Bram Stoker’s Dracula utilizes a unique style of narration. Due to the letter-based aspect of the story, readers may be dismayed at the pacing and overall feel of the dialogue. Even so, many have enjoyed this unusual style (epistolary) and have praised the direction and suspense of this literary technique.
Furthermore, the epistolary style of writing expertly creates atmospheric tension. In Dracula, every diary entry, memorandum, or letter written by Jonathan Harker towards the beginning of the novel, masterfully generates an overall moodiness. As a reader, we could actually “feel” his dread as he slowly realized the Count’s sinister intentions.
Additionally, as Bram Stoker continues to utilize the letter-based style, we (as readers) realize the one true flaw of the epistolary form of narration; it only allows for a singular perspective. As one reads farther and farther into Dracula, the stories are told through a single viewpoint that relays the thoughts and actions for each of the other individuals within the novel. In this way, we unfortunately have to rely on one pre-determined character to convey not only their own emotions and feelings but also the actions and thoughts of any others.
On the other hand, Stoker’s use of the eighteenth century style of epistolary eloquently allows for a fast pace of reading. Due to the abruptness of the different letters and entries throughout the story, some may find Dracula an “easy” read. This is true not necessarily in content, but in fluidity of the actions within the story. This action creates a feeling within the reader to want to read more and more.
Accordingly, Bram Stoker’s decision to use the more letter centric style of epistolary can be perceived in opposite ways. Some may feel that it allows for excellent atmosphere and tone. Others may have been upset with the singularity of the...