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Compare Dracula with Frankenstein

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Author: Bram Stoker Mary Shelley
Brief Author Bio: One of seven children, Bram Stoker was born to upper-middle-class Irish Protestant parents in the middle of the nineteenth century; he suffered a grave illness at age seven, which caused him to turn to reading and probably prompted his interest… The Daily Telegraph, working as a literary reporter and critic. He began writing Dracula, his only successful novel, during this period of employment; it went on to become a sensation on its publication in 1897. Stoker wrote other novels and short stories before his death, of stroke, in 1912, but none approached the popular acclaim of Dracula. The novel has become a part of the Western popular imagination, drawn as it was from Victorian ideas of morality and reinterpretations of Central European myths about "wampyrs," or vampires.' href='#'>more Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley was the daughter of the philosopher William Godwin and the writer Mary Wollstonecraft, who wrote "Vindication of the Rights of Woman" (1792). Shelley's mother died in childbirth and she was raised by her father. At age 18… Frankenstein (1818) was her first and by far her most successful work of fiction.' href='#'>more
Historical Context: Dracula can be framed against the social and political currents of the Victorian period in English society, which existed during the reign of Queen Victoria from 1837 to 1901. During this time, England experienced a great deal of economic, social… more Most critics consider the Gothic genre a reaction to the "Age of Reason," a movement in 18th-century British and European art and politics that stressed the power of the human mind above all. Empowered by an unchecked faith in humanity… more
When Published: May 1897 1818
Literary Period: late-Victorian, but drawing on the Gothic and melodramatic traditions in the English novel Switzerland and London, England: 1816–1817
Genre: horror; horror-romance; Gothic novel; novel-in-letters Gothic novel
Setting: Transylvania and in and around London, England; the very end of the 1800s Switzerland, France, England, Scotland, and the North Pole in the 18th century
Climax: The group locates Dracula in Transylvania, and stabs him in the heart and beheads him, thus freeing his soul to heaven and freeing Mina from his spiritual grasp The Monster's murder of Elizabeth Lavenza on her wedding night to Victor
Antagonist: Count Dracula The Monster
Point Of View: first-person (as relayed through letters and journal entries by various characters) Frankenstein is told through a few layers of first person narratives. Walton is the primary narrator, who then recounts Victor's first-person narrative. In addition, Victor's narrative contains the monster's first person story as well as letters from other characters.
Plot Summary Dracula opens with a young solicitor's assistant, Jonathan Harker, en route from Budapest into Transylvania, to visit the Castle Dracula and to meet with Count Dracula, a nobleman who has recently purchased an estate in London called Carfax. Harker worries, as he approaches the castle, about the superstitious locals, who seem to fear Dracula. Harker is picked up by a strange driver and taken to the castle, where he meets the Count and begins to discuss business. Harker finds the Count odd—he... Robert Walton, the captain of a ship bound for the North Pole, writes a letter to his sister, Margaret Saville, in which he says that his crew members recently discovered a man adrift at sea. The man, Victor Frankenstein, offered to tell Walton his story. Frankenstein has a perfect childhood in Switzerland, with a loving family that even adopted orphans in need, including the beautiful Elizabeth, who soon becomes Victor's closest friend, confidante, and love. Victor also has a caring and...
Major Characters: Count Dracula, Mina Harker, Abraham Van Helsing, Dr. Seward, Arthur Holmwood, Lucy Westenra, Swales, Renfield Victor Frankenstein, The Monster, Robert Walton, Elizabeth Lavenza, De Lacey
Minor Characters: Jonathan Harker, Quincey Morris, Mrs. Westenra, Nurse Agatha, Captain of the Demeter, The Landlord and Landlady in Romania, The Three Sisters, Arthur's Father, Hawkins, Quincey Harker Henry Clerval, Alphonse Frankenstein, Justine Moritz, William Frankenstein, Ernest Frankenstein, Caroline Beaufort, Beaufort, Felix, Agatha, Safie, Margaret Saville, M. Waldman, M. Krempe, Mr. Kirwin
Themes:
Symbols:
Related Literary Works: The novel most often compared to Dracula is Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, published in 1818, approximately 80 years before the publication of Dracula. Like Dracula, Frankenstein is a novel-in-letters, containing first-person accounts of interactions with a horrible monster… Frankenstein, published in 1818, approximately 80 years before the publication of Dracula. Like Dracula, Frankenstein is a novel-in-letters, containing first-person accounts of interactions with a horrible monster. Both novels contain typically "gothic" elements, such as old castles, sweeping views of nature; both, too, are considerations of the interaction between "science" (or "reason") and superstition. But the fact of Dracula's being written much later actually belies Dracula's basis in the mythology of present-day Romania, which included mention of "wampyrs." Frankenstein, on the other hand, is more or less the invention of Shelley, although it draws more broadly on ancient stories of the creation of man out of inert material, including the "Pygmalion" myth.' href='#'>more The Gothic novel flourished in English literature from the publication of Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto, which established the genre in 1764, until about 1820. Gothic novels emphasized mystery and horror, and almost always contained dark forests, castles… The Castle of Otranto, which established the genre in 1764, until about 1820. Gothic novels emphasized mystery and horror, and almost always contained dark forests, castles, the supernatural, trap doors, secret rooms, and other similar elements now familiar from "horror" movies. Yet while Frankenstein is one of the most famous novels in the Gothic genre, it was written at a time when the Gothic novel was slowly giving way to the literary movement of Romanticism, and the novel shares the Romantic emphasis on the "sublime" power of nature. In writing Frankenstein, Shelley also drew heavily on John Milton's seventeenth century Paradise Lost, an epic poem that traces humankind's fall from grace. The epigraph of Frankenstein is a quotation from Paradise Lost, in which Adam curses God for creating him, just as the monster curses Victor Frankenstein, his creator.' href='#'>more
Extra Credit: The character "Dracula" has achieved nearly universal recognition since the publication of Bram Stoker's novel, although many people who know of Dracula have not read the book. But Dracula's fear of mirrors, his aversion to garlic and crucifixes, his sleeping… more On a stormy night in June of 1816, Mary Shelley, her husband, and a few other companions, including the Romantic poet Lord Byron, decided to try to write their own ghost stories, but Shelley couldn't come up with any ideas… more
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