Jonathan Harker – a Brave Man Demonstrates Obedience
Language is one of the most crucial devices that convey information between human beings. One’s language can retain unique memories and special emotions. Jonathan Harker, is the lead role of Bram Stoker’s Dracula as a young solicitor’s clerk who is sent to Count Dracula’s castle to manage a purchase of a property based on the Count’s request. Harker keeps a record of what he sees and hears in order to express his feelings and discoveries in his diary by using his written language skills. However, it is unexpected for the aspirant young man to be held captive by the Count after coming to the castle, and having to cope with threatening wolves and enchanting women who want to suck his blood.
Harker was put in a quandary between reality and dream, so he decided to secretly record all his experiences in the gloomy castle as a diary for future reality testing. In Harker’s diary, the psychological and scene descriptions of his journey and imprisonment prove and substantiate he is a brave and resourceful young man with a strong nature of obedience to his superior, and has an obsessive curiosity to a peculiar living being, the Count Dracula.
On Harker’s way to the residence of Count Dracula, he is guided by the Count to stay at a hotel named the Golden Krone Hotel. Harker asks the owners of the hotel about the Count and his castle, but they are reticent to answer Harker’s questions and cross themselves. Harker believes the conduct of the owners and the Count all to be “very mysterious.” “Mysterious” expresses a strong sense of Harker’s inquisitiveness and the expectation of Harker to delve into the mystery of Dracula.
On the day before Harker leaves the hotel, the elderly lady of the hotel kneels down and asks him not to leave on the eve of St. George’s Day, a day on which all evil spirits receive their power. However, because of Harker’s natural obedience to his boss and eagerness for carrying out his mission, he believes the lady’s conduct is “ all very ridiculous” and decides not to rescind his trip, having “nothing to interfere with it”, and departs the hotel on schedule (Stoker, 4).
Harker’s words show his exceptional bravery in leaving the hotel on this evil night with an especially strong determination to do his mission, even when he sees a considerable group of people circled in the hotel with the sign of crosses on their chests and giving blessings to him to ward away the evil spirits. Harker only feels uncomfortable when he encounters such a scene, because those “ghostly traditions of this place” were opaque for him (Stoker, 4).
Soon, he loses sight of the “ghostly fears” in the picturesque scenery of his coach journey to the castle(Stoker, 5). Once Harker arrives at the castle, he describes it as having “frowning walls”, a “dark window” and no sign “of bell or knocker” on the heavy entry door (Stoker, 12). Still, Harker is brave enough to convince himself that he is doing his mission in a place where it is not so scary, although it sounds like a frightening place in his written words.
It is also courageous of him that he can ready the purchase papers for the Count who has a peculiar face with “protuberant teeth”, long finger-nails that were “cut to a sharp point”, and lives in such a dark environment (Stocker, 15). Later, Harker’s curiosity drives him to discover that the Count is not a human being, and he is imprisoned by the Count. Harker incisively pretends not to know that the Count has turned into a bat, and that he has the ability to direct wolves and suck human blood. Harker feigns to be very obedient to the Count and affects himself to be so “absolutely in his power”, trying not to “excite his suspicion” or “arose his anger”. Meanwhile, Harker considers his opportunities for escape (Stoker 35). Harker’s words in his diary make it known that he is very resourceful, and not letting his fear show is tantamount to having the chance to remain viable and to escape.
Harker’s curiosity, and obedience to the orders of his superiors, had brought him to the point where he had been taken to the Count’s house and imprisoned. Harker’s language, through his diary, demonstrates that he is a very brave and intelligent young man who went to a remote and horrifying castle and met someone he had never known before in the gloomy environment, and knows how best to protect and save himself.
- Bram Stoker. Dracula. Paul Negri, Kathy Casey, Dover Publications, 2000.