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Dracula and the Bloody Chamber

The “Dracula” is a novel written by Bram Stoker, an Irish novelist, who wrote in while in England. It is a horror novel about a vampire called Count Dracula who leaves his native Transylvania and moves to England. On the other hand, “The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories” is a piece of literature that retells classic fairy tales. The author, Angela Carter, revises several stories such as Puss-in-Boots and Sleeping Beauty. A distinctive feature between the “Dracula” and “The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories” is the narrative voice. For example, can the narrator in the Dracula read minds, or can he or she read minds? Notably, while in the first person, Dracula has multiple central narrators.

Dracula has a series of journal entries, memos, letters, and newspaper articles (Hughes, 2000, 3-4). The author has presented the novel as a series of supposedly real documents for the purpose of making the story realistic. The reader gets the facts as being that which has been written by people who have experienced the events directly. This puts the reader in the position of a judge or jury, where they listen to the evidences as presented by various eyewitnesses and interpret them in the best way. There is the absence of a central third person omniscient narrator who could possibly tell the reader on what to think about the events.  This also makes the reader hear on the same events from different perspectives; there is not a single character that the reader can sympathize with.

Carter has used a different point of view in The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories. She has used the first person narrator that lends suspense in the story that is more of psychological. This makes readers get to know of her fears through her own thoughts. This would not have been possible with a third person narrator who is always impartial. The fact that the story is being told in the past tense strongly suggests that the narrator has gone through the ordeal.

The diary form of Dracula proves to be beneficial to the plot of the story. The author does not adopt a single and continuous narrative voice; instead Stoker has various characters probably to keep Dracula in the shadows (Eighteen-Bisang & Miller, 2008, 23). This novel starts in the form of Jonathan Harker’s diary, where he explains that he is a clerk sent out to explain the purchase of an estate in London to a foreigner in Transylvania. However, later in the story, Harker discovers that the foreigner, who is Count Dracula, has different plans for him as other vampire women in the backroom of the old castle too. This form of narrative voice creates a sense of immediacy within the reader. Notably, the effect would have been very much different if the novel were to be written in the third person. It also tends to disorientate the reader without the help of the third person who usually acts as a guide. Most importantly, the sincerity of each narrative voice is put into question. As the story continues in the first person narrative, Harker’s fiancé talk about his postponed return. She talks of her own problems; where three men propose to her in a day.

The first person narrator used in the Bloody Chamber makes the stories reflect a variety of portraits depicting a variety of portraits of sexuality and desire, and most certainly heterosexual female sexuality. It gives the author an avenue for bringing out whatever feelings she wants. It has made Carter use her imagination characterized by a fierce and appetitive quality (Danielle & Christina, 1998, 18). She uses it also to explore ideas of how things can be different from the past as depicted by the tales. It makes the readers see her point of perspective. All the stories in The Bloody Chamber have an imaginative pleasure, which enables readers follow the world she creates. As an example, she describes the trappings of luxury so as to depict rich scenery.

On the other hand, the narrative voice used in Dracula lets its readers feel or see how characters interpret things by themselves; that is a first hand experience. The diary form used lets dialogue takes place as many different people altogether tell a story in the first person. This makes the reader be able to see detailed scenes through people that do not talk to themselves. As all individuals in the book become a combination of descriptions, it makes the reader feel to be a part of the group as they go along with the characters in their thinking.

The use of the first person technique lets the reader see exactly for himself or herself how the character feels, talks or acts. With different characters representing different places, the first person makes it easy for the reader to identify how each character acts or how they talk. The fact that Bram Stoker used the diary for narrative even makes it more straight forward, which would have been different if he had used the third person perspective. The narrative voice as used in Dracula also lets characters play around with time. A single character could write a diary of events that had happened a long time ago without necessarily disrupting the flow of the story. Notably, it is not easy to play around with time while using other narrative voices. All in all, the narrative voice in Dracula lets the reader have the laxity and freedom to think about the characters, derive, and then draw their own conclusion as they go through the story.

In her part, Angela Carter uses the first person voice by coining her own phrases to bring out what she wants. She uses this technique to renovate or re-express the stories in contemporary terms. The texts she inserts turn the stories into hybrid tales. As an example, “The Snow Child” is a short tale in which she employs the use of a ritual formula besides singular narration (Angela, 2006, 16). Her type of narration makes the story different in that there is no censorship and that she describes every topic into detail, which makes readers get the main point she is passing across. It makes the reader take part in the story by feeling in parts that are missing as the grasp the ideas as brought out by the narrating voice. The technique also makes the author mimic the spoken language and the use of tone. 

Moreover, the use of the first person in Dracula lets the character describe what they are doing into details, which could have been different if using the third person. As an example, Jonathan Harker describes everything into details as he travels, including the dreams he goes through as he sleeps. This is a very important aspect of making the reader get the finer details without having the feeling of being left out. Readers could feel they are present with the narrator as they go through the story. Notably, if these diaries could have been written by another person, the readers could get a sense of false observation and hence lose valuable information, which is vital to the plot of the whole novel.

In conclusion, The “Dracula” is a novel written by Bram Stoker, an Irish novelist. It is a horror novel about a vampire called Count Dracula who leaves his native Transylvania and moves to England. “The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories” is a piece of literature that retells classic fairy tales. The author, Angela Carter, revises several stories such as Puss-in-Boots and Sleeping Beauty. A distinctive feature between the “Dracula” and “The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories” is the narrative voice. They both use the first person narrator but different in style. For example, while in the first person, Dracula has multiple central narrators. Carter has used a different point of view in The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories. She has used the first person narrator that lends suspense in the story that is more of psychological. The use of this type of narrator voice makes the readers have a first hand experience.