“Dracula” by Bram Stoker
- The group of friends plan to go to one of Dracula’s houses in Piccadilly and cleanse all the earth boxes there with holy water. Then they want to do the same thing with the Carfax house so Dracula has nowhere to hide.
- They plan to break in with a locksmith. Arthur and Quincey are tasked with this.
- Dr. Van Helsing tries to bless Mina with holy water but it burns her. She is becoming more vampiric so it hurts.
- The men complete the mission, Mina left at home, and find that there is still one box missing.
- Mina calls and warns the men that Dracula was seen heading to Carfax house. The men try to fight him but he escapes.
- Mina is hypnotized to try to warn the men of Dracula’s state. It works an they find his is on a ship sleeping.
- Dr. Van Helsing is worried about time because of Dracula’s immortality. If Mina dies before the group can slay Dracula she will become a vampire.
- The group concurs he is heading back to Transylvania. Find he is on ship called Czarina Catherine, which already departed.
- The group prepare to go toTransylvania, Mina is kept in dark about plan just in case Dracula can control her.
- The group arrives in Varna two weeks before Czarina Catherine is due to arrive. Van Helsing is hypnotizing Mina every day at sunrise and sunset, just to check on where the Count is.
- The group receives a message that Czarina Catherine has arrived in Galatz, a different port city. The next train for Galatz leaves at 6:30 in the morning.
- The group meets Mr. Hildesheim, a lawyer, who tells them that he had received instructions from “”Mr. de Ville”” of London to move the box from the Czarina Catherine and deliver it to a couple of Slovaks to take down the river. They don’t know what river.
- The group sees a couple Slovaks loading up a carriage by the river. They think that they are probably carrying the Count’s box to the Castle.
- Dr. Van Helsing goes to the chapel and slays three female vampires while they are vulnerable. He also finds Dracula’s empty grave and puts some holy wafers in it so that Dracula will never be able to sleep there again.
- They group finds the Slovaks just before sunset. They fight them for the box.
- Jonathan Harker slashes at Dracula’s throat, while Quincey stabs him in the heart, Dracula’s body turns to dust and blows away.
- When Dracula was finally killed, Mina Westerna saw a look of peace that fell upon him. Did Dracula want the group to kill him? Was he tired of causing so much destruction for his mere survival?
- Did Dracula have a plan for the race of vampires surviving without him just in case he died? Did he infect the ship crew or other mortals on his way to the castle?
- How come Dracula kept wives when he did not keep Lucy as such? How come he did not bring Lucy to his castes and keep her powers hidden from mortals?
Point of View
The point of view of Dracula is first person view. The protagonist, however, changes though section of the craters as the story is told though diary entries of the group of people hunting down Dracula. The diary entries consist of Jonathan Harker, Mina Harker, Dr. Van Helsing, Quincey Morris, Arthur Holmwood, and Dr. John Steward. Through these stories we learn each characters thought on what is currently happening throughout the story and how they feel about this situation. Because of this, much of the characterization that occurs, occurs throughout these diary entries were the character might feel open to discuss their feelings. Since the story takes place in Victorian times, the men might not want to express fear or sadness in front of Mina as she is a female. “In such cases men do not need much expression.
A grip of the hand, the tightening of an arm over the shoulder, a sob in unison, are expressions of sympathy dear to a man’s heart.” (Stoker, 241) If the story was not written in this point of view, the reader might decide whom they want to be the protagonist. They might pick of favorite character that they relate to the most and want them to succeed. For many modern readers, Dracula would be very common as he is a villain told about from all around the world. This would change Dracula to the protagonist and the antagonist would be the group trying to purify the world from vampires. Dracula’s quest as protagonist would be to spread the vampire blood so his species was survive. The group would then be the antagonist, or enemy, and try to stop him from completely his goal or quest.
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If the point of view was not first person but third, we would not have experienced as much horror when reading the story as most comes from anticipation and foreshadowing. From this point of view, you can trust the narrator and what they are telling you. There is no delusional aspect of the characters who write diaries. This point of view shows more characterization, suspicion, and adds to the horror concept. Characters can make openly express the way they feel through their diaries, we experience dramatic irony, and we can experience foreshadowing because of our knowledge that the characters don’t possess and the words the author used. An example of this dramatic irony would be when modern readers already knew who Dracula was while Jonathan Harker did not. “As he spoke he smiled, and the lamplight fell on a hard looking mouth, with very red lips and sharp looking teeth, as white as ivory.
One of my companions whispered to an- other the line from Burger’s ‘Lenore”.” (Stoker, 15) From this would we know that Dracula is a vampire but Jonathan does not pick up on these crucial clues. We knew why he had such characteristics while Jonathan was clueless. The tone of the author is very grave. He makes the story almost seem like it is life or death. He sets a very dark atmosphere or mood, which then makes the characters very serious and scared. The word blood is used 121 times throughout the story, which is a word that sets the mod and describes the tone very well. Blood means Dracula which is why the characters act and they do and are scared. “For the blood is the life” (Stoker, 202) is a quote used to describe Dracula’s servants way of thinking, as the two of them need blood to survive.
