Bram Stoker

Bram Stoker



Bram Stoker

The Book of Irish Writers, Chapter 28 - Bram Stoker, 1847-1912

The Thing in the coffin writhed; and a hideous blood-curdling scream came from the opened red lips. 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.

Abraham Stoker was born in Clontarf in North Dublin.
He would have a successful career as a theatre manager.
He would also try his hand at writing, but with only one real success …

After a childhood marked by illness, Stoker developed interests in the theatre and athletics - especially during his time at Trinity College. Here he took a degree in science - and later a master’s degree in pure mathematics.

In his early thirties Stoker married Florence Balcombe; his rival for her affections was Oscar Wilde - who would return later in Stoker’s career. He was also called to the bar in 1890, but never practiced law.

Initially Stoker followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the civil service in Dublin Castle - but was soon bored. His interest in theatre led to a period as drama critic for the Daily Mail which in turn led to a meeting with Henry Irving, the most famous actor-manager of the day. In 1878, the year of his marriage, he became Irving’s business manager at the Lyceum Theatre in London, a post he was to stay in for nearly thirty years.

Stoker had tried his hand at a number of different types of writing, including fairy tales and adventure stories, when he started to make notes for a gothic novel in the early 1890s.
Dracula appeared seven years later. The book joined the tradition of Irish gothic writing, looking back to Charles Maturin’s Melmoth the Wanderer of 1820, and to Sheridan Le Fanu’s story ‘Carmilla’ - as well as to other vampire lore and Irish folk tales.
As with earlier Irish gothic works, indefinable forms of dread and guilt underpin the novel.

Although Stoker researched the Transylvanian background of Dracula - and the fifteenth-century tyrant ‘Vlad the Impaler’ is one of his models - other models were closer to home …

Henry Irving, for instance supplied some of the Count’s physical characteristics and his hypnotic personality. Stoker may have worked with Irving happily enough - but the novel suggests that he was not wholly content with his subservient role.

Oscar Wilde is also a factor in Dracula’s make up. His trials and imprisonment in 1895 shocked and enthralled conventional Victorian opinion. Wilde’s downfall prompts the atmosphere of transgressive sexuality which surrounds the Count:

I was not alone … opposite me were three young women … All three had brilliant white teeth, that shone like pearls against the ruby of their voluptuous lips … I felt in my heart a wicked burning desire that they would kiss me with those red lips.

The novel was well-received: one reviewer noted that:

A summary of the book would shock and disgust; but we must own that we read nearly the whole thing with rapt attention.

Although Dracula sold steadily during Stoker’s lifetime, it did not make either his literary name or his fortune. He continued to write and his later books included other supernatural novels such as the The Jewel of the Seven Stars and a two-volume Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving.

Stoker did not live to see how Dracula would develop. The first film version was the German Nosferatu in 1922. Although it changed the names and settings in order to evade copyright problems – the film retained the novel’s sense of Dracula as reptilian.
Hollywood’s interest began in the 1930s and has made the Count increasingly more aristocratic and handsome. This is not what Stoker had in mind:

… my feelings changed to repulsion and terror when I saw the man begin to crawl down that dreadful abyss with considerable speed, just as a lizard moves along a wall.

The novel’s themes of modernity displacing tradition, the overthrow of an aristocratic social order by the emergence of the middle class, and anxieties about women’s increasing freedom - especially sexual freedom - all have a bearing on Ireland at the end of the nineteenth century.

It is easy to translate the novel into a more specific Irish context in which the Count represents a predatory, blood-sucking Ascendancy class who menace all around them.
On the other hand, Dracula’s need for blood - and the fact that the coffin in which he sleeps must contain his native soil - suggests that he could be seen as a symbol of a threatening Irish nationalism menacing ordinary middle-class Protestants.

This is part of the novel’s enduring power: it can be read as both supporting and opposing each issue that it raises. And after all, one of Dracula’s powers, taken from Irish folklore, is that he can change his shape …

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/northernireland/learning/getwritingni/events/book_of_writers_scripts/iw_28.doc

Web site to visit: http://www.bbc.co.uk/

Author of the text: indicated on the source document of the above text

DRACULA       Bram Stoker


Bram Stoker was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1847. The son of a civil servant, Stoker was a sickly child. Stoker’s mother, a charity worker and writer, spent a good deal of time entertaining her son with fantastic tales. Stoker went on to study math at Trinity College and graduated in 1867, at which time he joined the Irish civil service. He also worked as a freelance journalist and drama critic, which enabled him to meet the legendary stage actor Henry Irving. The two men became lifelong friends, and Stoker managed Irving’s theater from 1878 until Irving’s death in 1905. Stoker married an aspiring actress, Florence Balcombe, and the couple had one son, Noel, who was born in 1879. Stoker moved to London in order to oversee Irving’s theater, and he fell into the city’s literary circles, which included figures such as Oscar Wilde, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Alfred Lord Tennyson.

Stoker’s early fiction is not of particularly high quality. He wrote short stories for children and then a first novel, The Snake’s Pass (1890), which was unsuccessful. Stoker’s fortunes changed in 1897 with the publication of Dracula, which still stands as his greatest -literary achievement. Although the novel was not an immediate popular success, it has been in print continuously since its first publication and has inspired countless films and other literary works. Stoker continued to write until his death in 1912, producing several adventure novels, including The Jewel of Seven Stars (1904) and The Lair of the White Worm (1911).

Vampire legends have been a part of popular folklore in many parts of the world since ancient times. Throughout the Middle Ages and even into the modern era, reports of corpses rising from the dead with supernatural powers achieved widespread credence. The Dracula family, which Stoker’s count describes with pride in the early chapters of the novel, is based on a real fifteenth-century family. Its most famous member, Vlad Dracula—or Vlad the Impaler, as he was commonly known—enjoyed a bloody career that rivaled that of his fictional counterpart. The Prince of Wallachia, Vlad was a brilliant and notoriously savage general who impaled his enemies on long spikes. The prince also had a reputation for murdering beggars, forcing women to eat their babies, and nailing the turbans of disrespectful ambassadors to their heads. While Stoker’s Count Dracula is supposed to be a descendant of Vlad, and not the prince himself, Stoker clearly makes the count resemble his fearsome ancestor. This historical allusion gives Dracula a semblance of truth, and, as the Author’s Note and the coda make clear, Stoker wants to suggest that the documents assembled in the novel are real.

Stoker also relies heavily on the conventions of Gothic fiction, a genre that was extremely popular in the early nineteenth century. Gothic fiction traditionally includes elements such as gloomy castles, sublime landscapes, and innocent maidens threatened by ineffable evil. Stoker modernizes this tradition in his novel, however, moving from the conventional setting of Dracula’s ruined castle into the bustle of modern England. As Stoker portrays the collision of two disparate worlds—the count’s ancient Transylvania and the protagonist’s modern London—he lays bare many of the anxieties that characterized his age: the repercussions of scientific advancement, the consequences of abandoning traditional beliefs, and the dangers of female sexuality. To this day, Dracula remains a fascinating study of popular attitudes toward sex, religion, and science at the end of the nineteenth century.

Bram Stoker is remembered solely as the author of Dracula. He was also a theatrical personality, barrister, and critic who lived at the hub of late Victorian social and artistic life. His friends belonged to this exclusive circle and were many prominent writers like Oscar Wilde, Walt Whitman, Mark Twain, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Whistler, Gladstone and Tennyson. His ability as a drama critic allowed Stoker to appreciate theater on his on terms. His vampire tale 'Dracula' supposedly was the result of indigestion from a dish of crabs which resulted in a restless night and nightmares.
Born into a Protestant middle class Dublin family in 1847, he was bedridden until the age of seven. During these years he listened and observed amusing himself with fantasy adventures. An indifferent student at Trinity college he followed his grandfather and father into the civil service at Dublin Castle, but was inexorably drawn to the theater as an actor and unpaid drama critic for the Dublin evening mail.
In 1876, he met the charismatic Henry Irving with whom he shared an almost love hate relationship, which according to a critic was "a kind of incestuous, necrophiliac, oral sadistic, all in all wrestling match." Stoker was drawn to Henry Irving and was so deeply influenced that it was almost a spell that Irving had entranced him in almost for a decade. Real life characters inspired his major characters. Abraham Van Helsing, repository of worldly wisdom, doctor, barrister, and psychic detective was appropriately named after Stoker's father and himself. Jonathan Harker was the alter ego i.e. an extension of his personality of the author cultivated for literary purposes, the passionless solicitor who heroically achieves manhood when he slits Dracula's throat with a great khukri knife. Mina Harkin was the epitome of Stoker's mother, brave and loyal. While the frivolous and fragile Lucy, yearning to marry all her suitors echoes Stoker's socially ambitious fiancé, Florence Balcombe. Stoker projected himself into all of Dracula's major characters: there is a little of him in each of them. It is his autobiographical novel.
Stoker joined Henry Irving at London’s Lyceum Theater for two decades of spectacular productions. The beautiful but dowry-less Florence Balcombe, first courted by Oscar Wilde, became his wife. Yet it was tragic that success eluded Bram Stoker as husband, father, novelist playwright, and entrepreneur. His books are The Duties of Clerks of Petty Sessions in Ireland (1879), Under the Sunset (1881), A Glimpse of America (1886), The Snake’s Pass (1890), The Watter’s Mou (1895), The Shoulders of Shasta (1895) Dracula (1897), Miss Belty (1898), The Mystery of the Sea.

Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work.

The Consequences of Modernity
Early in the novel, as Harker becomes uncomfortable with his lodgings and his host at Castle Dracula, he notes that “unless my senses deceive me, the old centuries had, and have, powers of their own which mere ‘modernity’ cannot kill.” Here, Harker voices one of the central concerns of the Victorian era. The end of the nineteenth century brought drastic developments that forced English society to question the systems of belief that had governed it for centuries. Darwin’s theory of evolution, for instance, called the validity of long-held sacred religious doctrines into question. Likewise, the Industrial Revolution brought profound economic and social change to the previously agrarian England.

Though Stoker begins his novel in a ruined castle—a traditional Gothic setting—he soon moves the action to Victorian London, where the advancements of modernity are largely responsible for the ease with which the count preys upon English society. When Lucy falls victim to Dracula’s spell, neither Mina nor Dr. Seawrd—both devotees of modern advancements—are equipped even to guess at the cause of Lucy’s predicament. Only Van Helsing, whose facility with modern medical techniques is tempered with open-mindedness about ancient legends and non-Western folk remedies, comes close to understanding Lucy’s affliction.

In Chapter XVII, when Van Helsing warns Seward that “to rid the earth of this terrible monster we must have all the knowledge and all the help which we can get,” he literally means all the knowledge. Van Helsing works not only to understand modern Western methods, but to incorporate the ancient and foreign schools of thought that the modern West dismisses. “It is the fault of our science,” he says, “that it wants to explain all; and if it explain not, then it says there is nothing to explain.” Here, Van Helsing points to the dire consequences of subscribing only to contemporary currents of thought. Without an understanding of history—indeed, without different understandings of history—the world is left terribly vulnerable when history inevitably repeats itself.

The Threat of Female Sexual Expression
Most critics agree that Dracula is, as much as anything else, a novel that indulges the Victorian male imagination, particularly regarding the topic of female sexuality. In Victorian England, women’s sexual behavior was dictated by society’s extremely rigid expectations. A Victorian woman effectively had only two options: she was either a virgin—a model of purity and innocence—or else she was a wife and mother. If she was neither of these, she was considered a whore, and thus of no consequence to society.

By the time Dracula lands in England and begins to work his evil magic on Lucy Westenra, we understand that the impending battle between good and evil will hinge upon female sexuality. Both Lucy and Mina are less like real people than two-dimensional embodiments of virtues that have, over the ages, been coded as female. Both women are chaste, pure, innocent of the world’s evils, and devoted to their men. But Dracula threatens to turn the two women into their opposites, into women noted for their voluptuousness—a word Stoker turns to again and again—and unapologetically open sexual desire.

Dracula succeeds in transforming Lucy, and once she becomes a raving vampire vixen, Van Helsing’s men see no other option than to destroy her, in order to return her to a purer, more socially respectable state. After Lucy’s transformation, the men keep a careful eye on Mina, worried they will lose yet another model of Victorian womanhood to the dark side. The men are so intensely invested in the women’s sexual behavior because they are afraid of associating with the socially scorned. In fact, the men fear for nothing less than their own safety. Late in the novel, Dracula mocks Van Helsing’s crew, saying, “Your girls that you all love are mine already; and through them you and others shall yet be mine.” Here, the count voices a male fantasy that has existed since Adam and Eve were turned out of Eden: namely, that women’s ungovernable desires leave men poised for a costly fall from grace.

The Promise of Christian Salvation
The folk legends and traditions Van Helsing draws upon suggest that the most effective weapons in combating supernatural evil are symbols of unearthly good. Indeed, in the fight against Dracula, these symbols of good take the form of the icons of Christian faith, such as the crucifix. The novel is so invested in the strength and power of these Christian symbols that it reads, at times, like a propagandistic Christian promise of salvation.

Dracula, practically as old as religion itself, stands as a satanic figure, most obviously in his appearance—pointed ears, fangs, and flaming eyes—but also in his consumption of blood. Dracula’s bloodthirstiness is a perversion of Christian ritual, as it extends his physical life but cuts him off from any form of spiritual existence. Those who fall under the count’s spell, including Lucy Westenra and the three “weird sisters,” find themselves cursed with physical life that is eternal but soulless. Stoker takes pains to emphasize the consequences of these women’s destruction.

Though they have preyed on helpless children and have sought to bring others into their awful brood, each of the women meets a death that conforms to the Christian promise of salvation. The undead Lucy, for instance, is transformed by her second death into a vision of “unequalled sweetness and purity,” and her soul is returned to her, as is a “holy calm” that “was to reign for ever.” Even the face of Dracula himself assumes “a look of peace, such as [Mina] never could have imagined might have rested there.” Stoker presents a particularly liberal vision of salvation in his implication that the saved need not necessarily be believers. In Dracula, all of the dead are granted the unparalleled peace of salvation—only the “Un-Dead” are barred from it.

Motifs are recurring structures, contrasts, or literary devices that can help to develop and inform the text’s major themes.

Blood functions in many ways in the novel. Its first mention, in Chapter III, comes when the count tells Harker that “blood is too precious a thing in these days of dishonorable peace; and the -glories of the great races are as a tale that is told.” The count proudly recounts his family history, relating blood to one’s ancestry—to the “great races” that have, in Dracula’s view, withered. The count foretells the coming of a war between lineages: between the East and the West, the ancient and the modern, and the evil and the good.

