An Atmosphere of Fear and Horror in the Opening Chapters of Dracula

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An Atmosphere of Fear and Horror in the Opening Chapters of Dracula

One of the ways in which Stoker creates an atmosphere of fear and horror is through character. A young naïve inexperienced traveller is going to meet a man known as the Count. He is travelling in the "horseshoe of the Carpathians" where every known superstition is gathered in "some sort of imaginative whirlpool". There is an irony in the fact that Jonathan is calm at the beginning of the novel yet he has no idea what is in store for him. As Jonathan gets closer to the BorgoPassand the Count's castle, the more his nerves start to shake. He is also unsettled by the fact that his host from the hotel that he is staying at begs him not
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Stoker also gives the coach driver "super-natural" powers with a "grip of steal". This implies that the driver isn't a hundred percent normal or even human.

It's not only Jonathan who feels uneasy but the horses too. The horses "shivered and sweated" which is very unusual for them to do unless they sense a real fright. They also "strain and rear" and yet the coach driver has the extraordinary power to "sooth" them by whispering "something in their ears". We later find out that the coach driver was Dracula.

Another important way in which Stoker creates an atmosphere of fear and horror is by his intricate description of the setting. The overall atmosphere he creates is a claustrophobic, cold and dark place. "Towered" and "closing down upon us" all creates this feeling of imprisonment. Stoker carries on this insinuation of isolation, imprisonment and claustrophobia when he describes the rocks as "frowning". Later on when Jonathan is on his way to the count, Stoker has personified the rocks by alluding to them as being alive, with a mind of their own and capable of crushing them at any moment. Stoker also personifies the wind as it "whistled" and "moaned". This hints that the wind is in distress or depressed. This thickens and brings down the mood and atmosphere of the night. This is also emphasised by the fact that it starts to snow and covers the land in

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