How does Bram Stoker convey Jonathan Harker’s rising fear and suspicion of Dracula in chapter two of the novel? Essay Sample
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How does Bram Stoker convey Jonathan Harker’s rising fear and suspicion of Dracula in chapter two of the novel? Essay Sample
In this assignment I will be focusing on Jonathon Harker’s rising fear and suspicion of Dracula chapter two of the horrific novel. I will be analysing his fears and suspicions of Dracula through Jonathan Harker’s chilling descriptions of the settings of the terrifying castle, the reader’s introduction to Dracula, Jonathan Harker’s physical description of Dracula and Jonathan Harker’s reflections on his first evening in Dracula’s house.
The Oxford School Dictionary defines ‘fear’ as ‘an emotion caused by impending danger or evil’ and ‘suspicion’ as ‘partial or unconfirmed belief’.
Jonathan Harker opens chapter two with the settings of the castle : ‘great door’ by saying this Jonathan Harker is referring to the extraordinary size of the door which he may have not encountered before in his life in addition to that Harker may also feel intimidated by the door. Harker also says ‘old and studded with large iron nails’ by saying the great door is old he is implying the fact that the castle has been there for an extremely long time. In addition to that Harker says ‘studded with large iron nails’.
Here Harker is portraying a painful action and also by using the word ‘studded’ Harker may also fear whether he would be hurt whilst his stay in the daunting castle. The ‘large nails’ also refers to the door on the castle. In the same paragraph Harker also refers to a ‘projecting doorway’ implying that there is a noticeable doorway enclosing in on him, could almost make him feel claustrophobic. Harker also informs us of the projecting door being made of ‘massive stone’, by saying this Harker is referring to the size and also suggesting that the stone looks hard and lifeless.
The sound of the castle door creates fear for Jonathan Harker as he says in the text: ‘rattling chains’ Jonathan Harker is implying that the rattling chains could be associated with some kind of danger in the castle and also by referring to chains he may sense torture or slavery being held against his own will. Jonathan Harker may also fear he could be Dracula’s slave whilst in the ominous castle. Jonathan Harker also uses the words ‘Rattling and clanking’ in this text he is using onomatopoeia to help create mood.
Jonathan Harker then goes on to talk about ‘massive bolts’ by this Jonathan Harker is again referring to size and the word bolt which is often used to keep something closed and secure, this may frighten Jonathan Harker as he may fear he could be trapped in Dracula’s castle. In the text Jonathan Harker also talks about a ‘loud grating noise of disuse’ by this he is telling the reader that it is an uncomfortable sound and it is distressing. Jonathan Harker then uses the word ‘disuse’ to describe the door here is trying to state that the door is not used much and Jonathan Harker may fear that not many people make it out of the house.
Jonathan Harker describes the feeling inside the castle by quoting the words: ‘throwing long quivering shadows’ here Jonathan Harker is using personification by saying the shadows have human qualities and he is implying that even the shadows are afraid of Dracula. By using the word ‘long’ Jonathan Harker is saying that the shadows are everywhere and are dominating the castle. Jonathan Harker uses the word shadows as well, because shadows are dark and often associated with evil this also creates fear in the text. Jonathan Harker then talks about the ‘draught of the open door’ here he is portraying to the reader that it feels cold and motionless in the castle and there is no warmth the castle.
Jonathan Harker is welcomed into Dracula’s castle by Dracula himself, as he enters Jonathan Harker says ‘The old man motioned me in with his right hand’. Jonathan Harker is suggesting to the reader that Dracula does not move or speak to Jonathan Harker as he meets him for the first time, therefore this could suggest that Dracula is morbid and lifeless or he is surprised to see Jonathan Harker as Dracula is not used to having any visitors. Jonathan Harker then describes Dracula’s speech ‘saying in excellent English with a strange intonation’ Jonathon Harker is most likely wondering how Dracula can speak such good English whilst residing in a foreign country. Jonathan Harker also says that Dracula has a ‘strange intonation’ this suggests Dracula has a peculiar accent.
