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Count Dracula

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Faith Dickens

on 22 May 2014

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Transcript of Count Dracula

Count Dracula
: Chapters 1-5

Jonathan Harker
Chapter 1: "It seems to me that the further East you go the more unpunctual are the trains."
"Having some time at my disposal when in London, I had visited the British Museum, and made search among the books and maps in the library regarding Transylvania."
What sense do we get of Harker's character in these first few chapters?
What do you think will happen to Harker after chapter 4?
East VS West
: logical, unemotional, technologically advanced
: superstitious, natural, primitive
Chapter 1: "I read that every known superstition in the world is gathered into the horseshoe of the Carpathians, as if it were the centre of smoe sort of imaginative whirlpool"
[The Transylvanians] are very picturesque, but do not look prepossessing. On the stage they would be set down at once as some old Oriental band of brigands. They are, however, I am told, very harmless and rather wanting in natural self-assertion.
Count Dracula is threatening, not so much because of his abilities or monstrosity, but because he is on his way to England.
Chapter 4: "This was the being I was helping to transfer to London, where, perhaps, for centuries to come he might, amongst its teeming millions, satiate his lust for blood, and create a new and ever-widening circle of semi-demons to batten on the helpless. The very thought drove me mad."
Chapter 2: "Here I am noble; I am boyar; the common people know me, and I am master. But a stranger in a strange land, he is no one; men know him not--and to know not is to care not for. I am content if I am like the rest, so that no man stops if he see me, or pause in his speaking if he hear my words, to say, 'Ha, ha! a stranger!'"
Building Suspense
1. Foreshadowing
What are some of the warnings that Harker receives on his way to Castle Dracula?
2. Dracula's Increasingly Bizarre Behavior
How does Stoker hint at Dracula's vampirism?
3. Opening Journal Entries
Chapter 2: "...there is something so strange about this place and all in it that I cannot but feel uneasy. I wish I were safe out of it, or that I had never come."
Chapter 3: "God preserve my sanity, for to this I am reduced. Safety and the assurance of safety are things of the past."
Landscape Descriptions
Chapter 1: "Sometimes, as the road was cut through the pine woods that seemed in the
to be closing down upon us, great masses of greyness, which here and there bestrewed the trees, produced a peculiarly
effect, which carried on the thoughts and

engendered earlier in the evening, when the falling sunset threw into strange relief the
clouds which amongst the Carpathians seem to wind ceaselessly through the valleys."
Awe / Terror
Chapter 1: "Beyond the green swelling hills of the Mittel Land rose mighty slopes of forest up to the lofty steeps of the Carpathians themselves. Right and left of us they towered, with the afternoon sun falling full upon them and bringing out all the glorious colours of this beautiful range, deep blue and purple in the shadows of the peaks, green and brown where grass and rock mingled, and an endless perspective of jagged rock and pointed crags, till these were themselves lost in the distance, where the snowly peaks rose grandly."
Dracula: Chapters 5-10
Mina & Lucy
Mina Harker
How are Mina and Lucy characterized?
Chapter 5: “My dear Mina, why are men so noble when we women are so little worthy of them? […] Why can’t they let a girl marry three men, or as many want her, and save all this trouble?”

Chapter 5: "I have been working very hard lately, because I want to keep up with Jonathan's studies, and I have been practising shorthand very assiduously When we are married I shall be able to be useful to Jonathan..."
The Ghost Ship
Who is Mr. Swales?
How would you compare him with the Transylvanians?
What happens to Mr. Swales? Why is his death ironic?
Dr. Seward & Quincey Morris
End of
Chapter 5
: "We've told yarns by the camp-fire in the prairies..."
Chapter 5
: "Ebb tide in appetite today. Cannot eat, cannot rest, so diary instead"
Chapter 6
: "Oh, Lucy, Lucy, I cannot be angry with you, nor can I be angry with my friend whose happiness is yours; but I must only wait on hopeless and work. Work! work!"

