The Settings of Dracula

Category: Dracula
Last Updated: 20 Apr 2022
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With castles, hidden streets, waterways, recurring rainy weather, interesting European architecture, and mystique, London is the perfect location for Bram Stoker's Dracula. London: The capital of Great Britain, and the center of attention in the nineteenth century, due to the many incidents that were going on at the time. The novel includes many daunting scenes, such as when Dracula heaves a sack withholding a deceased child before three female vampires.

It is no surprise why he choose London to be the setting of his novel. London is "exotic" and unknown. Stoker is obviously inspired by London's castles, hidden streets, and church yards. Because of all of these points, London is the perfect gothic setting for Stoker's “Dracula. ” London is recognized for its grand castles. Stoker may have been motivated to use these in his novel describing Dracula's estate in London, "Carfax" and also his castle in Transylvania. This is illustrated when Mr. Harker arrives at Dracula's home "up a great winding stair, and along another great passage great passage, on whose stone floor our steps rang heavily. At the end of this he threw open a heavy door, and I rejoiced to see within a well-lit room in which a table was spread for supper and whose mighty hearth a great fire of logs, freshly replenished, flamed and flared. " (Stoker,13). High small windows, arched ceilings, and solid stone walls are also typical for the gothic architecture. These characteristics make the building cold, dark, and forbidding.

For example, the text says about the castle in Transylvania that "The Count halted, putting down my bags, closed the door, and crossing the room, opened another door, which led into a small octagonal room lit by a single lamp, and seemingly without a window of any sort" (13) and . ".. a vast ruined castle, from those tall black windows came no ray of light and whose broken battlements showed a jagged line against the moonlight sky" (11). Everything is difficult to see. For example, dimming lights and dark thick walls are characteristics of this type of architecture.

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Overall the count's castle looks like the cathedrals in the thirteenth century. It is a copy of a medieval building. London is also a perfect location for this novel not only because of its buildings, but also because of its weather and its scenery. London (or Great Britain in general) is an island, therefore, it is surrounded by water. This makes it "isolated" from the main land. It makes it problematic to reach. This is why Dracula has to go by ship when he leaves Transylvania to go to London. People often connect harbors with something frightening and you can see harbors in many horror movies.

Because of the surrounding water and the rough European climate, there is a lot fog and rain. These are the ideal conditions for Dracula to follow through with his killings. He can "call" for the fog and the rain. In the nineteenth century, London streets were very small and hidden with little lighting. This helps to create the fearsome setting for the novel. Smoke is created by enormous factories making a creepy backdrop for the terrible things to come. Numerous churches and cathedrals also create a fear-provoking "flair. These churches are built in gothic "dark" style. For example, the "Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows", is built in this medieval manner. London also includes a considerable amount of beautiful, but creepy, churchyards. Ffor example, in the part when Lucy is constantly sleepwalking and Mina finds her in the churchyard talking about "his red eyes", ".. from where I was I ran on to the entrance of the churchyard... " (79). Of course these churchyards are used as a scary setting, like in many horror books or movies.

The House of Commons was non-democratically elected. The Bill, caused by the temperance movement, didn't create a democracy in England, but it did enfranchise the British’s middle class. The Temperance movement was typical for the Victorian era. It surround the idea that the middle-class should have self-control and self-denial. These values were shaped both by Evangelicalism and by Utilitarianism. There were also contemporary views on the Reform Act in 1832. So the Reform Bill and the issues on the Reform Act got everybody's attention, what makes

London even more interesting. In 1854 there were also several law for women passed. This could be the reason for Mina Harker and her friend, Lucy, to play such an important role in Stoker's book. In this time era, women believed that they should always be protected by the strong men. Because of this, Bram Stoker maybe wanted to draw the attention on the women. The marriage of Mina Harker and Jonathan Harker could may have been a result of the Chancellor Cranworth's Marriage and Divorce Bill passed in 1955.

Another point of attention was also the Peterloo Massacre in 1899. A public meeting took place at Westminster on March 28th and in June. Another important piece of information is that London became a massive place with book-keepers, authors, and clerks. This is why many newspaper presses came to London. Stoker could have been stimulated by this and wrote the part, where Mina did research about this article, where the mysterious ship came into the harbor (how already mentioned above).

Or it could have been the growth of shipping, caused by the famous clippers, which made it possible to import tea from China to the Thames. The whole story of Dracula could have been also been caused by the widespread poverty and crime in this time. Because of all these facts about London, the castles, the hidden streets, the waterways, the recurring raining weather, the interesting European architecture, and the mystique surrounding this city, Bram Stoker chose this special and fascinating city as the setting for his novel.

London is just like made for settings in scary novels or even movies. Especially in the nineteenth century, with all the gothic buildings and all its frightening churchyards. Of course, everybody in this time knew London for this. London was not only well known because of these aspects, but also because London was the capital of its whole empire. So Bram Stoker could not have selected a better gothic setting for his disturbing novel "Dracula. "

Works Cited

  1. -Wolffg. , John. "Gothic" 2002. Online. 5-20-03 www. clc. edu/~wolffg/gateway/gothic. html
  2. -Roumpou, Eleni. Is Dracula a gothic novel? " 9-19-00. Online. 5-20-02. www. hausarbeiten. de/faecher/hausarbeit/anl/1106. html
  3. -Jackson, Lee. "Victorian London-Architecture-Victorian Architecture" 2000. Online. 5-20-03 www. victorianlondon. org
  4. -Halsall, Paul. "19th Century Britain" 1-30-99. Online. 5-21-03. www. fordham. edu/halsaall/mod/modsbook20. html
  5. -Johnson, Jane. "19th Century London" 2001. Online. 5-21-03. www. Britannia. com
  6. -Smith, Rebecca. "The Temperance Movement and class struggle in Victorian England" 1993. Online. 5-21-03. www. loyno. edu/~history/journal/1992-3/smith. html

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The Settings of Dracula. (2018, Feb 10). Retrieved from

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