What is the role of geography in the novel Dracula?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Stoker has created a narrative in which geography, the role of location, is vitally important.  It is location that represents elements of good or evil.  Transylvania and London are immediate geographic locations that represent different ends of the spectrum.  The former is representative of darkness, the other world, and that which cannot be comprehended through reason and logic.  It is shown to be the home of Dracula, and he must always travel with Earth from it. This shows one aspect of geography as representative of evil or some form of malevolence and damnation.  London is where reason stands above all, where collaboration and a sense of the rational exist along with the hope of salvation.  The distinction between good and evil is brought out through geography and the geographical constraints that are evident are ones that reflect moral positions that Stoker wishes to advance in his novel.  When Harker goes to Transylvania, he enters a world that makes little sense to him, reason being that he fights as best as he can to leave it.  Dracula flees back to Transylvania while in pursuit, presumably so evil can garner strength in the hopes of defeating the forces of good. Along these lines, the geographic element of topography helps to enhance this. The rural and mountainous home of Dracula, where fear and the unknown dominate, is contrasted with the urbane and metropolitan setting of London.  The topographical distinctions between both is reflective of Stoker's thematic conception of both.  Geography plays a role in enhancing the thematic quality of Stoker's work.