Dracula (Barnes & Noble Collectible Editions)

Dracula (Barnes & Noble Collectible Editions)

by Bram Stoker

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Overview

Acting on behalf of his firm of solicitors, Jonathan Harker travels to the Carpathian Mountains to finalize the sale of England's Carfax Abbey to Transylvanian noble Count Dracula. Little does he realize that, in doing so, he endangers all that he loves. For Dracula is one of the Un-Dead--a centuries-old vampire who sleeps by day and stalks by night, feasting on the blood of his helpless victims. Once on English soil, the count sets his sights on Jonathan's circle of associates, among them his beloved wife Mina. To thwart Dracula's evil designs, Jonathan and his friends will have to accept as truth the most preposterous superstitions concerning vampires, and in the company of legendary vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing, embark on an unholy adventure for which even their worst nightmares have not prepared them. First published in 1897, Bram Stoker's Dracula established the ground rules for virtually all vampire fiction written in its wake.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781435160453
Publisher: Barnes & Noble
Publication date: 03/27/2015
Series: Barnes & Noble Collectible Editions Series
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 408
Sales rank: 166,401
File size: 986 KB

About the Author

Abraham (Bram) Stoker (1847-1912) is the author of one of the English language’s best-known books of mystery and horror, Dracula. Written in epistolary form, Dracula chronicles a vampire’s journey from Transylvania to the nighttime streets of London and is a virtual textbook of Victorian-era fears and anxieties. Stoker also wrote several other horror novels, including The Jewel of Seven Stars and The Lair of the White Worm.

Reading Group Guide

1. Dracula relies on journal fragments, letters, and newspaper clippings to tell its story. Why might Stoker have chosen to narrate the story in this way? Do letters and journal entries make the story seem more authentic or believable to you? Likewise, discuss the significance that many of the male protagonists are doctors (Dr. Seward) or men of science (Dr. Van Helsing). Why is this important to the story?

2. How does the novel invert Christian mythology in its description of Count Dracula's reign of terror? For instance, what specific elements of Stoker's story parallel scenes or images from the New Testament? Why might this subversion of Christian myth be significant?

3. Discuss the roles of Lucy Westenra and Mina Harker in the novel. How are the two women similar? Different? What accounts for their differences? To what extent does the novel depend on both of these women to propel the narrative forward?

4. Discuss the role of sexuality in Dracula. Would you say that Dracula attempts to reproduce himself sexually or by some other means? In what ways does the figure of Dracula subvert conventional notions of heterosexuality? Consider, for instance, his predilection for drinking blood and his habit of making his victims feed from his chest.

5. What are the elements of vampire folklore? For example, what, according to the novel, attracts or repels a vampire? How do you kill a vampire for good? Although Stoker did not invent the mythology of the vampire, his novel firmly established the conventions of vampire fiction. Choose another novel that deals with vampires and compare it with Dracula. (Consider, for example, one of Anne Rice's vampire books.) In what ways are the novels similar? Different?

6. Consider Freud's essay "The Uncanny" in relation to Stoker's Dracula. How would Freud describe the world that Stoker evokes in the novel? Is this a world of common reality? Or is it a world governed by supernatural belief? Or both? Discuss Freud's claim that the writer of gothic fiction is "betraying to us the superstitiousness which we have ostensibly surmounted; he deceives us by promising to give us the sober truth, and then after all overstepping it." In what ways does Stoker's narrative strategy of employing newspaper clippings and journal entries promise the "sober truth"? To what extent do you think Dracula achieves a sense of the uncanny?




From the Trade Paperback edition.

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