Jonathan Harker is welcomed into Dracula’s castle as Dracula says ‘Come’ and ‘Go’ here imperative verbs are used to show Dracula can be quite authoritative, and this also suggests Dracula is commanding Jonathan Harker to do these things. Dracula also says ‘welcome to my house’. Jonathan Harker could be alarmed by Dracula’s friendliness, because in vampire traditions vampires have to allow people to enter their premises at their own free will.
They could not force them over their threshold, this is why Dracula says ‘Come freely’ and ‘Go safely’ on hearing this Jonathan Harker could be suspicious as he could wonder why he would state this. He could also ask himself have people not been safe here before. Dracula also says to Jonathon Harker ‘leave something of the happiness you bring’ this could suggest that Dracula’s castle is a dull and tedious place where happiness does not exist. Jonathan Harker could wonder whether he would even want to enter the dreary castle.
Dracula does not move to meet Jonathan Harker as Jonathan Harker says in the text ‘no motion of stepping to meet me’ this here again reinforces the fact that Jonathan Harker must enter the castle of his own free will. Jonathan Harker also describes Dracula by saying he ‘stood like a statue’. The simile used here implies Dracula s lifeless, because statues have no life or emotions. It could also imply that Dracula is quite unique to look at because we often admire statues. In addition to that Jonathan Harker also describes Dracula as being ‘fixed into stone’ this again reinforces the fact that Dracula is lifeless and has no emotions it could also show that Dracula is not used to welcoming guests and Jonathan Harker could be apprehensive of who Dracula really is.
Dracula is described to the reader as Jonathan Harker quotes ‘the heavy moustache was fixed’ by using the word ‘fixed’ Jonathan Harker is implying that it is not moving, it is stuck in one place and is lifeless, and has no emotions like Dracula. Jonathan Harker also says that the moustache was ‘rather cruel looking’ here Jonathan Harker is implying that the moustache is not very pleasant to look at and Jonathan Harker could wonder who this strange figure is. Jonathan Harker also refers to Dracula’s ‘peculiar sharp white teeth’ Jonathan Harker uses the word ‘peculiar’ as he has never seen teeth look like them before and it is quite strange for a human being to have them also Jonathan Harker refers to them as being ‘white’ this implies Dracula looks after his teeth .
Jonathan Harker could also fear that they may be used to bite him and that he has sharp teeth to eat other animals or humans. Jonathan Harker also refers to Dracula’s teeth being ‘protruded over his lips’ by referring to this Jonathan Harker could be suspicious of his teeth as he does not look human. Jonathan Harker also refer to the ‘remarkable ruddiness’ on his lips Jonathan Harker is implying that Draculas lips are tinged like a bloody red colour and red is often used as a symbol of danger. Jonathan Harker also describes Dracula as having ‘astonishing vitality in man of his years’ here Jonathan Harker is implying even though some of his features are pale and old his lips give him a bit of life and show more colour about him.
Jonathan Harker describes more of Dracula’s appearance he starts off by saying ‘he’s ears were pale’ Jonathan Harker is suggesting that Dracula does not go out in the sun much this suggests there is no colour about him and apart from his lips and he looks morbid and lifeless. Jonathan Harker then talks about Draculas ears as being ‘at the tops extremely pointed’ this is suggesting his ears are wolf like Jonathan Harker could also wonder Dracula has animal like features. Subsequently Jonathan Harker goes on to describe Dracula’s chin as quoting ‘the chin was broad and strong’ this could suggest Dracula needs a strong jaw for biting hard substances. Jonathan Harker then goes on to talk about Dracula’s cheeks describing them as ‘cheeks from firm though thin’ this suggests Dracula has very defined features on his face.
In this paragraph Jonathan Harker continues the description of Dracula, he starts off by saying ‘his eyebrows were very massive’ Jonathan Harker is referring to Dracula as having bushy eyebrows similar to that of a wolf again, this is suggesting Dracula has wolf like features. Jonathan Harker then continues the description of Dracula’s eyebrows quoting ‘meeting over the nose’ it suggest that Dracula is very hairy and again very animal like. He then describes his eyebrows quoting ‘seemed to curl in its own protrusion’ this shows that Dracula’s eyebrows are long and hairy and are very clear on his face and standing out from the rest of the features on his face.
