What is the real story of Dracula and how is it a convention of Gothic literature?

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The real story of Dracula, the novel, is that of an English lawyer named Jonathan Harker who conducted a business transaction with a man whose name is Count Dracula. This man leads him to the castle where he lives to be hospitable to Harker, but Harker discovers shortly that he has been captured to be kept there. Slowly we are introduced to the vampirism, diabolical natures, the supernatural activity, the vampires, etc. All this unveils until the end of the story when Dracula is destroyed by the main character and someone else.

What makes this story Gothic are the elements used to describe the settings : darkness, antiquarian settings, hollow places, the sense of imprisonment, nostalgia, the sense of coldness, the fear and horror, the supernatural. All these are typical elements of the Victorian Gothic novel which was very famous during the days of Bram Stoker.

markchambers1966 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Dracula, the creation of writer Bram Stoker, is the classic Gothic tale - full of Gothic traditions of old crumbling ruins, dark forbidding settings and young vulnerable women in trouble. Although the tale of Dracula has been subsumed by the movie images of Van Helsing, Blade and any number of Dracula films there was an original historical figure that Bram Stoker based his book on. This was Vlad III, prince of Wallachia in Romania (1431-1476).As a ruler he was known for his extreme cruelty toward his own people with the impaling of victims his favoured method.