Sunday, September 15, 2013

Just kill him already !!

In the book Dracula by Bram Stoker the first four chapters starts off with the journal of Jonathan Harker. Throughout these chapters we learn about his trip to Count Dracula's castle. During his trip he stays in a town called Bistriz. He stayed at a place called the Golden Krone Hotel, here he met the landlord and his wife. The couple had appeared to be nice until Jonathan found out the landlord had received a letter from the Count. When Harker started to ask questions about the Count the couple started to act differently, they acted as if they could not understand his German but yet had no problem previously. After more questions they gave Harker the cross sign and did not wish to talk anymore. When it was time for Harker to leave the lady was trying to convince him not to go. She then went on to tell him about the story of St. George's day. This is a day that when midnight comes all evil is set loose. He explained to her that he has work to attend to and when she realized that Harker was not going to stay she gave him a cross. Although his beliefs differ from hers he took the cross regardless. When Harker was on the coach and all the people were watching him leave all the townspeople gave him the cross sign. The cross sign is used as "a charm against the evil eye."(5) When the coach arrived at the spot to meet with Count Dracula's caleche there was no one around. The driver of the coach was an hour early, seeing no one around he wanted to leave. Just as he was about to leave the caleche had appeared. While on the caleche the driver gave such dark feelings to Harker making him feel uneasy for the ride. When Harker finally arrived at the castle he then met Count Dracula there. He described Dracula as a tall old man with a long white mustache, covered in black from head to toe. When he shook Dracula's hand he noticed how much strength he had in his grip, he also pointed out that his hands were as cold as ice. After getting settled into a great bedroom that was prepared for Harker he was told to have dinner that was already prepared for him. After eating Count Dracula and Jonathan Harker were sitting by a fire in one of Counts rooms. This room is where they will spend nights to discuss not only business but also get into many conversations about the history of the battles that happened on the land and about England. While in the castle he learns that he can not enter certain rooms, which makes him feel like a prisoner. he was also warned not to sleep in another room. Of course one of the nights that he is staying there he stays only to be bitten by one of three ladies who appear out of nowhere. He was rescued by Dracula himself but latter found out that he will be the meal of Dracula and afterwards the three girls. Feeling desperate for his life Harker tries to break out by climbing into the Count's room and retrieving the keys. After not being able to leave he finds himself stuck in the castle.

I feel that Dracula has been such an ongoing popular novel because it seems that it has served as a template for movies or even television shows today. Throughout the book we see a certain style that is used in todays movies and shows. We see that in the beginning before arriving to the villains house or the main destination there is many signs for the main character not to go forward. An example is when Jonathan Harker arrives in Bistriz the people warn him of the night of St. George and give him the cross sign. I feel as though this idea of giving fore warning to the character is shown in a lot of movies/shows. Even though these characters get their warning they still go forward into danger. Another reason as to the popularity of Dracula is because of the constant contrasting effect. At one time everything seems to be good and then the next instant it turns dark and gloomy. An example of this on pages six and seven where on six Harker is describing the environment. He was describing the beautiful colors of the hills and the water and even saw a mountain called "God's Seat". Compared to the next page where its dark and gloomy and using words such as "ghost-like clouds". We see such a sudden change in the atmosphere which sets a certain mood to the reader. One example of this is in the movie Independence Day, Here the movie started off with a beautiful day and then suddenly the city was attacked. The sudden change causes excitement to the viewers, and causes suspense to build questions such a whats going to happen next? Why the sudden change?. All to keep us, the readers interested.

 In the reading Why we crave horror movies, Stephen King explains to us why we crave certain things. We discussed about the effect of suspense and how it effects our opinions on the literature/movie/show. We also discussed about why we anticipate bad things and although we know something is bad we still enjoy it. An example is in Dracula, as I am reading this book I find myself thinking geez would you kill him already? All this foreplay and no action is too much for me. Although it would make an extremely short book, Every page I read I am just hoping that something will happen. These thoughts are what was discussed about in class about Why we crave horror movies, Although it is wrong for me to think I still think it and I still read more to find out when Dracula is going to kill Harker.


  1. i like your title! kind of funny, but true i think. we are all just... waiting for something crazy to happen!

  2. I agree with heaven--great title :-) And nice post, as well!

    And I can see where you're waiting for "something crazy to happen," but keep in mind that to a 19th century reader, crazy stuff IS happening :-)

  3. Good post, I like that part about Dracula being a staple for many other horror books and movies because it's so true. Plus the phrase "All this foreplay and no action is too much for me" made me laugh haha.

  4. And I thought I was the only one. Your title made me feel a little less bad for wanting something bad to happen to poor Mr.Harker. And I agree, I think a lot of horror movies today probably learned a thing or two by reading horror books like Dracula.

  5. Nowadays, in the books and movies we so got used to crazy actions happening basically on every page and every minute. And reading "Dracula" isn't scary enough for some people. However, I agree with professor that for 19th century the book is quite terrifying and definitely not usual, and crazy stuff is happening. When the Count crawled upside down on the wall of the castle already strange and unexpected for that times, but when these three women got a child for a meal would definitely considered barbaric.