Bram Stoker creates suspense in Jonathan Harker’s first diary entry by his description of the scene. An atmosphere of dread, fear and the unknown can be felt when reading the passage. Dusk is the time of day where you can imagine all sorts of creepy things happening. The sun setting behind the mountains give the appearance of moving shadows. The passengers felt so afraid of their surroundings that they crossed themselves. Jonathan feels unsure about the excitement he sees from the other passengers, which cant, be explained. Dracula’s appearance is mystical.
The writer begins to build suspense when Jonathan Harker describes “the shadows of the evening.” He creates an atmospheric effect by saying “they creep around us.” This gives the awareness that the night is coming and like a person or animal is stalking them. From the opening lines of his diary I think Jonathan is feeling uncomfortable. Bram Stoker begins to build tension when Jonathan Harker describes “by the roadside were many crosses.” He creates a scene of darkness and dread. I think this gives the effect that Jonathan is nervous in his surroundings.
The writer begins to build anxiety when Jonathan describes “The Ghost-like clouds.” He creates a Ghost like illusion by saying “the falling sunset threw into strange relief the ghost-like clouds.” I think this gives the impression that Dracula is playing with his mind. From reading the book you get the sense of the behaviour of the passengers ” as we swept by, my companions all crossed themselves” the scene the writer create is of dread. The passengers can feel the tension that all is not right but they are afraid. They call upon the cross as away of helping them to get through the night. I think that this gives the feeling that the passengers are afraid of what they might encounter.
Bram Stoker continues to build suspense when Jonathan says, “when it grew dark there seemed to be some excitement amongst the passengers”. The passengers are persuading the driver to go faster to leave the area quicker “the figures of my late companions crossing themselves”. I took this to mean that the passengers are afraid of Dracula. Like the passengers are begin to fear Dracula before we even see him. Bram Stoker starts to build anxiety when Jonathan describes, “one by one several of the passengers offered me gifts”. This suggests that the passengers turned to their religion in order to keep them safe and to protect them from evil by offering Jonathan the cross they hoped it protect him from the evil.
When Jonathan describes his feelings “I felt a strange chill, and a lonely feeling came over me”. This produces anxiety and tension “I felt a little strange, and not a little frightened”. I think this gives the impact that Jonathan is beginning to feel fear of the unknown situation that he is in. Another example of tension is when Jonathan describes. “I would have liked to asked the driver what it all meant”. I think Jonathan is beginning to question the strange things that are happening around him. By saying “I really feared to do so”. Jonathan gives the impression that he is petrified of the driver.
As they drive nearer to Dracula’s castle Jonathan describes “from the mountains on each side of us began a louder and a sharper howling – that of wolves”. This shows that just the sounds of wolves increase Jonathan feelings. His first reaction is to flee and hide by saying “I was mined to jump from the catches and run”. Reading further into the story there is further into the story there is further evidence of Jonathan fear increasing when he meets the wolves face to face. He paralysed with fear. The appearance of the wolves make him realise that the sight of them is more terrifying then anything he could image “wolves, with white teeth and lolling red tongues, with long, sineivly limbs and shaggy hair”.
The best way that the writer builds tension is when Jonathan describes Dracula appearance “the lamp light fell on a hard looking mouth, with very red lips and sharp – looking teeth, as white as ivory”. This gives a dramatic effect because Jonathan doesn’t know that the cache driver is Dracula and he is stunned when he sees the driver’s face. The way Dracula controls the horse adds to Jonathan unease”. He petted and soothed them, and whispered something in their ears”. After being frightened by the noise from the wolves, the horses became agitated and unmanageable, but a few quietly spoken words by Dracula were enough to calm them down. “I have heard of horse – tamers doing this and with extraordinary effect”. Jonathan, to me is trying to understand what he has just seen. A lot of unusual events seem to be happening to Jonathan, which he is having a lot of trouble making sense of. When the driver (Dracula) had left them “the horses began to tremble”. Jonathan could sense the horses fear.
Jonathan has noticed that the driver has had this effect on the wolves also, “as he swept his long arms as though brushing aside some impalpable obstacle, the wolves fell back and back further still”. To Jonathan, the driver seems to be controlling the surroundings that he has found himself in. because Jonathan is more terrorized than ever before bring about a real strong sense of suspense to this story, which the writer Bram Stoker intended to do. Bram Stoker has crated suspense in this diary entry by the words he uses and the scenes he has described. And especially the detailed description of the first encounter with Dracula.