Later, the depictions of Dracula and his minions feeding on blood suggest the exchange of bodily fluids associated with sexual intercourse: Lucy is “drained” to the point of nearly passing out after the count penetrates her. The vampires’ drinking of blood echoes the Christian rite of Communion, but in a perverted sense. Rather than gain eternal spiritual life by consuming wine that has been blessed to symbolize Christ’s blood, Dracula drinks actual human blood in order to extend his physical—but quite soulless—life. The importance of blood in Christian mythology elevates the battle between Van Helsing’s warriors and the count to the significance of a holy war or crusade.

Science and Superstition
We notice the stamp of modernity almost immediately when the focus of the novel shifts to England. Dr. Seward records his diary on a phonograph, Mina Murray practices typewriting on a newfangled machine, and so on. Indeed, the whole of England seems willing to walk into a future of progress and advancement. While the peasants of Transylvania busily bless one another against the evil eye at their roadside shrines, Mr. Swales, the poor Englishman whom Lucy and Mina meet in the Whitby cemetery, has no patience for such unfounded superstitions as ghosts and monsters. The threat Dracula poses to London hinges, in large part, on the advance of modernity. Advances in science have caused the English to dismiss the reality of the very superstitions, such as Dracula, that seek to undo their society. Van Helsing bridges this divide: equipped with the unique knowledge of both the East and the West, he represents the best hope of understanding the incomprehensible and ridding the world of evil.

Christian Iconography
The icons of Christian, and particularly Catholic, worship appear throughout the novel with great frequency. In the early chapters, the peasants of Eastern Europe offer Jonathan Harker crucifixes to steel him against the malevolence that awaits him. Later, Van Helsing arrives armed with crosses and Communion wafers. The frequency with which Stoker returns to these images frames Van Helsing’s mission as an explicitly religious one. He is, as he says near the end of the novel, nothing less than a “minister of God’s own wish.”

Symbols are objects, characters, figures, or colors used to represent abstract ideas or concepts.

The Weird Sisters
The three beautiful vampires Harker encounters in Dracula’s castle are both his dream and his nightmare—indeed, they embody both the dream and the nightmare of the Victorian male imagination in general. The sisters represent what the Victorian ideal stipulates women should not be—voluptuous and sexually aggressive—thus making their beauty both a promise of sexual fulfillment and a curse. These women offer Harker more sexual gratification in two paragraphs than his fiancée Mina does during the course of the entire novel. However, this sexual proficiency threatens to undermine the foundations of a male-dominated society by compromising men’s ability to reason and maintain control. For this reason, the sexually aggressive women in the novel must be destroyed.

The Stake Driven Through Lucy’s Heart
Arthur Holmwood buries a stake deep in Lucy’s heart in order to kill the demon she has become and to return her to the state of purity and innocence he so values. The language with which Stoker describes this violent act is unmistakably sexual, and the stake is an unambiguous symbol for the penis. In this way, it is fitting that the blow comes from Lucy’s fiancé, Arthur Holmwood: Lucy is being punished not only for being a vampire, but also for being available to the vampire’s seduction—Dracula, we recall, only has the power to attack willing victims. When Holmwood slays the demonic Lucy, he returns her to the role of a legitimate, monogamous lover, which reinvests his fiancée with her initial Victorian virtue.

The Czarina Catherine
The Czarina Catherine is the name of the ship in which Dracula flees England and journeys back to his homeland. The name of ship is taken from the Russian empress who was notorious for her -promiscuity. This reference is particularly suggestive of the threat that hangs over Mina Harker’s head: should Van Helsing and his men fail, she will be transformed into the same creature of appetites as Lucy.


Jonathan Harker, a young English lawyer, travels to Castle Dracula in the Eastern European country of Transylvania to conclude a real estate transaction with a nobleman named Count Dracula. As Harker wends his way through the picturesque countryside, the local peasants warn him about his destination, giving him crucifixes and other charms against evil and uttering strange words that Harker later translates into “vampire.”

Frightened but no less determined, Harker meets the count’s carriage as planned. The journey to the castle is harrowing, and the carriage is nearly attacked by angry wolves along the way. Upon arriving at the crumbling old castle, Harker finds that the elderly Dracula is a well educated and hospitable gentleman. After only a few days, however, Harker realizes that he is effectively a prisoner in the castle.

The more Harker investigates the nature of his confinement, the more uneasy he becomes. He realizes that the count possesses supernatural powers and diabolical ambitions. One evening, Harker is nearly attacked by three beautiful and seductive female vampires, but the count staves them off, telling the vampires that Harker belongs to him. Fearing for his life, Harker attempts to escape from the castle by climbing down the walls.

Meanwhile, in England, Harker’s fiancée, Mina Murray, corresponds with her friend Lucy Westenra. Lucy has received marriage proposals from three men—Dr. John Seward, Arthur Holmwood, and an American named Quincey Morris. Though saddened by the fact that she must reject two of these suitors, Lucy accepts Holmwood’s proposal.

Mina visits Lucy at the seaside town of Whitby. A Russian ship is wrecked on the shore near the town with all its crew missing and its captain dead. The only sign of life aboard is a large dog that bounds ashore and disappears into the countryside; the only cargo is a set of fifty boxes of earth shipped from Castle Dracula. Not long after, Lucy suddenly begins sleepwalking. One night, Mina finds Lucy in the town cemetery and believes she sees a dark form with glowing red eyes bending over Lucy. Lucy becomes pale and ill, and she bears two tiny red marks at her throat, for which -neither Dr. Seward nor Mina can account. Unable to arrive at a satisfactory diagnosis, Dr. Seward sends for his old mentor, Professor Van Helsing.

Suffering from brain fever, Harker reappears in the city of Buda-Pest. Mina goes to join him. Van Helsing arrives in Whitby, and, after his initial examination of Lucy, orders that her chambers be covered with garlic—a traditional charm against vampires. For a time, this effort seems to stave off Lucy’s illness. She begins to recover, but her mother, unaware of the garlic’s power, unwittingly removes the odiferous plants from the room, leaving Lucy vulnerable to further attack.

Seward and Van Helsing spend several days trying to revive Lucy, performing four blood transfusions. Their efforts ultimately come to nothing. One night, the men momentarily let down their guard, and a wolf breaks into the Westenra house. The shock gives Lucy’s mother a fatal heart attack, and the wolf attacks Lucy, killing her.

After Lucy’s death, Van Helsing leads Holmwood, Seward, and Quincey Morris to her tomb. Van Helsing convinces the other men that Lucy belongs to the “Un-Dead”—in other words, she has been transformed into a vampire like Dracula. The men remain unconvinced until they see Lucy preying on a defenseless child, which convinces them that she must be destroyed. They agree to follow the ritual of vampire slaying to ensure that Lucy’s soul will return to eternal rest. While the undead Lucy sleeps, Holmwood plunges a stake through her heart. The men then cut off her head and stuff her mouth with garlic. After this deed is done, they pledge to destroy Dracula himself.

Now married, Mina and Jonathan return to England and join forces with the others. Mina helps Van Helsing collect the various diary and journal entries that Harker, Seward, and the others have written, attempting to piece together a narrative that will lead them to the count. Learning all they can of Dracula’s affairs, Van Helsing and his band track down the boxes of earth that the count uses as a sanctuary during the night from Dracula’s castle. Their efforts seem to be going well, but then one of Dr. Seward’s mental patients, Renfield, lets Dracula into the asylum where the others are staying, allowing the count to prey upon Mina.

As Mina begins the slow change into a vampire, the men sterilize the boxes of earth, forcing Dracula to flee to the safety of his native Transylvania. The men pursue the count, dividing their forces and tracking him across land and sea. Van Helsing takes Mina with him, and they cleanse Castle Dracula by killing the three female vampires and sealing the entrances with sacred objects. The others catch up with the count just as he is about to reach his castle, and Jonathan and Quincey use knives to destroy him.

Count Dracula -  A centuries-old vampire and Transylvanian nobleman, Count Dracula inhabits a crumbling castle in the Carpathian Mountains. Beneath a veneer of aristocratic charm, the count possesses a dark and evil soul. He can assume the form of an animal, control the weather, and he is stronger than twenty men. His powers are limited, however—for instance, he cannot enter a victim’s home unless invited, cannot cross water unless carried, and is rendered powerless by daylight.

Van Helsing -  A Dutch professor, described by his former pupil Dr. Seward as “a philosopher and metaphysician, and one of the most advanced scientists of his day.” Called upon to cure the ailing Lucy Westenra, Van Helsing’s contributions are essential in the fight against Dracula. Unlike his comrades, Van Helsing is not blinded by the limitations of Western medicine: he knows that he faces a force that cannot be treated with traditional science and reason. Knowledgeable about vampire folklore, Van Helsing becomes Dracula’s chief antagonist and the leader of the group that hunts Dracula down and destroys him.

Jonathan Harker -  A solicitor, or lawyer, whose firm sends him to Transylvania to conclude a real estate transaction with Dracula. Young and naïve, Harker quickly finds himself a prisoner in the castle and barely escapes with his life. He demonstrates a fierce curiosity to discover the true nature of his captor and a strong will to escape. Later, after becoming convinced that the count has moved to London, Harker emerges as a brave and fearless fighter.

Mina Murray -  Jonathan Harker’s fiancée. Mina is a practical young woman who works as a schoolmistress. Eventually victimized by Dracula herself, Mina is also the best friend of the count’s first victim in the novel, Lucy Westenra. Mina is in many ways the heroine of the novel, embodying purity, innocence, and Christian faith—virtues she maintains despite her suffering at the vampire’s hands. She is intelligent and resourceful, and her research leads Van Helsing’s men to Castle Dracula.

Lucy Westenra -  Mina’s best friend and an attractive, vivacious young woman. The first character in the novel to fall under Dracula’s spell, Lucy becomes a vampire, which compromises her much-praised chastity and virtue, and banishes her soul from the promise of eternal rest. Determined that such an end is unfit for an English lady of Lucy’s caliber, Van Helsing’s crew hunts down the demon she has become and kills it, following the rituals of vampire slaying, and thus restoring Lucy’s soul to her body and to heaven.

John Seward -  A talented young doctor, formerly Van Helsing’s pupil. Seward is the administrator of an insane asylum not far from Dracula’s English home. Throughout the novel, Seward conducts ambitious interviews with one of his patients, Renfield, in order to understand better the nature of life-consuming psychosis. Although Lucy turns down Seward’s marriage proposal, his love for her remains, and he dedicates himself to her care when she suddenly takes ill. After her death, he remains dedicated to fighting the count.

Arthur Holmwood -  Lucy’s fiancé and a friend of her other suitors. Arthur is the son of Lord Godalming and inherits that title upon his father’s death. In the course of his fight against Dracula’s dark powers, Arthur does whatever circumstances demand: he is the first to offer Lucy a blood transfusion, and he agrees to kill her demonic form.

Quincey Morris -  A plainspoken American from Texas, and another of Lucy’s suitors. Quincey proves himself a brave and good-hearted man, never begrudging Holmwood his success in winning Lucy’s hand. Quincey ultimately sacrifices his life in order to rid the world of Dracula’s influence.

Renfield  - A patient at Seward’s mental asylum. Variously a strong behemoth and a refined gentleman, Renfield indulges a habit of consuming living creatures—flies, spiders, birds, and so on—which he believes provide him with strength, vitality, and life force.

Mrs. Westenra -  Lucy’s mother. A brittle woman of failing health, Mrs Westenra inadvertently sabotages her daughter’s safety by interfering with Van Helsing’s folk remedies. She dies of shock when a wolf leaps through Lucy’s bedroom window.

Count Dracula
Late in the novel, when Dracula escapes from Van Helsing and company at his Piccadilly house, the count declares, “My revenge is just begun!” It is not immediately clear for what offense Dracula must obtain revenge, but the most convincing answer comes in the opening chapters, when Dracula relates the proud but disappointing history of his family. In Chapter III, he speaks of the “brave races who fought as the lion fights, for lordship.” The count notes the power his people once held, but laments the fact that the “warlike days are over.”

Although he retains his lordship in Transylvania, the world around him has changed and grown significantly—the “glories” of days gone by now belong to other families and other races. Indeed, when the count discusses “the crowded streets of your mighty London,” we sense that he lusts for power and conquest: “I long . . . to be in the midst of the whirl and rush of humanity, to share its life, its change, its death, and all that makes it what it is. But alas!” In this light, Dracula becomes not simply a creature of fathomless evil. Rather, he is a somewhat sympathetic and more human creation, determined to regain his family’s lost power and subject the world to his own dark, brutal vision.

Van Helsing
Old Professor Van Helsing is an experienced, competent man, but due to the unfortunately unskilled manner in which Stoker renders Van Helsing’s speech, he often comes across as somewhat bumbling. Nevertheless, Van Helsing emerges as a well-matched adversary to the count, and he is initially the only character who possesses a mind open enough to contemplate and address Dracula’s particular brand of evil.

A doctor, philosopher, and metaphysician, Van Helsing arrives on the scene versed not only in the modern methods of Western medicine, but with an unparalleled knowledge of superstitions and folk remedies. He straddles two distinct worlds, the old and the new: the first marked by fearful respect for tradition, the second by ever-progressing modernity. Unlike his former pupil, Dr. Seward, whose obsession with modern techniques blinds him to the real nature of Lucy’s sickness, Van Helsing not only diagnoses the young girl’s affliction correctly, but offers her the only opportunity for a cure.

Like many of the other characters, Van Helsing is relatively static, as he undergoes no great change or development throughout the course of the novel. Having helped rid the Earth of the count’s evil, he departs as he arrived: morally righteous and religiously committed. Van Helsing views his pursuit of Dracula with an air of grandiosity. He envisions his band as “ministers of God’s own wish,” and assures his comrades that “we go out as the old knights of the Cross to redeem more.” Hyperbole aside, Stoker portrays Van Helsing as the embodiment of unswerving good, the hero he recruits “to set the world free.”

Mina Murray
Mina Murray is the ultimate Victorian woman. Van Helsing’s praise of Mina testifies to the fact that she is indeed the embodiment of the virtues of the age. She is “one of God’s women, fashioned by His own hand to show us men and other women that there is a heaven where we can enter, and that its light can be here on earth. So true, so sweet, so noble. . . .” Mina stands as the model of domestic propriety, an assistant schoolmistress who dutifully studies newfangled machines like the typewriter so as to be useful to her husband. Unlike Lucy, she is not most noteworthy for her physical beauty, which spares Mina her friend’s fate of being transformed into a voluptuous she-devil.

Mina’s sexuality remains enigmatic throughout the whole of Dracula. Though she marries, she never gives voice to anything resembling a sexual desire or impulse, which enables her to retain her purity. Indeed, the entire second half of the novel concerns the issue of Mina’s purity. Stoker creates suspense about whether Mina, like Lucy, will be lost. Given that Dracula means to use women to access the men of England, Mina’s loss
could have terrifying repercussions.