In this paragraph Jonathan Harker describes Dracula’s deadly hands; he starts off by saying ‘they were rather coarse broad with squat fingers’ this implies Dracula has wide hands however his fingers are quite short and stumpy. The fact that the fingers are described as being ‘coarse’ suggests Dracula’s hands as being hard and rough. Jonathan Harker then goes on to talk about Dracula’s hands having ‘hairs in the centre of the palm’ Jonathan Harker could be suspicious of this as the hairs could symbolise how much Dracula is like a wolf, he could also be suspicious as humans do not have hairs on the centre of their palms. Jonathan Harker then goes on to describe Dracula’s nails, he describes them as ‘nails were long and fine, cut to a sharp point’. Jonathan Harker could fear that Dracula’s nails could be used like knives against him.
In this Paragraph Jonathan Harker reflects on his evening with Dracula, he commences by saying ‘I am all in a sea of wonders’ This is a metaphor, it shows us that Jonathan Harker feels like a sailor at sea, he is very confused and overwhelmed as he does not understand what he is seeing around him. After his first evening in the castle, he has mixed feelings about Dracula and fears what may happen to him whilst in Draculas Company.
At this point this is the first time Jonathan Harker brings a religious element to what he is saying. He says ‘I doubt; I fear; I think strange things which I dare not confess to my own soul’. Here the repetition of I shows the personal impact that the evening has had on Jonathan Harker. He then says ‘I dare not confess’ here Jonathan Harker introduces religion into what he is saying and he also shows us that Jonathan Harker does not want to admit what has happened to him that evening otherwise his fears will become true, it also shows us Jonathan Harker does not want to face up to these problems instead wants to brush it under the carpet.
Jonathan Harker asks for God’s help ‘God keep me, if only for the sake of those dear to me’. This tells us that as a last resort Jonathan Harker demands god to save him as he shows us that he is not ready to die yet. This is a final plea for help which shows the reader how frightened Jonathan Harker really is.
We see Jonathan Harker’s fear and suspicion throughout the whole of chapter two of the novel. From the setting Jonathan Harker talks about the ‘gloom and the dark’ this is suggesting to the reader that from the start, Jonathan Harker is already feeling negative about his surroundings and the environment which he is going to reside in, and by using the words ‘dark’ and ‘gloom’ and this is also suggesting that the reader can sense that Jonathan Harker is quite fearful of his stay in the castle. Also as Jonathan Harker continuously refers to the size of the castle and the objects in the castle such as ‘a great door, old and studded with large iron nails, and set in a projecting doorway of massive stone’ this suggests that he is also quite intimidated.
Jonathan Harker also shows he is quite suspicious of Dracula as he describes him by applying words in the text such a ‘peculiar sharp white teeth’ by using the word ‘peculiar’ Jonathan Harker is suggesting to the reader that he is suspicious of Dracula’s teeth and what he may use them for. Jonathan Harker also talks about Dracula by saying ‘the count’s eyes gleamed’ due to the howling of the wolves, this also suggests to the reader that Jonathan Harker is quite suspicious of Dracula because he could be wondering why a person’s eyes might gleam on hearing the sound of wolves.
I think Dracula does need to be feared as Jonathan Harker experiences, when Dracula physically touches Harker he says ‘I could not repress a shudder’, this suggests that as Dracula touches Harker he instantly feels fear and he quivers. This shows to the reader just how much fear Jonathan Harker has for Dracula that just as Dracula touches him he shudders in terror and also because of Draculas home and his physical features such as his long nails and his sharp white teeth this also creates more fear on Dracula’s character.
I think as a character Jonathan Harker is quite fearful because his descriptions of Dracula and his castle have always been negative and intimidating. He is also so petrified that he does not want confess to himself what he has witnessed that evening because he fears it may all be true it is almost as if Jonathan Harker does not want to face up to his problems instead wants to ‘bury his head in the sand’ like nothing has happened. This gives the impression to the reader that Jonathan Harker is not a hard person. Also after his first evening in the company of Dracula, Harker as a last resort brings in a religious element into the text as he fears for his life even though Dracula has not done anything to him, and he also demands God’s help. As he asks for God’s help Harker uses an excuse for God to save him for those dear to him.