Why does Renfield collect flies, spiders, birds, etc.?
Chapter 6: "[Renfield] argued quietly that it was very good and very wholsome; that it was life, strong life, and gave life to him."
What similarities are there between Renfield and Dracula?
Demeter's Entry: What mysterious events occur on the ship or after it lands?
"The man was simply fastened by his hands, tied one over the other, to a spoke of the wheel. Between the inner hand and the wood was a crucifix, the set of beads on which it was fastened being around both wrists and wheel"
"A good deal of interest was abroad concerning the dog which landed when the ship struck, and more than a few of the members of the S.P.C.A., which is very strong in Whitby, have tried to befriend the animal"
Lucy's Illness
"Whatever my expectation was, it was not disappointed, for there, on our favourite seat, the silver light of the moon struck a half-reclining figure, snowy white...it seemed to me as though something dark stood behind the seat where the white figure shone, and bent over it."
"As I came close, she put up her hand in her sleep and pulled the collar of her nightdress close round her throat. Whilst she did so there came a little shudder through her, as though she felt the cold."
"I must have pinched up a piece of loose skin and have transfixed it, for there are two little red points like pin-pricks, and on the band of her nightdress was a drop of blood."
Mina, 11 August
Lucy Worsens...
What are Lucy's symptoms?
Sept 7th
- 1st blood transfusion (Arthur)
Sept 10th
- 2nd blood transfusion (Seward)
Sept 13th
- 3rd blood transfusion (Van Helsing)
Who do you see as being responsible for Lucy's continued illness?
Renfield becomes stranger...if possible
Why do you think that he keeps trying to escape?
Why does he lose interest in the flies and spiders?
"The bride-maidens rejoice the eyes that wait the coming of the bride; but when the bride draweth nigh, then the maidens shine not to the eyes that are filled."
How would you interpret this explanation?
Dracula: Chapters 11-14
Lucy's Death
The Escaped Wolf
"Here's his head all cut and full of broken glass"
"After a while there was the low howl again out in the shrubbery, and shortly after there was a crash at the window, and a lot of broken glass was hurled on the floor."
Why does Dracula need to "call in" the wolf?
"a whole myriad of little specks seemed to come blowing in through the broken window"
Who drugged the servants?
So I can finish this diary; and God only knows if I shall ever begin another. If I do, or if I ever open this again, it will be to deal with different people and different themes; for here at the end, where the romance of my life is told, ere I go back to take up the thread of my life-work, I say sadly and without hope, FINIS.
And yet...
1. Van Helsing "If that [death] were all, I would stop here where we are now, and let her fade away into peace, for I see no light in life over her horizon."
2. Whilst still asleep she took the paper from her breast and tore it in two...she went on with the actino of tearing, as though th ematerial were still in her hands; finally she lifted her hands and opened them as though scattering the fragments.
3. "the canine teeth looked longer and sharper than the rest"..."[she] had torn away the garlic flowers from her throat"
4. "she opened her eyes, which were now dull and hard at once and said in a soft, coluptuous voice, such as I had never heard from her lips..." VS "she opened her eyes in all their softness, and putting out her poor pale, thin hand..."
Women, Vampires, & Sexuality
"I felt in my heart a wicked, burning desire that they would kiss me with those red lips."

"voluptuous lips", "coquettishly", "agony of delightful anticipation"

"The fair girl was on her knees, and bent over me, fairly gloating. There was a deliberate voluptuousness which was both thrilling and repulsive...Lower and lower went her head until...[I] could feel the hot breath on my neck."
Why Lucy?
Chapter 5: "
Why can’t they let a girl marry three men, or as many want her, and save all this trouble?”
Chapter 13:
"Arthur...was speaking of his part in the operation where his blood had been transfused to his Lucy's veins...he felt since then as if they two had been really married"