We might expect that Mina, who sympathizes with the boldly progressive “New Women” of England, would be doomed to suffer Lucy’s fate as punishment for her progressiveness. But Stoker instead fashions Mina into a goddess of conservative male fantasy. Though resourceful and intelligent enough to conduct the research that leads Van Helsing’s crew to the count, Mina is far from a “New Woman” herself. Rather, she is a dutiful wife and mother, and her successes are always in the service of men. Mina’s moral perfection remains as stainless, in the end, as her forehead.

Lucy Westenra
In many ways, Lucy is much like her dear friend Mina. She is a paragon of virtue and innocence, qualities that draw not one but three suitors to her. Lucy differs from her friend in one crucial aspect, however—she is sexualized. Lucy’s physical beauty captivates each of her suitors, and she displays a comfort or playfulness about her desirability that Mina never feels. In an early letter to Mina, Lucy laments, “Why can’t they let a girl marry three men, or as many as want her, and save all this trouble?”

Although she chastises herself for this “heresy,” her statement indicates that she has desires that cannot be met. Stoker amplifies this faint whisper of Lucy’s insatiability to a monstrous volume when he describes the undead Lucy as a wanton creature of ravenous sexual appetite. In this demonic state, Lucy stands as a dangerous threat to men and their tenuous self-control, and therefore, she must be destroyed. Lucy’s death returns her to a more harmless state, fixing a look of purity on her face that assures men that the world and its women are exactly as they should be.



Chapter I
Dracula begins with the diary kept by Jonathan Harker—an English solicitor, or lawyer—as he makes his way from England to Eastern Europe. Embarking on his first professional assignment as a solicitor, Harker is traveling to the castle of Count Dracula, a Transylvanian nobleman. Harker hopes to conclude a real estate deal to sell Count Dracula a residence in London. Harker plans to take copious notes throughout his journey so that he can share the details of his adventures with his fiancée, Mina Murray.

In his first diary entry, on May 3, Harker describes the picturesque countryside of Eastern Europe and the exotic food he has tasted at the roadside inns. He notes several recipes that he plans to obtain for Mina. Harker arrives in the northern Romanian town of Bistritz and checks into a hotel Count Dracula has recommended to him. The innkeeper gives Harker a letter from the count. The letter welcomes Harker to the beautiful Carpathian Mountains and informs him that he should take the next day’s coach to the Borgo Pass, where a carriage will meet him to bring him the rest of the way to the castle.

As Harker prepares to leave the next morning, the innkeeper’s wife delivers an ominous warning. She reminds Harker that it is the eve of St. George’s Day, when “all the evil things in the world will have full sway.” She then puts a crucifix around his neck. Though he is a practicing Anglican who regards Catholic paraphernalia as somewhat idolatrous, Harker politely accepts the crucifix. He is somewhat disturbed by this exchange, however, and his uneasiness increases when a crowd of peasants gathers around the inn as he boards the coach. They mutter many “queer words” at Harker, which, with the help of his dictionary, he translates to mean “were-wolf” or “vampire.” As the coach departs, everyone in the crowd makes the sign of the cross in his direction, a gesture that a fellow passenger explains is meant to protect him from the “evil eye.”

The journey to the Borgo Pass takes Harker through incomparably beautiful country. At dusk, he passes by quaintly attired peasants kneeling in prayer at roadside shrines. As darkness falls, the other passengers become restless, urging the coachmen to quicken their speed. The driver whips the horses into a frenzy and the coach rockets along the mountain road. One by one, the passengers begin to offer Harker small gifts and tokens that he assumes are also meant to ward off the evil eye.

The coach soon arrives at the Borgo Pass, but there is no carriage waiting to ferry Harker to his final destination. Just as the driver offers to bring Harker back to the pass the next day, however, a small, horse-drawn carriage arrives. Harker boards the carriage and continues toward the castle. He has the impression that the carriage is covering the same ground over and over again, and he grows increasingly fearful as the ride progresses. Harker is spooked several times by the wild howling of wolves.

At one point, Harker looks outside the carriage and sees a flickering blue flame burning somewhere in the distance. The driver pulls over without explanation, inspects the flame, then returns to the carriage and continues on. Harker recounts several more stops to inspect similar flames and notes that at one point, when the driver gathers a few stones around one of the flames, he seems to be able to see the flame through the driver’s body. Eventually, Harker arrives, paralyzed by fear, at the dark and ruined castle.

Though Stoker wrote Dracula well after the heyday of the Gothic novel—the period from approximately 1760 to 1820—the novel draws on many conventions of the genre, especially in these opening chapters. Conceived primarily as bloodcurdling tales of horror, Gothic novels tend to feature strong supernatural elements juxtaposed with familiar backdrops: dark and stormy nights, ruined castles riddled with secret passages, and forces of unlikely good pitted against those of unimaginable evil. Stoker echoes these conventions in this chapter, as the frantic superstitions of the Carpathian peasants, the cold and desolate mountain pass, and Harker’s disorienting and threatening ride to Dracula’s castle combine to create a mood of doom and dread.

As contemporary readers, we may find the setting vaguely reminiscent of Halloween, but Stoker’s descriptions in fact reveal a great deal about nineteenth-century British stereotypes of Eastern Europe. As Harker approaches Dracula’s castle, he notes that his trip has been “so strange and uncanny that a dreadful fear came upon [him].” Harker’s sense of dread illustrates his inability to comprehend the superstitions of the Carpathian peasants.

Indeed, as an Englishman who “visits the British Museum” in an attempt to understand the lands and customs of Transylvania, Harker emerges as a model of Victorian reason, a clear product of turn-of-the-century England. Harker’s education, as well as his Western sense of progress and propriety, disables him from making sense of such rustic traditions as “the evil eye.” To a man of Harker’s position and education, the strange sights he witnesses en route to the castle strike him as rare curiosities or dreams. He already begins doubting the reality of his experience: “I think I must have fallen asleep and kept dreaming. . . .” Harker’s inability to accept what is unknown, irrational, and unprovable is echoed by his English and American compatriots later in the novel. Harker’s experience suggests that the foundations of Western civilization—reason, scientific advancement, and economic domination—are threatened by the alternative knowledge that they presume to have surpassed. Western empirical knowledge is vulnerable because it has summarily dismissed foreign ways of thinking and, in doing so, has failed to recognize the power of such alternative modes of thought.

Harker’s description of his ascent to the castle as “uncanny” foreshadows the psychological horror of the novel. In 1919, Sigmund Freud published an essay called “The Uncanny,” in which he analyzed the implications of feelings and sensations that arouse “dread and horror.” Freud concludes that uncanny experiences can arise at two times. First, they can arise when primitive, supposedly disproved beliefs suddenly seem to be confirmed or validated once again. Second, the uncanny can arise when repressed infantile complexes are revived. Most academic criticism of Dracula relies heavily on such psychoanalytic theory and argues that the novel can be seen as a case study of repressed instincts coming to the surface. Indeed, such a reading seems inevitable if one considers Freud’s model of psychosexual development, which links the first stage of this development—the oral stage—with the death instinct, the urge to destroy what is living. The vampire, bringing about death with his mouth, serves as a fitting embodiment of these abstract psychological concepts, and allows Stoker to investigate Victorian sexuality and repression.

Chapters II–IV
Summary: Chapter II
Jonathan Harker stands outside Dracula’s remarkable castle, wondering what sort of adventure he has gotten himself into. After a long wait, the count appears and welcomes Harker. Clad in black, he is a tall old man, who is clean-shaven aside from a long, white moustache. When the two shake hands, Harker is impressed by the strength of Dracula’s grip, but notes that the ice-cold hand is more like that of a dead man than a living one. Still, the count’s greeting is so warm that the Englishman’s fears vanish. Harker enters and takes his dinner before a roaring fire. As the two converse, Harker notices what calls Dracula’s “marked physiognomy”: the count has pointed ears, exceptionally pale skin, and extremely sharp teeth. Harker’s nervousness and fears return.

The next day, Harker wakes to find a note from Dracula, excusing himself for the day. Left to himself, Harker enjoys a hearty meal and, encountering no servants in the castle, explores his bedroom and the unlocked room adjacent to it. He sees expensive furniture, rich tapestries and fabrics, and a library filled with reading material in English—but notes that there are no mirrors to be found anywhere.

That evening, Dracula joins Harker for conversation in the library, as he is eager to learn inflections of English speech before moving to his new estate. The men discuss the pervasiveness of evil spirits in Transylvania. Harker describes the house that the count has purchased: it is an old mansion called Carfax, quite isolated, with only a lunatic asylum and an old chapel nearby. Dracula draws out the conversation long into the night, but abruptly leaves his guest at daybreak. The count’s strange behavior increases Harker’s sense of uneasiness.

The next day, Dracula interrupts Harker shaving. Harker is startled and accidentally cuts himself. Glancing at his shaving mirror, he notices that the count has no reflection. Harker is also startled by Dracula’s reaction to the sight of his blood: the count lunges for his guest’s throat, drawing back only after touching the string of beads that holds Harker’s crucifix. After warning Harker against cutting himself in this country, Dracula throws the shaving mirror out a window. Left alone, Harker eats breakfast, noting that he has never seen his host eat or drink. His suspicions aroused, he once again goes exploring, only to discover one locked door after another. Harker realizes he is a prisoner in the count’s castle.

Summary: Chapter III
That night, Harker questions his host about the history of Transylvania. Dracula speaks enthusiastically of the country’s people and battles, and he boasts of the glories of his family name. Over the course of the next several days, the count, in turn, grills Harker about matters of English life and law. He tells Harker to write letters to his fiancée and employer, telling them that he will extend his stay in Transylvania by a month. Feeling obliged to his firm and overpowered by the count, Harker agrees. Preparing to take his leave for the evening, Dracula warns his guest never to fall asleep anywhere in the castle other than his own room. Harker hangs his crucifix above his bed and, satisfied that the count has departed, sets out to explore the castle. Peering out a window, Harker observes Dracula crawling down the sheer face of the castle. He wonders what kind of creature the count is and fears that there will be no escape.

One evening soon thereafter, Harker forces a locked room open and falls asleep, not heeding the count’s warning. Harker is visited—whether in a dream or not, he cannot say—by three beautiful women with inhumanly red lips and sharp teeth. The women approach him, filling him with a “wicked, burning desire.” Just as one of the voluptuous women bends and places her lips against his neck, Dracula sweeps in, ordering the women to leave Harker alone. “When I am done with him you shall kiss him at your will,” the count tells them. To appease the disappointed trio, Dracula offers them a bag containing a small, “half-smothered” child. The terrible women seem to fade out of the room as Harker drifts into unconsciousness.

Summary: Chapter IV
Harker wakes up in his own bed, unsure whether the previous night’s experience was a dream or reality. Several days later, Dracula asks Harker write three letters to his fiancée and employer, and to date them June 12, 19, and 29, even though it is currently only May 19. The count instructs Harker to write that he has left the castle and is safely on his way home.

Meanwhile, a party of Gypsies has come to the castle, and Harker, hoping for a chance to escape, resolves to ask them to send a letter to Mina. Harker passes his secret correspondence to a Gypsy through the bars of his window. Later that evening, Dracula appears with the letter in hand, declaring that it is a vile outrage upon his friendship and hospitality, and burns it.

Weeks pass. It is now mid-June, and Harker remains a prisoner. More Gypsies arrive at the castle, and Harker sees them unloading large wooden boxes from a wagon. One day, having discovered that several articles of his clothing have disappeared for some “new scheme of villainy,” Harker witnesses the count slithering down the castle wall wearing Harker’s suit. Dracula carries a bundle much like the one earlier devoured by the three terrible women, which convinces Harker that his host is using the disguise to commit unspeakable deeds.

Later that day, a distraught woman appears at the castle gate, wailing for her child. A pack of wolves emerges from the courtyard and devours her. Desperate, Harker resolves to scale a portion of the castle wall in order to reach Dracula’s room during the day. He manages the feat and finds the count’s room empty except for a heap of gold. Discovering a dark, winding stairway, Harker follows it and encounters fifty boxes of earth in a tunnel-like passage. Harker opens several of the boxes and discovers the count in one of them, either dead or asleep. Terrified, Harker flees back to his room.

On June 29, Dracula promises Harker that he can leave the next day, but Harker requests to leave immediately. Though his host agrees and opens the front door, Harker’s departure is impeded by a waiting pack of wolves. Later, overhearing the count say, “To-night is mine. To-morrow night is yours!” Harker opens his bedroom door to find the three voluptuous women. He returns to his room and prays for his safety.

In the morning, Harker wakes early and climbs down to the count’s room again. Dracula is asleep as before, but looks younger and sleeker, and Harker notices blood trickling down from the corners of his mouth. Harker takes up a shovel, meaning to kill the vampire, but the blow glances harmlessly off the count’s forehead. Harker resolves to take some of Dracula’s gold and attempt to escape by descending the castle wall. His entry ends with a desperate, “Good-bye, all! Mina!”

Analysis: Chapters II–IV
The Author’s Note with which Dracula begins reflects a popular conceit in eighteenth-century fiction. Rather than constructing a narrative from the perspective of an omniscient third-person narrator, Stoker presents the story through transcribed journals. In effect, the novel masquerades as a real diary. Were the story told as a first-person reflection, we would be sure of the fate of the protagonist: because he is telling his tale, he must have lived through it. However, because the author of the diary writes directly as events happen, he may be tragically unaware of the danger of his surroundings. Harker has no time to reflect on his experiences and no way of knowing if he is placing himself in danger.

This real-time technique is popular within the horror genre: since the narrator has no way of knowing how the story will end, neither does the audience. The 1999 film The Blair Witch Project provides an excellent example of this conceit in recent popular culture. The film purports to be the exact contents of several film reels found in a supposedly haunted Maryland forest, shortly after a documentary film team vanished there while attempting to record supernatural activity. Watching the film, we experience what the documentary filmmakers supposedly experienced, in real time, to terrifying effect.

Because contemporary readers are so familiar with the vampire legend—whether in the form of The Lost Boys, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Salem’s Lot, or countless other incarnations—it is difficult to appreciate the magnitude of shock and dread that Stoker’s contemporaries felt upon reading his novel. For us, the suspense more likely comes from watching the characters piece together the count’s puzzle.

Chapter III contains one of the most discussed scenes in the novel. Drifting in and out of consciousness, Harker is visited by the three female vampires, who dance seductively before the angry count drives them away. The women’s appearance in the room where Harker is sleeping is undeniably sexual, as the Englishman’s characteristically staid language becomes suddenly ornate. Harker notes “the ruby of their voluptuous lips” and feels “a wicked, burning desire that they would kiss me.” As he stretches beneath the advancing women “in an agony of delightful anticipation,” his position suggests, not at all subtly, an act of oral sex:
The fair girl . . . bent over me till I could feel the movement of her breath upon me. . . . The girl went on her knees, and bent over me, simply gloating. There was a deliberate voluptuousness which was both thrilling and repulsive, and as she arched her neck she actually licked her lips like an animal. . . .

