What is the background of this novel and what are some of its important themes?

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lynnebh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Dracula is an epistolary novel in style. This means that its story is told through letters and diary entries. It was written in 1897 and is considered a Victorian novel, presenting the culture in England during the reign of Queen Victoria. As such, it reflects the limited role of women in Victorian culture as well as the conservative values present in England during this time. If you read the analysis here on eNotes, you can find information about the historicity of the novel – the sexual mores of Victorian England, the Jack the Ripper scare of the 1880s, the appalling health conditions, etc.

There are several themes. A main theme revolves around the nature of good vs evil. If one becomes a vampire, one is eternally damned because life on earth is temporary, but eternal life is forever. Evil bloodsucking vampires are not part of God’s eternal kingdom in Stoker’s viewpoint. Other themes involve gender issues during the Victorian period and the nature of sanity.

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