Count. He is travelling in the "horseshoe of the Carpathians" where every known superstition is gathered in "some sort of imaginative whirlpool". There is an irony in the fact that Jonathan is calm at the beginning of the novel yet he has no idea what is in store for him. As Jonathan gets closer to the BorgoPassand the Count's castle, the more his nerves start to shake. He is also unsettled by the fact that his host from the hotel that he is staying at begs him not to leave. This reveals that the night that he is leaving is the night when "all the evil things in the world will have full sway" and leads Jonathan to feel very uneasy. The night before he had "had all sorts of queer dreams" of a dog howling. This is a disturbing dream and relates to the howling of dogs and wolves later on in the novel when the wolves are circling the carriage with "lolling red tongues", this depicts danger and is emphasised when a "paralysis of fear" over comes Jonathan. His suspicions are aroused again as when he is setting off from his hotel. All the guests gathered outside guard him "against the evil eye". Jonathan is unnerved as it is "not very pleasant" and this isn't helped with, again, a "blessing" against the evil eye. Stoker creates an air of fear and mystery when Jonathan changes over coaches by describing his new coach driver in detail but leaving his identity anonymous. The drivers description itself is rathe... ... middle of paper ... ...they the "Dracula" bloods were amongst the leaders who won the "warlike days" All of these elemental factors help to generate an atmospheric concoction of fear and horror and is unquestionably a fine example of a gothic text. The metaphors and similes that Stoker uses conjure up powerful images. "grip of steel" is just one of the ways in which Stoker depicts the strength of Dracula. Another simile "as cold as ice", in the context of the novel makes you want to shiver. Generally Stoker uses gothic descriptive words "portent", "grief", "ominous", "melancholy" and "astonished" to describe many feelings and objects like when Mina is astonished when Miss Lucy Westenra has gone sleep walking. These small words have the effect of drawing the reader into his creation of an atmospheric gothic world of fear and horror.
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