Harker is simultaneously confronting a vampire and another creature equally terrifying to Victorian England: an unabashedly sexual woman. The women’s voluptuousness puts them at odds with the two English heroines, Lucy Westenra and Mina Murray, whom we see later in the novel. The fact that the vampire women prey on a defenseless child perverts any notion of maternity, further distinguishing them from their Victorian counterparts. These “weird sisters,” as Van Helsing later calls them, stand as a reminder of what is perhaps Dracula’s greatest threat to society: the transformation of prim, proper, and essentially sexless English ladies into uncontrollable, lustful animals.

Harker spends a lot of time wondering whether this vision of repulsion and delight is real. He is unsure whether the women actually bend closer and closer to him, or if he merely dreams of their approach. If the women are real, they threaten to drink Harker’s blood, fortifying themselves by depleting his strength. If they are merely part of a fantastic dream , as Harker suspects, they nonetheless threaten to drain him of another vital fluid—semen. Critic C.F. Bentley believes that the passage in which Harker lies “in -languorous ecstasy and wait[s]—wait[s] with beating heart” suggests a nocturnal emission. Either way, Harker stands to be drained of a vital fluid, which to the Victorian male imagination represents an overturning of the male-dominated social structure.

Chapters V–VII
Summary: Chapter V
Chapter V consists of several letters and a diary entry. In England, Mina Murray and her friend, Lucy Westenra, exchange letters about their respective romances. Mina is an assistant schoolmistress whose desire to be useful to her future husband has led her to study shorthand and typewriting. She happily reports that her fiancé, Jonathan Harker, has written that he is on his way home. Lucy replies with tales of her own marriage prospects. She has entertained proposals from several men, including Dr. John Seward—the director of a lunatic asylum in London—and a rich American named Quincey Morris. Her heart, however, belongs to a gentleman named Arhtur Holmwood, whose proposal she has accepted.

The women’s correspondence is followed by a diary entry, on phonograph, by Dr. Seward. The doctor admits his unhappiness at Lucy’s rebuff, but occupies himself with an interesting new patient, a man named Renfield. Following this entry is a congratulatory letter from Quincey Morris to Arthur Holmwood.

Summary: Chapter VI
In her journal, Mina describes her visit with Lucy in the picturesque town of Whitby, on the northeast coast of England, and the ruined abbey there that is reputed to be haunted. Mr. Swales, an elderly resident who befriends the two girls and tells them stories about the town, scoffs at such legends. Mr. Swales asserts that most of the graves in the Whitby churchyard are empty, as their supposed occupants were lost at sea. After Swales departs, Mina listens to Lucy’s wedding plans and notes sadly that she has not heard from Jonathan for a month.

John Seward continues to report the curious case of Renfield in his diary. The patient has the curious habit of consuming living creatures. He uses sugar to trap flies, uses flies to trap spiders, and uses spiders to trap sparrows. He delights as one creature consumes another and believes that he himself draws strength by eating these creatures. Seward classifies Renfield as a “zoöphagous”—or life-eating—maniac who desires to “absorb as many lives as he can.”

Meanwhile, Mina expresses anxiety over her missing fiancé and over Lucy, who has begun to sleepwalk during the night. Although she seems healthy, Lucy exhibits an “odd concentration” that Mina does not understand. While out walking one day, Mina encounters Mr. Swales, who tells her that he senses his own death is likely not far off. He assures her that he is not afraid of dying and that death is “all that we can rightly depend on.” Mina and Mr. Swales see a ship drifting about offshore as if no one were at the helm. Guessing the vessel to be “Russian, by the look of her,” Mr. Swales assures Mina that they will surely hear more about it.

Summary: Chapter VII
Two newspaper clippings indicate that the ship Mina and Mr. Swales have seen, a vessel called the Demeter, later washes up on the shore at Whitby during a terrific storm. Its crew is nowhere to be found, while its captain, dead and clasping a crucifix, is discovered tied to the wheel. When the ship runs aground, a huge dog leaps from the hold and disappears into the countryside. The Demeter’s only cargo is a number of large wooden boxes, which are delivered to a Whitby solicitor.

Selections from the captain’s log of the Demeter follow, describing the ship’s voyage to England from the Russian port of Varna. The trip starts off well, but ten days into the voyage, a crewmember is found missing. Soon thereafter, another sailor spots a tall, thin man who is not like any of the crew. A search of the ship finds no stowaways, but every few days another sailor disappears. The crew becomes numb with fear, and the first mate begins to go mad. By the time the ship reaches the English coast, only four men remain to sail it. A great fog settles over them, preventing them from reaching harbor. After two more sailors vanish, the first mate goes below to find the intruder, only to rush out of the hold and throw himself into the sea. That night, in order to “baffle this fiend or monster,” the captain resolves to lash himself and his crucifix to the wheel and to stay with his ship to the end.

The narrative returns to Mina’s journal. Mina describes the night of the dreaded storm, her fears for Jonathan, and her concern for Lucy, who continues to sleepwalk. On the day of the sea captain’s funeral, Mina reports that Lucy is increasingly restless. One reason for Lucy’s agitation, Mina believes, is the recent death of Mr. Swales, who was found dead with a broken neck and a look of horror on his face.

Analysis: Chapters V–VII
In Gothic literature, the battle between well-defined forces of good and evil frequently dominates plots. In Dracula, that battle is largely waged over the fate of its female protagonists, Lucy Westenra and Mina Murray. Neither Mina nor Lucy is a particularly profound character—instead, both represent the Victorian ideal of female virtue. The two sets of women we have seen thus far in the novel stand in stark and obvious opposition to each other: Lucy and Mina represent purity and goodness, while the predatory sisters in Dracula’s castle represent corruption and evil. The count threatens womanly virtue, as the frighteningly voluptuous sisters testify to his ability to transform ladies into sex-crazed “devils of the Pit.”

Both Lucy and Mina face the threat of such transformation later in the novel. It is perhaps no surprise that, of the two, Lucy falls most disastrously under Dracula’s spell. Although Lucy’s letters pay homage to a certain male fantasy of domination—“My dear Mina, why are men so noble when we women are so little worthy of them?”—they also reveal that she is a sexualized being. Lucy is not only an object of desire who garners three marriage proposals in a single day, but is herself capable of desiring others. Lucy writes: “Why can’t they let a girl marry three men, or as many as want her, and save all this trouble?” Though Lucy immediately condemns her own words as “heresy,” her apology does not blot out her desire to experience life beyond the narrow confines of conventional morality.

Mina and Lucy’s correspondence contrasts sharply with the terror-filled journal entries that comprise the first four chapters. The London society that Mina, Lucy, and Dr. Seward inhabit is marked by order, reason, and progress: Mina is a schoolmistress who occupies herself with shorthand and typewriting lessons, while Seward, ever hopeful of diagnosing and curing his mentally ill patients, records his diary entries on a newfangled phonograph. The world that Dracula inhabits, in contrast, is ruled by the seemingly impossible or unexplainable: people neither age nor die, and men crawl down sheer walls. Dracula’s foreign presence threatens to overturn the whole of Western culture by subverting carefully constructed and policed morals and by allowing superstition to trump logic.

Lucy’s and Mina’s letters also introduce most of the main characters we see in the remainder of the novel. Lucy describes her three suitors, who are largely two-dimensional characters: Seward is a serious intellectual, Quincey Morris a slang-talking Texan, and Arthur Holmwood is a bland nobleman. Stoker is more -concerned with creating a band of men whose goodness is -unquestionable than with creating complex, multifaceted characters. This characterization sets up a framework for a clear-cut moral battle later in the novel.

The colorful character of Mr. Swales is noteworthy for two reasons. First, as an unapologetic skeptic, Swales stands in contrast to the Eastern European peasants, whose lives are ruled by superstitions. When Mina directs their conversation to local legends, Swales responds, “It be all fool-talk, lock, stock and barrel; that’s what it be, an’ nowt else.” Though uneducated, Swales stands as a product of Western society: he is too committed to reason to allow for the existence of “bans an’ wafts an’ boh-ghosts an’ barguests an’ bogles.” Swales is also noteworthy because he exemplifies Stoker’s dedication to capturing regional dialects. Van Helsing and many of the novel’s secondary characters speak with heavy accents that the author transcribes carefully. But some critics have pointed out that Stoker relies less on a precise ear than on stereotype to generate his characters’ dialogue. In Chapter V, for instance, Quincey’s proposal to Lucy Westenra reads like a parody of the language patterns of the American South: “Miss Lucy, I know I ain’t good enough to regulate the fixin’s of your little shoes, but . . . won’t you just hitch up alongside of me and let us go down the long road together, driving in double harness?”
Another significant character introduced in this section is Renfield, Dr. Seward’s “zoöphagous” maniac. Renfield’s consumption of flies, spiders, and sparrows is spurred by his belief that their lives are transferred into his own, providing him with strength and vitality. Renfield’s habit mirrors the count’s means of sustenance and confirms Stoker’s concern with the relationship between humans and beasts. From a psychoanalytic standpoint, the desire to consume is a primal urge to incorporate an object into one’s self and at the same time to destroy the object.

Largely because of the relatively recent publication of Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species (1859) and The Descent of Man (1871), Victorian society was anxious about such primal urges, seeking to keep them hidden beneath the veneers of science, art, and polite conversation. Darwin’s works questioned the centuries-old belief in creationism and toppled the previously unassailable hierarchy of man over beast. Humans were no longer the undisputed crown of creation—they were merely another link in a great chain. Although the last decades of the eighteenth and first decades of the nineteenth century were ripe with scientific advancements, they were also marked by a profound sense of uneasiness at having to abandon old and refuted, but nevertheless comfortable, modes of thought. Thus, because it confirms the animalistic and possibly savage nature of human beings, Renfield’s behavior would have caused no small shock among Stoker’s original readers. In Seward’s lunatic, we see how fine a line separates the beast from the drawing-room dandy.

Chapters VIII–IX
Summary: Chapter VIII
On August 10, Mina awakens to find Lucy’s bed empty. She goes outside to find Lucy and sees her in the churchyard, reclining on her favorite bench with a dark figure bending over her. As Mina approaches, the figure looks toward her, exposing a pale face and gleaming red eyes. By the time Mina reaches Lucy, however, the figure is gone. Lucy is apparently asleep but gasping for breath, so Mina wraps her in a shawl and leads her home. When Lucy wakes, Mina finds “two little red points like pin-pricks” on her friend’s neck, and decides that she must have accidentally pricked Lucy while helping her pin her shawl.

Lucy attempts to sleepwalk again the following two nights, but Mina thwarts Lucy’s efforts by locking the bedroom door. Later, the two women go for a walk together. As the sun sets, they see a dark figure in the graveyard, and Lucy comments on the red glint of his eyes. That night, Mina awakes to find Lucy sitting up in bed, pointing to the window. Mina looks outside and sees a large bat fluttering in the moonlight. When she turns around, she finds Lucy sleeping peacefully. During the next few days, Lucy grows pale and haggard, and the puncture wounds at her throat grow larger. Mina worries about the well-being of her friends: about Lucy’s failing health; about Lucy’s mother, who is too ill to bear any anxiety over Lucy’s state; and about the still-missing Jonathan Harker.

Mina’s journal entry is followed by a letter from a Whitby solicitor, ordering the boxes of earth from the Demeter to be delivered to the estate of Carfax, the house Dracula has purchased. We return to Mina’s diary, where she writes that Lucy’s health seems to be improving. News comes that Jonathan has appeared in a Hungarian hospital in Buda-Pest, suffering from brain fever. Mina prepares to leave England to be with Jonathan.

The narrative shifts to John Seward’s accounts of his patient Renfield, who has grown both violent and boastful, telling the doctor that “the Master is at hand.” One night, Renfield escapes and runs to Carfax, where Dr. Seward finds him pressing against the door of the mansion’s chapel, calling out to his master and promising obedience. The attendants return Renfield to his cell, where he begs his master to be patient.

Summary: Chapter IX
Mina writes from Buda-Pest, telling Lucy that Jonathan has changed greatly. He is “a wreck of himself” and remembers nothing of his time in Transylvania. The nun tending to Jonathan confides in Mina that he often raves deliriously about unspeakable things. Jonathan is still in possession of his diary and knows that the cause of his brain fever is recorded in it. He turns the diary over to Mina, making her promise that she will never mention what is written there unless some “solemn duty” requires it. The couple decides to marry immediately, and Mina seals the diary shut with wax, promising never to open it except in a dire emergency. Lucy sends Mina a letter of congratulation.

Meanwhile, Renfield has become more docile, repeatedly mumbling, “I can wait; I can wait.” A few days later, however, he escapes again and turns up once more at the door of the chapel at Carfax. When Dr. John Seward follows with his attendants, Renfield moves to attack, but grows calm at the sight of a great bat sweeping across the face of the moon.

Lucy begins a diary, in which she records bad dreams and recounts that something scratches at her window in the night. Concerned that Lucy has become pale and weak again, Arthur Holmwood writes to Dr. Seward, asking him to examine her. Seward does so, and reports that Lucy’s illness is beyond his experience. He sends for his former teacher, the celebrated Professor Van Helsing of Amsterdam, to examine the girl. Van Helsing arrives, observes Lucy, and then returns home briefly, asking to be kept abreast of Lucy’s condition by telegram. He tells Seward that he cannot ascertain the cause of Lucy’s illness, but concurs that much of her blood has been lost.

Renfield, meanwhile, resumes his habit of catching flies. However, when the doctor comes to see Renfield at sunset, he tosses out his flies, claiming that he is “sick of all that rubbish.” Lucy seems to show improvement for a few days, as Seward’s telegrams to Van Helsing relate. On September 6, however, there is a terrible change for the worse, and the doctor begs his old master to come immediately.

Analysis: Chapters VIII–IX
Dracula’s portrayal of women makes the novel seem like a fantasy of the Victorian male imagination. Women are primarily objects of delicate beauty who occasionally need to be rescued from danger—a task that, more than anything else, ends up bolstering the ego of their male saviors. Indeed, among the female characters in the novel, only Mina exercises any considerable strength or resourcefulness. The other women are primarily two-dimensional victims, pictures of perfection who are easy for Dracula to prey upon. Both Lucy and her mother are helplessly weak, and the latter is too delicate to bear even the suggestion that something is amiss with her daughter’s health.

Despite the profound political and social change that crossed England in the late nineteenth century, Stoker displays little interest in the advancement of women. Though Mina brightly—albeit briefly—considers one of the promises of feminism, the novel as a whole does not align itself with her cause. In reference to Lucy’s recent engagement, Mina writes,
Some of the ‘New Women’ writers will some day start an idea that men and women should be allowed to see each other asleep before proposing or accepting. But I suppose the New Woman won’t condescend in future to accept; she will do the proposing herself. And a nice job she will make of it, too!

While Mina herself approaches this kind of self-reliance—after all, it is her research that later leads Van Helsing’s band to the count’s castle—she never fully graduates into the new womanhood she describes here.

