Why is Bram Stoker's Dracula considered Gothic Literature?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Mysterious castles, isolated landscapes, stormy skies, dark interiors. All tropes of Gothic literature, which, as author Joyce Carol Oates states, is “the most imaginative of all literatures, bearing an obvious relationship to the surreal logic of dreams.” This literature of dreams, or nightmares as its imagery implies, takes roots in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It is a literature typified by ruined castles, secret passageways, concealed portraits, and claustrophobic labyrinths. Bram Stoker’s Dracula is situated in the genre of the Gothic because it complies with these tropes.

Gothic literature finds roots in Tzvetan Todorov’s definition of the fantastic. Todorov contends that the fantastic exists in the real world, one we know, a world without devils, sylphides, or vampires. The fantastic arises within this world when an event occurs that cannot be explained through rational thought. When this happens, the individual must admit that the event is either a mere illusion, a...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 823 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team