One double meaning behind this novel is Dracula. Dracula is a servant of the undead, which could also be considered the devil. He rises from the earth after every few days with new power and haunts the city of London once again. This might be a hidden meaning of the devil and Dracula and London and earth. If this was the case, the group of friends whom hunt Dracula would be saviors of the world, cleansing it of evil. This would make them almost angles on earth. “In trance she dies, and in trance she is UnDead, too.” (Stoker, 287) this quote describes that if a person is bitten by Dracula or another vampire and dies, they return from the dead much like Dracula. Another hidden meaning could be the coffin in which the vampires sleep in. The coffins they sleep in allow them to refresh themselves as they need rest for their powers. This coffin could be a representation of the line between the undead world and the living. When they are in the coffin, the vampires are in a deathlike state which puts them at the will of who ever can move around then. This is how the group destroys Dracula and Jose they destroy the line between undead and living souls.
One word that is especially meaningful is the word Dr. Van Helsing. Dr. Van Helsing is the person whom groups together these people and his knowledge is what they use to kill Dracula. He runs this mission and helps guide the group to success by his knowledge of Dracula’s past and holy weapons. His name is repeated 306 times throughout the story which signifies his importance in the groups victory. “I shall then make known to you something of the history of this man, which has been ascertained for me. So we then can discuss how we shall act, and can take our measure according.” (Stoker, 337) This was something that the professor said when the group was devising a plan. Another important word was blood as we found before. Blood is the center of Dracula’s existence and impact of the living world. This is how he infects people and fuels himself to survive. It also adds to the mood and tone to create evilness in the air. “You do not know that, friend John, but you shall know it later, and in trance could he best come to take more blood.” (Stoker, 287) This quote was used by Dr. Van Helsing describing how Dracula takes blood.
Imagery in Dracula by Bram Stoker includes when Jonathan first describes our antagonist, Dracula. When first describing Dracula we learn key characteristics of a vampire like his pale white skin, sharp teeth, and red eyes. From these we know that this is the Dracula from our modern stories and movies. We can take our background information and apply it to this description to know this is the vampire Dracula and not a random Dracula. “”For the rest, his ears were pale, and at the tops extremely pointed. The chin was broad and strong, and the cheeks firm though thin. The general effect was one of extraordinary pallor. Hitherto I had noticed the backs of his hands as they lay on his knees in the firelight, and they had seemed rather white and fine. (Stoker, 27)
Another instance of imagery was when Jonathan wrote about the Counts Castle. Because he was able to describe the castle so well, Dr. Van Helsing was able to navigate the castle and find the female vampires. He then was able to slay them and let them lay in peace again. Jonathan also lets the reader know what the castle portrays itself. The castle is very old which helps us know that Dracula himself is also very old. It is very inclusive and hard to find. There were also wolves around which lead us to believe it was in a forest. The castle description sets a dark mood as well. This dark mood foreshadows ill intentions from Count Dracula and possibly other people inside. “Suddenly, I became conscious of the fact that the driver was in the act of pulling up the horses in the courtyard of a vast ruined castle, from whose tall black windows came no ray of light, and whose broken battlements showed a jagged line against the sky.” (Stoker, 21) “Jonathan’s bitter experience served me here. By memory of his diary I found my way to the old chapel, for I knew that here my work lay. The air was oppressive.” (Stoker, 528)
- “It was like a miracle, but before our very eyes, and almost in the drawing of a breath, the whole body crumbled into dust and passed from our sight” (Stoker, 539).
- This quote marked the death of Count Dracula. Count Dracula was the antagonists of the story and fighting him was the focal point of this story. This also marked the climax, the part of the story that the conflict is solved, and lead to the ending of the book.
- “Before I began to restore these women to their dead selves through my awful work, I laid in Dracula’s tomb some of the Wafer, and so banished him from it, Undead, for ever.” (Stoker, 531)
- This quote explains Dr. Van Helsing’s journey to the Count’s castle. In this castle he killed the three female vampires and freed them from Dracula’s wrath. Dr. Van Helsing also purified Dracula’s last earth box. Before this they found all but one of the earth boxes that Dracula could rest in; This was the last one which signifies that Dracula will forever be restless if he would survive.
- “Besides, I may be of service, since you can hypnotize me and so learn that which even I myself do not know.’ Dr. Van Helsing said gravely, ‘Madam Mina, you are, as always, most wise.” (Stoker, 469)
- The quote shows the a flaw on Dracula’s powers which the group exposes. This flaw turns out to be a very key component of Dracula’s downfall and determining where Dracula is and what he is doing. Mina is able to be hypnotized and hear what is going on in Dracula’s environment. Since he is arriving on ship, Mina can hear waves which mean they have more time to plan and gather weapons against the vampire.
Stoker, Bram, and Tudor Humphries. Dracula, by Bram Stoker. Dorling Kindersley, 1997.