Given Stoker’s obsessive concern with female chastity and virtue, it is hard to imagine him granting his female characters the degree of sexual freedom necessary to become “New Women.” In fact, these chapters make the erotic nature of Dracula’s attacks even more obvious. Lucy’s wounds suggest a virgin’s first sexual encounter: she escapes into the night and is penetrated in a way that makes her bleed. After this initial encounter, Lucy hungers for more, attempting to steal out of the house and return to the graveyard.

Although Mina does not yet realize the nature of her friend’s sleepwalking excursions, she is filled with anxiety not only for Lucy’s health, but also for “her reputation in case the story should get wind.” Already viewed to some degree as a dangerous sexual adventurer, Lucy begins her transformation from a pure maiden into a figure of female wantonness. In this sense, Dracula threatens not merely a single girl, but also the entire moral order of the Victorian world and its ideals of sexual purity.

The epistolary form of the novel allows Stoker to maintain suspense throughout, not only keeping us in the dark, but also keeping his own characters guessing at the nature of their own predicaments. Indeed, at this point in the novel, we know much more than any one individual character does. Though we understand the implications of the shipment of earth that arrives at Carfax, Dr. Seward does not, which means he has no way to explain the increasingly drastic behavior of his patient, Renfield. Continuing with this technique and permitting the events to unfold in the present tense allows Stoker to achieve an impressive amount of suspense.

Chapters X–XI
Summary: Chapter X
Seward and Holmwood are concerned about Lucy’s suddenly failing health. When Van Helsing arrives to find Lucy terribly pale and unable to breathe easily, he transfuses Holmwood’s blood into Lucy. The doctors examine the punctures on Lucy’s neck. Though Seward is convinced that these wounds caused her severe loss of blood, he can offer no explanation for them. Van Helsing orders Seward to stay up with Lucy that night. The young doctor does so, and Lucy awakes feeling much restored.

The following night, however, the exhausted Seward falls asleep on his watch. The next morning, he and Van Helsing find Lucy pale and completely drained of strength, her gums shrunken and her lips white. Seward performs another transfusion, this time providing the blood himself. Attempting to sleep, Seward wakes to thoughts of the punctures on Lucy’s neck and the ragged appearance of their edges. That afternoon, a large package arrives for Van Helsing. It contains white garlic flowers, which Van Helsing orders Lucy to wear around her neck. Under the skeptical gaze of Seward, Van Helsing places garlic flowers all around the room and leaves Lucy, assuring Seward that she will now be able to sleep safely.

Summary: Chapter XI
In the morning, Van Helsing and Dr. Seward return to the Westenra residence. They are greeted by Lucy’s mother, who tells them that during the night she removed all the “horrible, strong-smelling flowers” from Lucy’s room and opened the windows to let in fresh air. After Mrs Westenra leaves the room, Van Helsing nearly crumbles. He and Seward rush to their patient to find her near death. Only another blood transfusion from Van Helsing resuscitates her. Van Helsing warns Mrs. Westenra never to remove anything from Lucy’s room again. For the next four days all is well, and Lucy reports that she feels much better.

A clipping from the Pall Mall Gazette reports that a large wolf escaped from the Zoological Gardens. The animal returns the next morning, covered in broken glass. Seward’s September 17 diary entry reports that Renfield attacks the young doctor in his office, and cuts the doctor’s wrist. Renfield proceeds to lick up the blood, and repeats, over and over, the phrase, “The blood is the life!”

Van Helsing telegrams Seward that day, advising him to spend the night with Lucy, but there is a delay and the message does not arrive until the following morning. On September 17, the night of the wolf’s escape, Lucy awakens, frightened by a flapping at the window and a howling outside. Mrs. Westenra is also scared by the noise and comes in and joins her daughter in bed. Suddenly, the window shatters and the head of a huge wolf appears. Terrified, Lucy’s mother tears the garlic wreath from her daughter’s neck and suffers a fatal heart attack. As Lucy loses consciousness, she sees the wolf draw his head back from the window. The four household maids enter, horrified by the sight of their dead mistress. The women go into the dining room to have a glass of wine, but the wine is drugged and they all pass out. Left defenseless and alone, Lucy hides her latest diary entry in her bodice, hoping that “they shall find it when they come to lay me out.”

Analysis: Chapters X–XI
Seward’s inability to diagnose or stem the progression of Lucy’s illness demonstrates the effectiveness of Dracula’s assault on Victorian social order and also exposes the limits of Western science and reason. Only legend and superstition—not reason and science—are effective in fighting Dracula. Even the many advancements of medical science prove useless. Maintaining an open mind and acknowledging the power of superstition, Van Helsing challenges the rigorous confines of Victorian thought. Although Van Helsing proves himself a competent modern surgeon by performing one blood transfusion after another, neither his methods nor his knowledge are restricted to the teachings of Western medicine. As he places garlic flowers around Lucy’s room, he steps outside the role of doctor and becomes more of a “philosopher and a metaphysician.” One of the main ironies of the novel is that the Londoners are made vulnerable to Dracula’s attacks precisely because they live in a world that encourages them to dismiss such supernatural predators as powerless in a civilized society such as Britain.

Though Lucy’s blood transfusions occur so frequently as to seem almost comical, they serve two important metaphorical functions. First, the transfusions confirm the moral purity of the men who submit to them for Lucy’s sake. If there were ever any doubt about the moral righteousness of Van Helsing and his compatriots, Stoker means to dispel it here. The blood itself is characterized as morally outstanding: preparing Holmwood for the first transfusion, Van Helsing points out that his patient “is so young and strong and of blood so pure that we need not defibrinate it.”

Second, the transfusions hint at a kind of sexual intimacy that societal constraints prevented Stoker from writing about openly in the 1890s. The transfer of the men’s blood into Lucy’s veins has physiological effects similar to those of sexual intercourse: afterward, the men feel spent, but the act brings a revitalized flush of color to Lucy’s cheek. More important, the characters themselves suggest a parallel between the two acts. Van Helsing not only says that it might be improper for Arthur to learn that other men have donated their blood to his fiancée, but also makes a direct connection between blood and sexuality: “No man knows, till he experiences it, what it is to feel his own life-blood drawn away into the veins of the woman he loves.”

Van Helsing’s comments could well be the words a popular romance novelist rather than a medical professional. However, the link Van Helsing makes is crucial to establishing the scope of Dracula’s threat. As Dracula repeatedly drains Lucy of her transfused blood, he comes to possess not only Lucy’s body, but also the bodies of all the men who have offered her their blood. In this way, the count begins to make good on his threat to the three weird sisters in Chapter III—if his power goes unchecked, all of these men will indeed “belong to [him].”

Chapters XII–XIV
Summary: Chapter XII
The narrative returns to Seward’s diary entries. Arriving at the Westenras’ the next day, Van Helsing and Seward find the scene of destruction: the maids unconscious on the dining room floor, Mrs Westenra dead, and Lucy once again at death’s door, with terrible, mangled wounds at her neck. Neither of the men can spare any more blood, but Lucy’s third suitor, Quincey Morris, appears and agrees to take part in a transfusion. Puzzled, Morris asks what has become of all the blood that has already been transferred to Lucy. Holmwood arrives. His father’s recent death, combined with the loss of Mrs. Westenra and Lucy’s failing health, nearly makes him despondent, but his presence helps rally his fiancée’s spirits.

Unaware of what has befallen Lucy, Mina writes a letter informing Lucy that she and Jonathan have married and have returned to England. Dr. Seward’s assistant writes to tell him that Renfield escaped again and attacked two men carrying boxes of earth from Carfax. Van Helsing surrounds his dying patient with garlic, but she pushes the flowers away as she sleeps. When Seward checks on Lucy during the night, he notices a bat hovering near her window. On the morning of September 20, the wounds on Lucy’s neck disappear. Sensing that Lucy is nearing the end of her life, the doctors awaken Holmwood and bring him to say good-bye. In a strangely seductive voice, Lucy begs Holmwood to kiss her, but Van Helsing pulls him away, instructing him to kiss Lucy only on the forehead. Holmwood complies with Van Helsing’s instructions, and Lucy dies, recovering in death the beauty that she lost during her long illness.

Summary: Chapter XIII
Seward’s diary continues, as he describes Lucy’s burial. Before the funeral, Van Helsing covers the coffin and body with garlic and places a crucifix in Lucy’s mouth. He tells a confused Seward that after the funeral, they must cut off Lucy’s head and take out her heart. The next day, however, Van Helsing discovers that someone has stolen the crucifix from the body and tells Seward that they will have to wait before doing anything more. The heartbroken Holmwood—referred to as Lord Godalming since his father’s death—turns to Seward for consolation. Looking at Lucy’s unnaturally lovely corpse, Holmwood cannot believe she is really dead. Van Helsing asks Holmwood for Lucy’s personal papers, hoping that they will provide some clue as to the cause of her death.

Meanwhile, Mina writes in her diary that in London she and Jonathan have seen a tall, fierce man with a black mustache and beard. Jonathan is convinced the man is Count Dracula. Jonathan becomes so upset that he slips into a deep sleep and remembers nothing when he wakes. Mina decides that, for the sake of her husband’s health, she must read his diary entries from his time in Transylvania.

That night, Mina receives a telegram informing her of Lucy’s death. This message is followed by an excerpt from a local paper, which reports that a number of children have been temporarily abducted in Hampstead Heath—the area where Lucy was buried—by a strange woman whom the children call the “Bloofer Lady.” When the children return home, they bear strange wounds on their necks.

Summary: Chapter XIV
Transcribing her husband’s journal, Mina is horrified by its contents. When Van Helsing visits Mina in order to discuss the events leading up to Lucy’s death, she is so impressed that she gives him Jonathan’s diary to read. Van Helsing reads the diary and returns to see the couple at breakfast the next day. Van Helsing’s belief in Jonathan’s observations restores the young man’s memories of his time in Transylvania. Realizing that Dracula must indeed have journeyed to England, Harker begins a new diary.

Seward reports that Renfield has returned to his habit of catching flies and spiders. Van Helsing visits the young doctor and points out the newspaper accounts of the “Bloofer Lady,” taking care to note that the abducted children always reappear with wounds on their necks similar to those that appeared on Lucy’s neck. Seward is skeptical of any connection, but his mentor urges him to believe in the possibility of the supernatural—of occurrences that cannot be explained by reason. Van Helsing suddenly concludes that it must be Lucy who is responsible for the marks on the children’s necks.

Analysis: Chapters XII–XIV
In this section, we witness Lucy’s transformation into a super-natural creature. The description of her death immediately alerts us that she has crossed into the realm of the supernatural: the wounds on her neck disappear and all of her “loveliness [comes] back to her in death.” The clippings about the threatening “Bloofer Lady” make it clear that Lucy has indeed become a vampire. Dracula’s attack has transformed a model of English chastity and purity into an openly sexual predator. When Holmwood visits Lucy for the last time, her physical appeal startles him: “she looked her best, with all the soft lines matching the angelic beauty of her eyes.” Equally startling is the newfound forwardness with which she demands sexual satisfaction: “Arthur! Oh, my love, I am so glad you have come! Kiss me!” Dracula’s power has indeed topped one former example of the Victorian female ideal.

Lucy’s body also becomes a metaphorical battleground between the forces of good and evil, between the forces for liberation and repression of female sexuality. While Dracula fights for control of Lucy, through whom he believes he can access many Englishmen, Van Helsing’s crew pumps her full of brave men’s blood, which they believe is the “best thing on this earth when a woman is in trouble.” This battle reflects the struggle of Victorian society to recognize and accept female sexuality. Victorian England prized women for their docility and domesticity, leaving them no room for open expression of sexual desire, even within the confines of marriage. Mina, though married, appears no less chaste than Lucy. This obsession with purity was pervasive: less than twenty years before the publication of Dracula, medical authorities still believed that a menstruating woman could spoil meat simply by touching it.

Van Helsing articulates these prejudices of the Victorian age as he praises Mina’s character, saying:
She is one of God’s women, fashioned by His own hand to show us men and other women that there is a heaven where we can enter, and that its light can be here on earth. So true, so sweet, so noble, so little an egoist—and that, let me tell you, is much in this age, so skeptical and selfish.”

Van Helsing’s statement implies that a woman who cannot manage this much truth, sweetness, nobility, and modesty has no place in Victorian society. Though Lucy possesses all of these in plenty, she also betrays a fatal flaw: her openness to sexual adventure. Recalling Van Helsing’s lesson in vampire lore, we know that Dracula is powerless to enter a home unless invited. The count thus would not have been able to access Lucy’s bedroom unless she invited him in. Though no character ever blames Lucy for her susceptibility to seduction—or even mentions it—we are aware that the young woman has fallen from grace. Victorian society firmly dictated that wantonness came at a high price, and in Dracula, Lucy pays dearly.

Chapters XV–XVIII
Summary: Chapter XV
Seward is appalled by Van Helsing’s suggestion that Lucy is in some way responsible for the rash of wounded children. However, due to his respect for the elder doctor, he accompanies Van Helsing on his investigation. The two men visit one of the wounded children and find that the marks on the child’s neck are identical to Lucy’s. That night, Seward and Van Helsing proceed to Lucy’s tomb, open the coffin, and find it empty. Seward suggests that a grave robber might have taken the corpse, but Van Helsing instructs him to keep watch at one side of the churchyard.

Near dawn, Seward witnesses a “white streak” moving between the trees. He and Van Helsing approach and find a child lying nearby, but Seward still refuses to believe that Lucy is responsible for any wrongdoing. Only after they return to Lucy’s tomb, finding her restored to her coffin and “radiantly beautiful,” does Seward feel the “horrid sense of the reality of things.” Van Helsing explains that Lucy belongs to the “Un-Dead” and insists that she must be decapitated, her mouth filled with garlic, and a stake driven through her heart. The two men meet with Arthur Holmwood and Quincey Morris, and Van Helsing explains what must be done. Holmwood is opposed to mutilating his fiancée’s corpse, but finally agrees to accompany them to the graveyard.

Summary: Chapter XVI
That night, the four men go to Lucy’s grave and find it empty. Van Helsing seals the door of the tomb with Communion wafers to prevent the vampire Lucy from reentering. The men then hide in wait. Eventually, a figure appears, dressed entirely in white and carrying a child. It is Lucy—or rather, a monster that looks like Lucy, with eyes “unclean and full of hell-fire” and a mouth stained with fresh blood. As the men surround her, she drops the child and calls out passionately to Holmwood, telling him to come to her. Holmwood begins to move, but Van Helsing leaps between the couple and brandishes a crucifix. Lucy recoils. Van Helsing quickly removes the Communion wafers, and the vampire slips through the door of her tomb.

Having witnessed this horror, Holmwood concurs that the necessary rites must be performed, and the following evening, he returns to hammer a stake through Lucy’s heart. As Lucy returns to a state of beauty, Van Helsing reassures Holmwood that he has saved Lucy’s soul from eternal darkness and has given her peace at last. Before leaving the tomb, Van Helsing makes plans to reunite with the men two nights later, so that they may discuss the “terrible task” before them.

