Gothic horror is believed to have been invented by the man Harrance Walpole in the year 1974, gothic horror is the belief of darkness, vampires and the usual characteristics such as werewolves etc… gothic horror features could also be listed as supernatural the ability to do something different abnormal if you like a gothic horror story you would expect to be set in a dark place normally trees with the howling of the werewolves leading up to the huge stereotypical castle.
The two characters we meet in the opening of the novel ‘Dracula’ are Jonathan Harker and the man him self Dracula they are both portrayed I believe to fit the gothic horror genre. The author Bram stoker has achieved this by showing Jonathan Harker as an up to date and modern man he doesn’t live in the ages and he doesn’t carry superstitions and past beliefs we have evidence of this when Jonathan Harker stays in the hotel in Bristrits in Romania with the bus full of cross languages and characters and whilst looking through his well prepared language translator finds the words devil and evil these are the two most important words when relating to the gothic horror genre..
Jonathan Harker has strong beliefs in new technologies and very much trusts them he is also a very organised man we know this because at the beginning of the play when Jonathan Harker is sent on his journey to meet the count in Transylvania he goes to the library or museum as it is mentioned and looks for information on the place, it just happens that the place ‘Transylvania’ is mysterious and unknown creating an even bigger impression towards the gothic horror genre. Jonathan Harker also prepares more than usual because he is going to meet a noble man a man of class and pride this shows that Jonathan harker believes in the division of classes.
He also when visiting places comments on the food as we know because he comments on the paprika in the hotel in Bristrits he also comments on clothing and the accommodation, Jonathan also feels uncomfortable when taking possessions from people I picked up on this when the old lady from the hotel insists him to stay but he disagrees and the old lady replies with the gift of a cross necklace but he doesn’t want to be rude so he takes her gift.
He also keeps a journal in short hand and as I mentioned before he comments on things, weather he likes them or not this shows that he has high expectations this meaning that he strives to succeed.
When Jonathan Harker sets about his journey from the east to the west (London to Transylvania) he is leaving his comforts, his social mind and his domestic bliss. He is leaving civilisation he has no maps no surveys he is venturing into the unknown and mysterious land called Transylvania. Jonathan harker is no longer safe by laws and rules he is in with the animals he is staying in a brutal, hostile and dangerous landscape called his accommodation which I am sure will not live up to his high expectations. Jonathan Harker is a very stereotypical man and believes in his possessions but his fancy writing skills and posh tone of voice will not be took with a great deal of respect out in this dark land. When he arrives at the castle to meet the colourless and lifeless man we know as Dracula,
Dracula makes a comment, warning against discarding the old for the new this brings me to my very next point that the comments Jonathan harker had been hearing on his journey about the devil and evil have not yet come true as Jonathan Harker says ‘the light and the warmth and the counts courteous welcome seemed to have dissipated doubts and fears’. Dracula has a very strong and distinctive physical appearance he is not the stereotypical man like Jonathan Harker. Dracula speaks in a very well mannered but old fashion way as he says words like ‘nay’ Johonathan Harker also notices that he has not one speck of colour about him and also relates to his facial features such as his nose which he calls ‘aquiline’ and he also talks about his forehead being ‘lofty’ meaning big, these are all common signs of power and intelligence such as the forehead being big which is meant to be increased thinking power and the authoritive nose creates a sense of power over people, also may slightly intimidate people as they don’t want to focus on such a sculptured face.
Draculas first words to Johonathan Harker are the following ‘welcome to my house enter freely and at your own will’. This being a sense of gratitude and delightfulness but then being over powered by the ‘enter at your own will’ as if there were something to be scared of. When Johonathan Harker first touches the count to shake his hand he notices the coldness and says in the novel ‘he was as cold as ice more like a dead man than a living one’. This is the first sense of doubt that Johonathan Harker has about Dracula.
It is clear that Bram stokers skills as a writer have paid off because he has portrayed two obviously different characters to create a feeling of unsureness making Dracula not to be what he seems.
Bram Stockers play was set in the Victorian times the area of the specific classes as we know and also Bram Stoker chose to set his play in the gothic thrilling place called Transylvania this was strange because back in the Victorian times people didn’t know much about Transylvania meaning that Bram Stoker could achieve the sense of unsafeness and mysteriousness he wanted. The castle was very much stereotypical and the time of day and placing where perfect for the fit of the gothic horror genre dark when Johonathan Harker was approaching the castle and the noises outside the hotel (the werewolves). The weather that Johonathan Harker experiences is also very much part of the gothic horror genre stormy and rainy.
In the novel ‘Dracula’ Bram stoker tries to create the feeling of suspense most of the way through the way he does this by making Johonathan Harker have horse and cart rides were the driver will for no reason stop and also Bram Stoker crates suspense by sending a man of new technologies into a world with none and sending him into an unknown land. The old women giving him across also raises questions this is exactly what Bram Stocker is trying to achieve the weather that Bram Stoker writes about is very nerve raking and inquisitive. All this finally begins to make Jonathon Harker and the readers feel unsecure.
In conclusion I feel that Bram Stokers Dracula fulfils the conventions of the gothic horror genre to a perfect and very high standard as it has all the stereotypical aspects of the gothic horror genre.