Re: Ch. 6 - 10: Dracula - by Bram Stoker
This is a really good question, and I've thought about it for a few days with no clear answer to give other than how I view him in the first six chapters. This might change as the story progresses and more of his personality's revealed, but so far I see Dracula as highly intelligent and very logical. He understands morality, and it helps him to be more cunning. I've heard it said he's a predator, and I feel that in how he tries to control every situation by controlling his physical space with locked doors and pleas for his guest to stay so as not to venture off and get into trouble. His entire existence is governed by a series of strict rules designed to protect his secret. In this sense, the aging castle helps him because it's virtually a death trap waiting to collapse. So if he says, "Don't touch the walls because they're brittle," you believe him.
Now, the question goes back to yours. Was this done as more than a writing device? My guess is a lot of thought went into constructing Dracula but perhaps not in how some might think. William S. Burroughs mentioned how writers reveal themselves in their fiction whether they try or not. I suspect that period fears had a hand in creating Dracula but to what extent Bram Stoker actively did this, I have no clue. I'm not a Bram Stoker historian. So I'm speculating. However, one things is for certain. The book came out at a time when science and technology began to seriously challenge religion.