Summary: Chapter XVII
At Van Helsing’s urging, Jonathan and Mina Harker come to stay with Seward at the asylum. Mina transcribes Seward’s diary with the typewriter and notes its account of Lucy’s death. Meanwhile, Seward reads the Harkers’ journals, realizing for the first time that Dracula may well be his next-door neighbor and that there may be a connection between the vampire’s proximity and Renfield’s behavior. The lunatic Renfield is calm at the moment, and Seward wonders what this tranquility indicates about Dracula’s whereabouts.

Meanwhile, Jonathan researches the boxes of earth that were shipped from Transylvania to England. He discovers that all fifty were delivered to the chapel at Carfax, but worries that some might have been moved elsewhere in recent weeks. Mina notes that Harker seems to have fully recovered from his ordeal in Transylvania. Holmwood and Morris arrive at the asylum, and, clearly, Holmwood is still terribly shaken by Lucy’s death.

Summary: Chapter XVIII
With Seward’s permission, Mina visits Renfield. The madman frantically swallows his collection of flies and spiders before she enters, but is extremely polite and seems rational in her presence. Van Helsing arrives at the asylum. Pleased to see that Seward’s diaries and letters have been typed and placed in order, he compliments Mina on her work but hopes that she will be spared a role in the business before them. The destruction of the vampire, he notes, is “no part for a woman.”

Van Helsing gathers the entire company and tells them the legend of the nosferatu, or “Un-Dead.” He says that such creatures are immortal and immensely strong; have command over various animals and the elements; and can vanish and change form at will. However, they also have certain weaknesses: they cannot survive without blood; cannot enter a house unless summoned; lose their power at daybreak, at which time they must seek shelter in the earth or a coffin; and are powerless before crucifixes, Communion wafers, and other holy objects. To kill Dracula, Van Helsing says they must first track down his fifty boxes of earth. He also resolves that Mina must not be burdened with or endangered by the details of their work. The men tell Mina that they “are men and are able to bear; but you must be our star and our hope.”

The entire company asks to see Renfield. They gather, and he makes a remarkably rational and passionate plea to be released at once in order to avoid terrible consequences. Fearing that this sudden display of sanity is but “another form or phase of his madness,” Seward denies Renfield’s request.

Analysis: Chapters XV–XVIII
In this section, Lucy’s transformation reaches its terrible end. Lucy is now a perversion of the two most sacred female virtues in Victorian England: maternalism and sexual purity. In Chapter XVII, Mina voices an expectation of Victorian culture when she writes, “We women have something of the mother in us that makes us rise above smaller matters when the mother-spirit is invoked.” Like the three women Harker meets in Dracula’s castle, the undead Lucy counters this “mother-spirit” by preying on innocent children. Rather than providing them with nourishment and protection, she stalks and feeds on them. The hideous transformation of this once beautiful woman into a demonic child-killer demonstrates the anxiety the Victorians felt about women whose sexual behavior challenged convention.

Van Helsing’s band of do-gooders feels this same anxiety about female sexuality as they face off against its hypersexualized opponent. As the men confront Lucy, whose purity has changed to “voluptuous wantonness,” we note the rather limited vocabulary Stoker uses to paint the scene. Lucy is described almost exclusively in terms of her sexuality: her face becomes “wreathed with a voluptuous smile,” and she advances with “outstretched arms and a wanton smile.” Lucy’s words to Holmwood echo her dying wish for his kiss: “Come to me, Arthur. . . . My arms are hungry for you. Come, and we can rest together. Come, my husband, come!” Her words are both a plea for and a promise of sexual satisfaction. Van Helsing and his crew’s response to Lucy’s words illustrate that the men are certainly aware of the words’ double meaning. The men are equally attracted to and horrified by the woman who would make such a bold proposition: “There was something diabolically sweet in her tones . . . which rang through the brains even of us who heard the words addressed to another. As for Arthur, he seemed under a spell; moving his hands from his face, he opened wide his arms.” Dracula’s power is indeed considerable, as it tempts even morally righteous men who are aware of the count’s diabolical plans.

Tempted as the men are by Lucy’s carnal embrace, they are equally eager to destroy her. Throughout the descriptions of Lucy’s voluptuousness runs a strong indication of the men’s desire to annihilate her. Dr. Seward writes, “[T]he remnant of my love passed into hate and loathing; had she then to be killed, I could have done it with savage delight.” Having paid for sexual curiosity with her eternal soul, Lucy must now pay an equally steep price for her sexual appetite.

The act of Lucy’s final destruction strongly resembles an act of sexual congress. Holmwood’s piercing of Lucy with his stake unmistakably suggests intercourse: her body “shook and quivered and twisted in wild contortions. . . . But Arthur never faltered . . . driving deeper and deeper the mercy-bearing stake.” Holmwood’s attack restores Lucy’s purity and soul, thus implying that Holmwood returns Lucy to the socially desirable state of monogamy and submission. As her fiancé, Holmwood cleanses the “carnal and unspiritual” from Lucy by consummating a sexual relationship that, without Dracula’s interference, would have not only been consecrated by God, but also would have legitimized Lucy’s troublesome sexual desires.

With Seward’s permission, Mina visits Renfield. The madman frantically swallows his collection of flies and spiders before she enters, but is extremely polite and seems rational in her presence. Van Helsing arrives at the asylum. Pleased to see that Seward’s diaries and letters have been typed and placed in order, he compliments Mina on her work but hopes that she will be spared a role in the business before them. The destruction of the vampire, he notes, is “no part for a woman.”

Van Helsing gathers the entire company and tells them the legend of the nosferatu, or “Un-Dead.” He says that such creatures are immortal and immensely strong; have command over various animals and the elements; and can vanish and change form at will. However, they also have certain weaknesses: they cannot survive without blood; cannot enter a house unless summoned; lose their power at daybreak, at which time they must seek shelter in the earth or a coffin; and are powerless before crucifixes, Communion wafers, and other holy objects. To kill Dracula, Van Helsing says they must first track down his fifty boxes of earth. He also resolves that Mina must not be burdened with or endangered by the details of their work. The men tell Mina that they “are men and are able to bear; but you must be our star and our hope.”

The entire company asks to see Renfield. They gather, and he makes a remarkably rational and passionate plea to be released at once in order to avoid terrible consequences. Fearing that this sudden display of sanity is but “another form or phase of his madness,” Seward denies Renfield’s request.

Analysis: Chapters XV–XVIII
In this section, Lucy’s transformation reaches its terrible end. Lucy is now a perversion of the two most sacred female virtues in Victorian England: maternalism and sexual purity. In Chapter XVII, Mina voices an expectation of Victorian culture when she writes, “We women have something of the mother in us that makes us rise above smaller matters when the mother-spirit is invoked.” Like the three women Harker meets in Dracula’s castle, the undead Lucy counters this “mother-spirit” by preying on innocent children. Rather than providing them with nourishment and protection, she stalks and feeds on them. The hideous transformation of this once beautiful woman into a demonic child-killer demonstrates the anxiety the Victorians felt about women whose sexual behavior challenged convention.

Van Helsing’s band of do-gooders feels this same anxiety about female sexuality as they face off against its hypersexualized opponent. As the men confront Lucy, whose purity has changed to “voluptuous wantonness,” we note the rather limited vocabulary Stoker uses to paint the scene. Lucy is described almost exclusively in terms of her sexuality: her face becomes “wreathed with a voluptuous smile,” and she advances with “outstretched arms and a wanton smile.” Lucy’s words to Holmwood echo her dying wish for his kiss: “Come to me, Arthur. . . . My arms are hungry for you. Come, and we can rest together. Come, my husband, come!” Her words are both a plea for and a promise of sexual satisfaction. Van Helsing and his crew’s response to Lucy’s words illustrate that the men are certainly aware of the words’ double meaning. The men are equally attracted to and horrified by the woman who would make such a bold proposition: “There was something diabolically sweet in her tones . . . which rang through the brains even of us who heard the words addressed to another. As for Arthur, he seemed under a spell; moving his hands from his face, he opened wide his arms.” Dracula’s power is indeed considerable, as it tempts even morally righteous men who are aware of the count’s diabolical plans.

Tempted as the men are by Lucy’s carnal embrace, they are equally eager to destroy her. Throughout the descriptions of Lucy’s voluptuousness runs a strong indication of the men’s desire to annihilate her. Dr. Seward writes, “[T]he remnant of my love passed into hate and loathing; had she then to be killed, I could have done it with savage delight.” Having paid for sexual curiosity with her eternal soul, Lucy must now pay an equally steep price for her sexual appetite.

The act of Lucy’s final destruction strongly resembles an act of sexual congress. Holmwood’s piercing of Lucy with his stake unmistakably suggests intercourse: her body “shook and quivered and twisted in wild contortions. . . . But Arthur never faltered . . . driving deeper and deeper the mercy-bearing stake.” Holmwood’s attack restores Lucy’s purity and soul, thus implying that Holmwood returns Lucy to the socially desirable state of monogamy and submission. As her fiancé, Holmwood cleanses the “carnal and unspiritual” from Lucy by consummating a sexual relationship that, without Dracula’s interference, would have not only been consecrated by God, but also would have legitimized Lucy’s troublesome sexual desires.

Mina records her mounting anxieties in her diary. One night in the asylum, she wakes up after hearing strange sounds from Renfield’s room and finds that her window is open even though she is certain she closed it. Mina stares out the window at a thin streak of white mist that slowly creeps across the yard toward the asylum, seeming to have a “sentience and a vitality of its own.” Mina sleeps fitfully and wakes to find a “pillar of cloud” in her room. She sees a “livid white face” bending over her, but assumes this figure is merely part of her dream.

Summary: Chapter XX
Harker’s investigations reveal that twelve of the remaining boxes of earth were deposited in two houses in London. He traces the remaining nine boxes to a house in Piccadilly, a London suburb. Harker’s companions worry over how they will manage to break into a house in such a highly populated area.

Seward chronicles rapid changes in Renfield’s behavior. The patient seems to have given up his interest in zoöphagy, but -reiterates his earlier desire, saying, “Life is all I want.” Seward questions Renfield, asking him how he accounts for the souls of the lives he plans to collect. Renfield becomes agitated at the inquiry, claiming that he has enough to worry about without thinking of souls. Seward concludes that his patient dreads the consequences of his life-gathering hobbies, which burden his soul. The following evening, the asylum attendants hear a scream and find Renfield lying in his cell, covered in blood.

Summary: Chapter XXI
Dying, Renfield admits to the other men that Dracula often visited him, promising him flies, spiders, and other living creatures from which to gain strength in return for Renfield’s obedience. Later, when Mina visited him, Renfield noted her paleness and realized that Dracula had been “taking the life out of her.” He grew angry, and when the count slipped into his room that night, Renfield attempted to seize him. The vampire’s eyes “burned” him, and he was flung violently across the room as Dracula slipped away into the asylum.

The four men rush upstairs to the Harkers’ room. Finding it locked, they break down the door on a terrible scene: Jonathan lies unconscious, Mina kneels on the edge of the bed, and the count stands over her as she drinks from a wound on his breast. Dracula turns on the intruders, his eyes flaming with “devilish passion,” but Van Helsing holds up a sacred Communion wafer and the count retreats. The moonlight fades, and the men light a gas lamp. All that is left of the count is a faint vapor escaping under the door. Morris chases it and sees a bat flying away from Carfax. Meanwhile, the men discover that the count has torn apart their study in an attempt to destroy their papers and diaries. Fortunately, they have kept duplicate copies in a safe.

Mina and Jonathan regain consciousness. Mina says that she awoke that night to find Jonathan unconscious beside her and Dracula stepping out of a mist. The count threatened to kill her husband if Mina made a sound. He drank blood from her throat, telling her that it was not the first time he had done so. Then, slicing his own chest open, he pressed her lips to the cut and forced her to drink his blood. Dracula mocked his pursuers and assured Mina that he would make her “flesh of my flesh.” Mina cries out, “God pity me! Look down on a poor soul in worse than mortal peril!”

Analysis: Chapters XIX–XXI
In these chapters, Mina stands ready as the count’s next victim. When she writes that “sleep begins to flirt with me,” we know that it is Dracula—not sleep—that is seducing her during the night. These suspicions are confirmed in Chapter XXI, when, in one of the novel’s strangest and most debated scenes, Van Helsing’s crew barges in upon Dracula’s feeding frenzy. The scene, which likely shocks us as much as it does the men, challenges gender conventions in several ways. First, neither of the men appears to be the aggressor. Rather than jumping to his wife’s defense, Harker sprawls on the bed, while Dracula, rather than feeding, is fed upon. Although the count forces her into the position, Mina is in effect the instigator as she actively sucks from the wound on Dracula’s chest. Here, the vampire presents a perverse mockery of the nursing mother: rather than giving life by offering milk, the count tries to ensure Mina’s death by feeding her his blood. Symbols commonly viewed as male become female, and vice versa: aggression becomes stupor, and milk is transformed into blood. The entire scene defies gender categories, which would be especially troubling to Victorian audiences who relied upon rigid categories to structure their lives. In a world governed by reason and order, Dracula can pose no greater threat than by disordering gender roles.

The feeding ritual in Harker’s room perverts not only the image of a mother nursing her child, but also the image of the Eucharist. The Christian ritual of Communion celebrates Christ’s sacrifice through the ingestion of symbolic flesh and blood. Participation in the Eucharist, some believe, confers immortal life after death. Dracula, in contrast, consumes real—not symbolic—blood. Though the blood grants the count immortality, his soul is barred from achieving anything that resembles Christian grace. Renfield, who lives according to Dracula’s philosophy, goes so far as to discredit the notion of a soul. Indeed, according to Dr. Seward’s diary, the patient “dreads the consequence—the burden of a soul.” Much of Van Helsing’s arsenal against the count comes from Catholic symbolism, including the crucifix and holy Communion wafers. Given the rising religious skepticism in Victorian society—as Darwin’s theory of evolution complicated universal acceptance of religious dogma—Stoker’s novel advocates a return to the more superficial, symbolic comforts and protections of the church. Stoker suggests that a nation that ignores religion and devotes itself solely to scientific inquiry dooms itself to unimaginable spiritual dangers.

Chapters XXII–XXV
Summary: Chapter XXII
In his journal, Harker recounts the end of Renfield’s story: before escaping the asylum, the count pays one last visit to the lunatic, breaking his neck and killing him. Harker and his compatriots go to Carfax the next day and place a Communion wafer in each of Dracula’s boxes of earth, rendering them unfit for the vampire’s habitation. Before the men proceed to the count’s estate in Piccadilly, Van Helsing seals Mina Murray’s room with wafers. When he touches her forehead with a wafer, it burns her skin and leaves a bright red scar on her forehead. Mina breaks down in tears, calling herself “unclean.”

