Discuss Bram Stoker's presentation of realism and symbolism in "Dracula.
Throughout "Dracula," the author's intention to create a strong sense of authenticity in his supernatural novel becomes increasingly evident. He merges a.
strong sense of realism with the novel's fiction in order to generate fear; to establish a certain doubt in the reader's mind concerning the veracity of his story. There are also a number of instances in the novel where one may observe Stoker's use of the symbolic. There is strong evidence of sexual symbolism throughout as well as undertones concerning the innate struggle between Good and Evil. This symbolism, particularly when coupled with Stoker's use of realism not only acts as a thought-provoking device, but endows his story with a depth rarely found in gothic novels.
Stoker's desire to create an ambiguity between reality and fiction is exploited throughout the novel. This idea is initially established through the presence of an unusual epigraph. An epigraph is traditionally used as an insight into a book's general essence; a short introductory element in order to make it simpler for the reader to apprehend the author's intentions. Stoker, however, uses his epigraph as a way of creating doubt and confusion in the reader's mind before the novel has even begun;.
he presents his story as a serious account of real-life experience.
" All needless matters have been eliminated , so that a history almost at variance with the possibility of latter-day belief may stand forth as simple fact for all the records chosen are exactly contemporary, given from the standpoints and within the range of knowledge of those who made them." .
The author's desire to introduce his novel as a collection of authentic testimonies is here evident. The epigraph appears to be an assertion of the exactitude of the documents presented and is representative of the entire book. An echo of its ambiguity may be found in the novel's conclusion in which Van Helsing declares: "We want no proofs; we ask none to believe us!" .