Topics for Discussion

1. Like most horror stories, Dracula is about the struggle between good and evil. What are some of the symbols of good and evil in the novel?

2. What elements of the vampire legend, such as the vampire’s sleeping during the day, are used in Dracula? What additional elements appear in other vampire stories or films?

3. After he leaves Transylvania, Count Dracula is rarely seen throughout the rest of the novel, although he is clearly nearby. Why does Stoker not show Dracula more often? What effect does he produce by turning into such a shadowy figure?

4. Do we feel any sympathy for the evil characters? What aspects of their existence might make us pity them?

5. In their books on horror, both Stephen King and James Twitchell say that Dracula, Frankenstein, and Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde (the werewolf is a Jekyll and Hyde character) are the three basic types of monsters that appear in horror stories and films. Why would these three, all of which come from the 19th-century novels, dominate modern horror? What similarities do you find between Dracula and the other two monsters?

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