The men obtain keys to Dracula’s other houses around the city. Holmwood and Morris hurry off to sterilize the twelve boxes that are stored in London, while Harker and Van Helsing leave to do the same to the boxes in Piccadilly. Reaching Piccadilly, the men find only eight boxes—the ninth is missing. Mina sends a message that Dracula has left Carfax, and the men anticipate that he will soon arrive at Piccadilly in an attempt to protect his boxes. The men lie in wait, and Dracula arrives. As it is daytime, however, the count is largely powerless. Van Helsing’s crew attempts an ambush, but Dracula leaps out a window and escapes.

Despite Dracula’s taunts, Van Helsing believes that the count is probably frightened, knowing that he has only one box remaining as a safe resting place. Van Helsing hypnotizes Mina in an attempt to trace Dracula’s movements. Under the trance, Mina’s unholy connection to the count enables her spirit to be with him. Mina hears the telltale noises of sea travel, which indicates that the count has fled England by sea. Jonathan records his fears that Dracula may elude them, lying hidden for many years while Mina slowly transforms into a vampire.

Summary: Chapter XXIV
Van Helsing’s band discovers that the count has boarded a ship named the Czarina Catherine, which is bound for Varna, the same Russian port from which Dracula sailed three months before. Van Helsing delivers an impassioned speech in which he declares it necessary to defeat Dracula for the good of humankind. He claims that the group “pledged to set the world free.”

Van Helsing notes the effect that the “[b]aptism of blood” has had on Mina and insists that she should not be troubled with or further compromised by their hunt for the count. The men make plans to intercept Dracula in Varna, and Mina insists on accompanying them, saying that her telepathic connection to Dracula may aid their search. Van Helsing concedes, and Harker departs to make the necessary travel arrangements.

Summary: Chapter XXV
Before departing, Mina asks the group to pledge that they will, for the sake of her soul, destroy her if should she transform into a vampire. The men take a solemn vow to comply with Mina’s wishes. On October 12, they board the Orient Express and make their way to Varna, where Van Helsing arranges to board the Czarina Catherine immediately after its arrival in port.

As the days pass, Mina grows weaker. After more than a week of waiting in Varna, the band receives word that Dracula’s ship has bypassed Varna and docked in the port of Galatz instead. As they prepare to board a train to Galatz, Van Helsing suggests that Mina’s connection to Dracula may have enabled the count to learn of their ambush. Van Helsing insists that they not lose hope, however, -reasoning that the count is now confident that he has eluded them and will not expect any further pursuit.

Analysis: Chapters XXII–XXV
When the Communion wafer singes Mina’s forehead, the fight against Dracula’s evil takes on added meaning. The men decide that their efforts also represent a fight to restore a woman to her unpolluted, virtuous self. From the beginning of the novel, Mina has proven herself resourceful and dedicated, sticking by both Jonathan and Lucy through their illnesses and faithfully transcribing journal entries in hopes of revealing the path to Dracula. Nonetheless, Mina never truly emerges as a complex or particularly believable character. Stoker’s guiding principle in his characterization of Mina is not realism, but idealism. In Mina, Stoker means to create the model of Victorian female virtue. As contemporary readers, we are likely to find fault when Harker says, “Mina is sleeping now, calmly and sweetly like a little child. Her lips are curved and her face beams with happiness. Thank God, there are such moments still for her.” Harker’s words liken his wife to a helpless infant, whose greatest contribution to the world is merely a peaceful countenance.

The prejudices of the Victorian age partly account for Stoker’s reduction of his female characters to mere bundles of virtue. There is another reason for Mina’s two-dimensionality, however—one that is articulated by Dracula himself. Confronted by Van Helsing and his eager hunters, the count explains the planned course of his revenge, declaring, “Your girls that you all love are mine already; and through them you and others shall yet be mine.” This statement describes the full scope of the threat Dracula presents. Van Helsing and company are not fighting for Mina’s soul because they respect female purity in some abstract form, but because Dracula’s influence over English women gives him direct access to both the minds and bodies of English men.
This threat explains the violence that the men—and even Mina—feel is justified in protecting themselves from the count’s spell. Mina urges her comrades to kill her should she slip irretrievably into a demonic and soulless state. Mina’s words—“Think, dear, that there have been times when brave men have killed their wives and their womenkind, to keep them from falling into the hands of the enemy”—attempt to explain away a link between male supremacy and violence against women. Men are justified in killing women to preserve their sense of ownership and their conception of female virtue. With the promise of this power in hand, men can rest assured of the patriarchal order of their society and of their own future control.

These chapters, marked by Dracula’s flight across Europe, indicate a shift of power in the novel: the tables have turned on the count, leaving him on the defensive. The destruction of his resting places exposes Dracula’s greatest weakness, forcing him to flee back to Transylvania. This flight stands as an important though temporary victory, indicating that the count’s attempt to feed upon the English population has failed. For a time, it seems that Van Helsing’s band will capture Dracula quickly. However, his deceptive landing at Galatz enables him to elude his pursuers—a reminder that, despite his weaknesses, the count remains formidable.

Summary: Chapter XXVI
Seward writes a diary entry while on the train from Varna to Galatz. He notes that Mina’s trances reveal less and less, but are still of some value. Mina hears the sound of lapping water, so the band knows that Dracula remains somewhere close to water. The men hope to reach Galatz before the box is unloaded, but they are too late. The captain of the Czarina Catherine informs them that a businessman named Immanuel Hildesheim picked up the box and passed it on to a trader named Petrof Skinsky. Shortly thereafter, Skinsky’s body is found in a graveyard with his throat torn out.

After Mina investigates the possible routes that the count could take to return to his castle, the band splits up and spreads out. Mina and Van Helsing take a train; Holmwood and Harker hire a steamboat; and Seward and Morris travel across the countryside on horseback. Van Helsing hastens toward Dracula’s castle, hoping to purify the place before the count’s arrival.

During their journey up the river, Jonathan and Arthur hear of a large, double-crewed boat ahead of them and decide this vessel must be Dracula’s mode of transport. Seward and Morris rush on with their horses. Meanwhile, Mina records that she and Van Helsing have reached the town of Veresti, where they are forced to take a horse and carriage the rest of the way to the castle. Mina thus travels through the same beautiful country that her husband sees on his journey months before.

Summary: Chapter XXVII
Van Helsing pens a memorandum to Seward, writing that he and Mina have reached the Borgo Pass. As they climb the trail toward the castle, Van Helsing finds that he can no longer hypnotize Mina. That night, fearing for her safety, he encircles her with a ring of crumbled holy Communion wafers. The three female vampires who visit Harker months before reappear. They try to tempt Van Helsing and Mina to come with them and literally frighten the horses to death.

Van Helsing leaves Mina asleep within the circle of holy wafers and proceeds on foot, reaching the castle the next afternoon. He finds the tombs of the three female vampires and is nearly paralyzed by their beauty, but forces himself to perform the rituals necessary to destroy them. Van Helsing then finds a tomb “more lordly than all the rest . . . [and] nobly proportioned.” The tomb is inscribed with Dracula’s name, and the professor cleanses it with the Communion wafers. Finally, he seals the castle doors with wafers to forever deny the count entry.

Mina and Van Helsing leave the castle and travel east, hoping to meet the others. There is a heavy snowfall, and wolves howl all around them. At sunset they see a large cart on the road below them, driven by Gypsies and loaded with a box of earth. From a remote location, Mina and Van Helsing watch Seward, Morris, Harker, and Holmwood close in on the Gypsies. With the sun rapidly sinking, the men intercept the cart, and the Gypsies move to defend their cargo. Harker and Morris muster incredible strength and force their way onto the cart. Harker flings the box to the ground, and Morris is wounded, but together they manage to pry open the lid. Seward and Holmwood aim their rifles at the Gypsies.

From her vantage point, Mina sees Dracula’s hateful expression turn to a look of triumph. At that moment, however, Harker slashes through Dracula’s throat just as Morris plunges his knife into the count’s heart. Dracula dies, and as his body crumbles to dust, Mina notes in his face “a look of peace, such as I never could have imagined might have rested there.” Morris is fatally wounded, but before he dies he points out that the scar has vanished from Mina’s forehead.

A brief coda follows, written by Harker seven years later. He and Mina have a son named Quincey, and both Seward and Holmwood are happily married.

Analysis: Chapters XXVI–XXVII
Stoker reiterates the threat of rampant female sexuality by reintroducing the three vampire women who threaten to seduce Harker in the novel’s opening chapters. The women pose two distinct threats. First, they stand ready to convert Mina, sapping her of her virtue and transforming her into a soulless vixen. Second, the women threaten to undermine men’s reason and, by extension, the surety with which they rule the world. As Van Helsing faces the voluptuously beautiful vampires, he is nearly paralyzed with the desire to love and protect them: “She was so fair to look on, so radiantly beautiful, so exquisitely voluptuous, that the very instinct of man in me, which calls some of my sex to love and to protect one of hers, made my head whirl with new emotion.” Even the righteous and pious doctor is susceptible to the vampires’ diabolical temptation.

In these final chapters, we see a number of opposing forces meet for final battle. These oppositions include not merely a conflict between Victorian propriety and moral laxity, but also one between East and West, and one between Christian faith and godless magic. The Gypsies who escort Dracula’s casket to his castle represent the powerful and mysterious forces of the East, of a land ruled not by science and economics but by traditions and powerful superstitions. Determined to defend the vampire against these Western invaders, the Gypsies are part of a landscape that is dark, foreign, and nearly ungovernable to the English. Storms and wolves bedevil Mina and Van Helsing as they make their way to the count’s lair, and the professor loses his power to hypnotize Mina.

Despite the hostility of the landscape and its natives, the invasion is successful. Van Helsing is able to cleanse Dracula’s castle and kill the three vampire women, returning them to an eternal state of purity and innocence. Stoker creates considerable drama and suspense when the band finally catches up to the count in the novel’s final pages. With the terrifying sunset ominously approaching, the Englishmen’s success hinges on a matter of seconds. They race against time, emerging victorious only after great effort and mortal sacrifice.

As Dracula dies, Mina notices a look of peace steal over his face. This moment in the novel speaks to one of Stoker’s overarching ideas, that of Christian redemption. Though Dracula can be discussed endlessly as a novel of Victorian anxieties, it is also a novel of Christian propaganda. It strictly adheres to Christian doctrine, which offers eternal salvation for those who have cleansed themselves of evil. Worrying that her scar will bar her from receiving God’s grace, Mina prays, “I am unclean in His eyes, and shall be until He may deign to let me stand forth in His sight as one of those who have not incurred His wrath.” In this prayer, Mina voices the wish of each of the other members of the band, whose struggle has been one of good against evil in an orthodox Christian context.

The short coda, which describes how the documents have been arranged, mirrors the Author’s Note that opens the novel. It is designed to reinforce a feeling of authenticity, assuring us that the events we have read are a matter of documented historical fact rather than fiction. In this way, Stoker hopes to bridge the gap between the real and the fictional, the natural and the supernatural worlds.

Important Quotations Explained
1. The castle is on the very edge of a terrible precipice. A stone falling from the window would fall a thousand feet without touching anything! As far as the eye can reach is a sea of green tree tops, with occasionally a deep rift where there is a chasm. Here and there are silver threads where the rivers wind in deep gorges through the forests.
But I am not in heart to describe beauty, for when I had seen the view I explored further; doors, doors, doors everywhere, and all locked and bolted. In no place save from the windows in the castle walls is there an available exit.
The castle is a veritable prison, and I am a prisoner!

Taken from the end of Chapter II, this passage exemplifies the dark and ominous tone Stoker creates in the novel. The tone of Harker’s journal changes with amazing rapidity as his stay in Castle Dracula progresses. In the course of a single chapter, Harker feels stripped of the robes of honored houseguest and considers himself bound like a prisoner. Here, Stoker demonstrates his mastery of the conventions of the Gothic novel: evoking the ruined castle, the beautiful but overpowering landscape, and the mounting sense of dread. Though Stoker did not invent Dracula or vampire lore, he did more to solidify it in the imaginations of English-speaking audiences than any author has since. Passages such as this description have spawned countless imitators, and scores of horror films owe a debt to the simple but powerful repetition of Stoker’s “doors, doors, doors everywhere.”

2. I was afraid to raise my eyelids, but looked out and saw perfectly under the lashes. The girl went on her knees, and bent over me, simply gloating. There was a deliberate voluptuousness which was both thrilling and repulsive, and as she arched her neck, she actually licked her lips like an animal. . . . Lower and lower went her head as the lips went below the range of my mouth and chin and seemed about to fasten on my throat. . . . I closed my eyes in a languorous ecstasy and waited—waited with beating heart.

Things go from bad to worse rather quickly during Harker’s stay with the count. In this passage from Chapter III, three beautiful vampires visit the Englishman and come dangerously close to draining him of his blood before Dracula halts them, claiming that Harker belongs to him. This passage establishes the vital link between vampirism and sex that pervades the novel. These undead women are unlike any of the living women in the novel. Whereas Mina and Lucy are models of virtue and purity, these “weird sisters” are voluptuous, aggressive, and insatiable. The position that the vampire assumes over Harker’s body suggests a sexual act, and this display of female sexual aggression both attracts and repulses Harker. In a Victorian society that prizes and rewards female virginity and domesticity, the sexually adventurous vixen is bound to be the subject of fantasy. But because of these same rigid strictures of acceptable social behavior, she is also bound to be considered dangerous. Here, Stoker takes the fantasy of the dangerous whore to its most extreme manifestation, suggesting that Harker stands to lose not simply his reputation, but also his life.

3. You are a clever man, friend John; you reason well, and your wit is bold; but you are too prejudiced. . . . Ah, it is the fault of our science that it wants to explain all; and if it explain not, then it says there is nothing to explain. But yet we see around us every day the growth of new beliefs, which think themselves new; and which are yet but the old, which pretend to be young. . . .

Here, in Chapter XIV, an Helsing criticizes his protégé, Seward, for being too parochial in his attempts to diagnose Lucy. Van Helsing suggests that Seward is blinded by his own reason: if reason cannot explain a phenomenon, the young doctor tends to dismiss the phenomenon rather than question the limits of his own knowledge. Van Helsing encourages Seward to open his mind to experiences that may initially seem to counter Western methodologies. In doing so, he speaks to one of the novel’s primary concerns: the consequences of modernity. In Dracula, Stoker suggests that the English find themselves preyed upon precisely because their modern knowledge, instead of enlightening them, actually prevents them from identifying the true nature of their predator. Modernity—particularly the advancements of science—has blinded the English to the dangers from which their abandoned traditions and superstitions once guarded them. Van Helsing, the only character who prizes the knowledge of both the new and the old world, advocates a brand of knowledge that incorporates the teachings of both.

