Writing Techniques in Dracula

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Stoker uses a circular structure for his novel, incorporating two settings.

Transylvania is the setting for the beginning and end of the novel, and, since he had never been there, Stoker had to rely on book research for his description of the country and its people. The rest of the novel takes place in England, a setting familiar to Stoker and his audience.

The novel begins with Jonathan Harker's journey to Transylvania on May 3 of an unspecified year. Harker later states that seven years elapse between the events themselves and his compilation of them, so we may assume that the action of the novel takes place from May to November in 1890.

Harker's initial enjoyment of a country filled with wonderful new sights, people, and food contrasts sharply with his apprehension as he approaches the count's castle and his terror when he finally realizes he is Dracula's prisoner.

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