Van Helsing:
"If so that, then what about the others? Ho, ho! Then this so sweet maid is a polyandrist"
In a sort of sleep-waking, vague, unconscious way she opened her eyes, which were now dull and hard at once, and said in a soft, voluptuous voice, such as I had never heard from her lips:- "Arthur! Oh, my love, I am so glad you have come! Kiss me!"
God! how beautiful she was. Every hour seemed to be enhancing her loveliness
Arguably, Lucy gets her wish...
Metaphorical Sex
How, then, should we interpret vampirism?
= exchange of bodily fluids, method of reproduction
= hypersexualized, promiscuous male
= abnormal sexual desires, punished for "desiring"
the method through which Dracula “penetrates” the bodies of his victims is an aberration and distortion of normal, human sexual relations
Other Events...
Renfield attacks Dr. Seward:
Jonathan sees Dracula:
Renfield attacks delivery men:
"he had struck at me and cut my left wrist rather severely...his employment positively sickened me. He was lying on his belly on the floor licking up, like a dog, the blood which had fallen from my wounded wrist."
"Before I could get up to him the patient rushed at them, and pulling one of them off the cart, began to knock his head against the ground. If I had not seized him just at the moment I believe he would have killed the man there and then."
"He was very pale, and his eyes seemed bulging out as, half in terror and half in amazement, he gazed at a tall, thin man, with a beaky nose and black moustache and pointed beard, who was also observing the pretty girl."
The "Bloofer" Lady
Newspaper Report
: "some of the children, indeed all who have been missed at night, have been slightly torn or wounded in the throat"
Seward & Van Helsing's Exchange
- inability of science to explain various phenomena in the world
- competing "truths": don't allow information or a small amount of knowledge to contradict bigger, if seemingly incompatible, ideas
Putting the pieces together...
Mina reads Jonathan's journals: "I wonder if there is any truth in it at all...I shall get my typewriter this very hour and begin transcribing."
Van Helsing: "This paper is as sunshine. It opens the gate to me. I am daze, I am dazzle, with so much light."
Mina: Vampire-Hunting Secretary
Christopher Keep:
"By the late 1880's, the position of "type-writer (female)" was considered one of the few occupations which middle-class women could take up"
'One typewriter manufacturer offered as the chief selling point of the instrument the fact that "Employers Often Marry Their Typewriters"'
If vampirism is a perverted representation of human sexual relations, the female vampires also symbolize "bad" mothers.
"If my ears did not deceive me there was a gasp and a low wail, as of a half-smothered child. The women closed round, whilst I was aghast with horror; but as I looked they disappeared, and with them the dreadful bag."
"With a careless motion, she flung to the ground, callous as a devil, the child that up to now she had clutched strenuously to her breast, growling over it as a dog growls over a bone. The child gave a sharp cry, and lay there moaning."
Women's Roles
Lucy's death: punishment or sanctification?
As a vampire, Lucy is objected--literally becoming "The Thing"
"The body shook and quivered and twisted in wild contortions; the sharp white teeth champed together till the lips were cut, and the mouth was smeared with a crimson foam...his untrembling arm rose and fell, driving deeper and deeper the mercy-bearing stake"
Maurice Hindle
: "There is something sexually frantic in Arthur's staking to divine oblivion his Dracula-diseaseride Lucy"
Mina, on the other hand...
"You are too precious to us to have such risk"
"I am so glad that she consented to hold back and let us men do the work."
Catholic Symbolism
"She then rose and dried her eyes, and taking crucifix from her neck offered it to me. I did not know what to do, for as an English Churchman, I have been taught to regard such things as in some measure idolatrous"
The body shook and quivered and twisted in wild contortions; the sharp white teeth champed together till the lips were cut, and the mouth was smeared with a crimson foam. But Arthur never faltered. He looked like a figure of Thor as his untrembling arm rose and fell, driving deeper and deeper the mercy-bearing stake, whilst the blood from the pierced heart welled and spurted up around it. His face was set, and high duty seemed to shine through it; the sight of it gave us courage so that our voices seemed to ring through the little vault.
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