What does Dracula have to do with Typewriters?

In Bram Stoker’s novel “Dracula,” most readers would recall the terrifying vampire’s haunting image as he stalks the British country side. There have been countless retellings of Dracula, and vampire stories in general. But what about the typewriters?

In the story, the characters collect information in the form of written letters, telegrams, and typewritten notes. This may not seem like a big deal on the surface, but it was revolutionary. The typewriter was invented in 1868 according to the Library of Congress’s data base. “Dracula” was not written until 1897. Why is this important? Normalcy.

The usage of the typewriter in “Dracula” is an example of the normalization of new technology within the society of the time. Before the invention of the typewriter, communication in fiction was limited to letters written by hand. But as technology advances, how we tell stories changes.

The YouTube channel Overly Sarcastic Productions gives a good example for the modern age. Cell phones. At this point, most of American society cannot imagine life without being able to instantly call/text/message/contact anyone the know. This is reflected in modern fiction/fantasy writing. As technology and society changes, so do our stories. Most of the concepts and everyday devices we experience (and take for granted) may not be relevant 100 years from now. Perhaps the future will have flying cars, but for us that is still a fantasy that wows us.

What truly marvelous inventions do we consider “normal?” And how is this reflected in our stories? How does this shape our view of the world?

(YouTube video “Trope Talk: Those Dang Phones” by Overly Sarcastic Productions)

About Curtis Decker

Happy to be here and to open the library to all in need. I love talking about stories, drawing, farming, and hiking. Come in for books, conversations, and to share in the atmosphere of our historic small town library. A magical place of stories and wonder.
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