4. She still advanced, however, and with a languorous, voluptuous grace, said:—“Come to me, Arthur. Leave these others and come to me. My arms are hungry or you. Come, and we can rest together. Come, my husband, come!”
    There was something diabolically sweet in her tones—something of the tingling of glass when struck-which rang through the brains even of us who heard the words addressed to another. As for Arthur, he seemed under a spell; moving his hands from his face, he opened wide his arms.

In this passage from Chapter XVI, we see one of Dracula’s earlier threats made good. Earlier in the novel, the count warns his pursuers that he will defeat them by first seducing their wives and fiancées: “Your girls that you all love are mine already; and through them you and others shall yet be mine.” This threat becomes reality here, as Lucy, now a blood- and sex-starved vampire, does her best to lure her fiancé, Holmwood, into eternal damnation. Like the “weird sisters” who attempt to seduce harker, Lucy exudes sexual energy, and her words to Arthur ring out like a plea for and promise of sexual gratification. The promise proves more than Arthur can bear—“he seemed to move under a spell”—and threatens to have the same disastrous effect on the entire group, ringing through the minds “even of us who heard the words addressed to another.” Their collective weakness in fending off the sexual advances of such a temptress leaves the men vulnerable—ready to sacrifice their reason, their control, and even their lives. Given the possibility of such losses, which would overturn the world that these men dominate, it is little wonder that they choose to solve the problem by destroying its source—the monstrously oversexed woman.

5. Thus are we ministers of God’s own wish: that the world, and men for whom His Son die, will not be given over to monsters, whose very existence would defame Him. He has allowed us to redeem one soul already, and we go out as the old knights of the Cross to redeem more. Like them we shall travel toward sunrise; and like them, if we fall, we fall in good cause.

Here, in Chapter XXIV, Van Helsing summarizes the nature of their quest to Mina as they chase Dracula across Europe. To modern readers, the professor’s words sound like an exercise in hyperbole, as he draws very bold lines between good and evil. However, Stoker does, in fact, intend Dracula to be as much a cautionary moral tale as a novel of horror and suspense. Deeply informed by the anxieties of the Victorian age—the threat that scientific advancement posed to centuries of religious tradition, and the threat that broadening liberties for women posed to patriarchal society—Dracula makes bold distinctions between the socially acceptable and the socially unacceptable; between right and wrong; between holy and unholy. Here, as Van Helsing likens his mission to one of “the old knights of the Cross,” we should understand him not as a bombastic windbag, but as a product of genuine Victorian fear and righteousness.

themes  · The promise of Christian salvation; the consequences of modernity; the dangers of female sexual expression
motifs  · Blood; Christian iconography; science and superstition
symbols  · The “weird sisters”; the stake driven through Lucy’s heart; the Czarina Catherine
foreshadowing  · The initially unidentifiable wounds on Lucy’s neck foreshadow her fall to the dark side by confirming Dracula’s presence in England.
narrator  · Dracula is told primarily through a collection of journal entries, letters, and telegrams written or recorded by its main characters: Jonathan Harker, Mina Murray, Dr. John Seward, Lucy Westenra, and Dr. Van Helsing.
point of view  · Shifts among the first-person perspectives of several characters
tone  · Gothic, dark, melodramatic, righteous
tense  · Though some of the entries record the thoughts and observations of the characters in the present tense, most incidents in the novel are recounted in the past tense.

Study Questions & Essay Topics
Study Questions
1. How does Count Dracula pervert elements of Christian tradition? What is the significance of this perversion?

As a vampire, Dracula inverts one of the principal Catholic sacraments: holy Communion. Whereas Catholics believe that they are granted spiritual life by drinking the symbolic blood of Christ, Dracula prolongs and revitalizes his physical life by drinking the real blood of humans. While Christians consider flesh transient and secondary in importance to the eternal spirit, the soulless Dracula lives only for the flesh. The count’s devotee, Renfield, dismisses the notion of a soul with a fervency that, we can only assume, he learned from his master. “To hell with you and your souls!” he shouts at Dr. Seward, “Haven’t I got enough to worry, and pain, and distract me already, without thinking of souls?”

Renfield’s inability to deal with “the consequence—the burden of a soul” is important because it helps frame Stoker’s novel as a cautionary tale. Stoker lived in an age in which, due largely to advancements in science, people were equipped to question, if not dismiss outright, the religious doctrines that had formed the basis of moral and social order for centuries. In this sense, Dracula explores the anxieties of a society on the brink of moral collapse, suggesting that safety lies in the very religious traditions that modernity tempts society to abandon.

2. Discuss the role of sexuality in Dracula. What does the novel suggest about sexual behavior in Victorian England?

Stoker explicitly links vampirism and sexuality from the early chapters of the novel, when the three vampire beauties visit Harker in Dracula’s castle. Because the prejudices of his time barred him from writing frankly about intercourse, Stoker suggests graphic sexual acts through the predatory habits of his vampires. The means by which Dracula feeds, for instance, echo the mechanics of sex: he waits to be beckoned into his victim’s bedroom, then he pierces her body in a way that makes her bleed. In the mind of the typical Victorian male, this act has the same effect as a real sexual encounter—it transforms the woman from a repository of purity and innocence into an uncontrollably lascivious creature who inspires “wicked, burning desire” in men. We witness such a transformation in Lucy Westenra, who becomes a dangerous figure of sexual predation bent on destroying men with her wanton lust. Because of her immoral mission, the men realize that Lucy must be destroyed.

In this sense, Stoker’s novel betrays a deep-seated fear of women who go beyond the sexual boundaries Victorian society has proscribed for them. If women are not hopelessly innocent virgins, like Lucy before Dracula gets hold of her, or married, like Mina, they are whores who threaten to demolish men’s reason and, by extension, their power. The fact that such temptresses are destroyed without exception in Dracula testifies to the level of anxiety Victorian men felt regarding women’s sexuality.

3. Discuss Stoker’s decision to recount the story of Dracula through journal entries, letters, and newspaper clippings. What are the strengths and drawbacks of this approach?

The use of handwritten accounts of the principal characters, along with fictional newspaper clippings and telegrams, lends an air of authenticity to an otherwise fantastic story. Although this epistolary form makes the events of Dracula seem more real—or, in the very least, more intimate than they might have seemed if related by a single narrator—it does have several drawbacks. Though the different characters come from different social strata, and in some cases different countries, they nonetheless sound practically the same. The exceptions to this trend, such as Van Helsing and Morris, tend to speak with absurdly heavy and unbelievable accents. Although he proves less than talented in developing a symphony of strong, individual voices to relate his tale, Stoker manages to use the puzzle like structure of the novel to create considerable suspense. We constantly wonder if the characters will piece together the mystery that we ourselves already understand.

Suggested Essay Topics
1. Discuss the appearances Dracula makes throughout the novel. What does Stoker achieve by keeping his title character in the shadows for so much of the novel?
2. Discuss Van Helsing’s role as Dracula’s antagonist. Why is the old Dutch professor the most threatening adversary to the count?
3. Discuss the roles of Mina Harker and Lucy Westenra. How are the women similar? How are they different? Why, in your opinion, is Lucy the first to fall under Dracula’s spell?
4. Discuss Dracula in relation to modernity. What, for instance, are the novel’s attitudes toward scientific advancements?
5. What is the role of geography in the novel? How do Stoker’s choices of setting conform to the principles of Gothic fiction? How do they depart from these principles?


DRACULA           Bram Stoker
Dracula begins with the protagonist Jonathan Harker in the train to Vienna, Austria. He arrives at Klausenberg, stays at a hotel, and then a carriage takes him to the castle of Dracula in the morning. He arrives at Count Dracula's castle in the dead of the night. The castle is vast and ruined. The tall black windows have no rays of light piercing through them. The broken battlement shows a jagged line. At the beginning, the action moves to England. Then shifts to a lunatic asylum in England. It moves to a wandering ship containing only dead bodies. Afterwards, the action takes place in Hamburg where Jonathan Harker is found in a hysterical way. Then again the action moves to England in a country house, then shifts back to the lunatic asylum. It moves to a graveyard, where vampire Lucy is killed. It shifts to the asylum and then to a ship. Thus, the action completes a full circle when it comes to Transylvania, where Dracula is killed, near Count Dracula's castle.
Major Characters
Count Dracula
The persona, after whom the author named the book. He is suave and persuasive. He is a great orator and very knowledgeable about things ranging from places to politics. He was a tall almost ageless man who can turn himself into a mist, fog, dog or bat at his will. He is clean-shaven except for a long white mustache, clad in black from head to foot. He was a vampire with long, sharp canine teeth.
Jonathan Harker and Mina Harker
They are deeply in love with each other. They are extremely courageous and loyal. There trust and faith in each other is very touching.
Abraham Van Helsing
A learned professor extremely scientific in manner. He has an almost clinical way of killing the vampires. He is also extremely bold and courageous.
Dr. Seward
A young doctor in charge of a lunatic asylum. He is also of a scientific bend. He is in love with Lucy. He is very cool and confident. He is good-looking with a strong jaw and good forehead.
Minor Characters
Lucy Westenra
A young very beautiful girl who is very charming yet very frivolous. She can’t decide between her three suitors. She wants to marry all three. After Dracula’s attack on her, she becomes a vampire, sly and deadly.
Quincey P. Morris
A young American who is in love with Lucy. He looks very young and fresh. He has had many adventures. He is also very brave.
Arthur Holmwood
A young man who is also in love with Lucy. Lucy also loves him. He is slightly theatrical but brave.
The Protagonist is just not one person; in fact, they are Jonathan Harker, Arthur Holmwood, Abraham Van Helsing, Doctor Seward, Quincey P. Morris and Mina Harker. They stand for good and are out to erase the evil. They are brave and loyal. They are out to stamp out evil irrespective of their fate. They give chase to the vampire, plotting maneuvering to kill Count Dracula. These brave people stand together at all times, even at their peril.
The antagonist is Dracula. He has supernatural powers. He makes a formidable enemy who manages to outwit the protagonist each time. He can change into fog, mist, wolf, or dog at his own will. He is absolutely unscrupulous and wants to defile all the protagonist women. He makes Lucy a deadly vampire but she is not as dangerous as he is. He is mocking and beautiful and very dangerous.
There are two climaxes. When the protagonists corner Lucy, the Vampire and kill her by trapping her with garlic and crucifix. They cut off her head and put garlic into her mouth. Dracula is cornered in the end amidst the gypsies. A battle ensues. Jonathan rushes to the coffin along with Quincey who is fatally wounded. They open the box and both Jonathan’s and Quincey’s knives pierce into Dracula’s heart. Quincey dies and so does Dracula.
The outcome is good, as in both cases the protagonist is triumphant. Except for the death of Quincey, everything else is triumphant.



PLOT (Synopsis)
The plot of Dracula is a story of a vampire, Count Dracula, who lives in Transylvania. He calls Jonathan Harker on some pretext. Jonathan Harker is a lawyer - young, brave and enthusiastic. As he travels to Count Dracula's dark castle, he realizes, as he sees villagers scared faces and wolves barking, that something is amiss. As days and deadly nights pass, he realizes that he is in big trouble. There, in the castle, are three beautiful women beside Dracula, who Jonathan is fascinated with, but later he realizes that they are all as deadly as Dracula. He sees them feasting on young children, flitting like bats and lying in wait for him to feast on him. He somehow manages to escape delirious with fear and shock.
In the mean time, his fiancée Mina Murray, in her journal to her friend, Lucy, tells of her fear and trauma because of her missing fiancée. Her friend, Lucy, a beautiful and frivolous girl, cannot decide on who to marry amongst her three suitors: Arthur Holmwood, Quincey Morris or Doctor Seward. Doctor Seward, in the meantime, is fascinated by a strange case of a man named Renfield, who eats spiders and flies in his mental asylum.
Mina is overjoyed that her fiancée returns. She spends sometime with Lucy, who is engaged to Arthur. One night, Mina witnesses Lucy walking in her sleep and walking to an isolated area where she returns with blood on her nightdress. In the meantime, a strange ship approaches at the port in England. The ship is wrecked and nobody survives. In the logbook found in the ship there is a newspaper cutting with strange tale of a mysterious man in black, who kills everybody.
Van Helsing meets Mina Harker regarding Lucy. The two scars on Lucy's throat disturb him, and there is a loss of blood without any sign of hemorrhage. He is then given Jonathan's journal of the activities in Transylvania. Van Helsing believes Jonathan's story of Dracula. Everybody thinks Jonathan's strange tale is because of his fever, but not Professor Abraham Van Helsing, who is present to see an ailing Lucy. Van Helsing has heard of Dracula. He calls Mina who is now married to Jonathan and meets the couple. Lucy is going from bad to worse and the symptoms are suspiciously like a vampire. Arthur, Quincey, Seward and Van Helsing give her blood but it is not enough, so she dies. But she reappears as a vampire to prey on children. The band of Doctor Sword, Professor Van Helsing and the Harkers kill her by cutting off her head and putting garlic in her mouth.
The band is now pursuing Dracula. Dracula attacks Mina and devours on her blood. But she bravely tries to resist and help the band. They pursue Dracula to Transylvania and they kill Dracula by stabbing him in the heart. Quincey is fatally wounded in the battle and he dies.
Seven years later, the Harkers have a child, a boy who is born on the same day as Quincey Morris died. The rest are also married. They, however, cannot speak of the past happenings as they feel no one will believe them. They burn the journals and are happy their trauma has passed.
THEMES        Major Theme
This is almost like an epic poem. The theme in this case is of good versus evil. The evil has almost supernatural powers yet the good triumph over it. The good consists of ordinary men, god fearing and courageous. They are consistent in their effort to stamp out evil. In the end they triumph over evil even though the evil is very strong. This theme slowly and steadily gathers momentum until it becomes clearer in the end.

Minor Theme
The minor theme is of loyalty and bravery. All the protagonists are very loyal to the teachings of God. They are fiercely brave for they know in their triumph is God's triumph. The theme of bravery filters through the book as Jonathan Harker escape, Dracula's trap to Quincey Morris's death. Mina Harker is brave and loyal, though she knows that she is in the power of Dracula. Her willpower is immense. The theme of loyalty and bravery are akin to epic poems. Yet, in this case the protagonists are ordinary brave men, but the antagonist stands out almost like the devil.
The mood is very action oriented. It escalates between terror to triumph. Jonathan Harker is terrified when he realizes he is in the clutches of Dracula. Then there is triumph when he escapes and marries Mina. Then Lucy becomes a vampire and the horror begins to end in triumph on her death. The protagonists hunt Dracula and kill him.
Bram Stoker is remembered solely as the author of Dracula. He was also a theatrical personality, barrister, and critic who lived at the hub of late Victorian social and artistic life. His friends belonged to this exclusive circle and were many prominent writers like Oscar Wilde, Walt Whitman, Mark Twain, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Whistler, Gladstone and Tennyson. His ability as a drama critic allowed Stoker to appreciate theater on his on terms. His vampire tale 'Dracula' supposedly was the result of indigestion from a dish of crabs which resulted in a restless night and nightmares.
Born into a Protestant middle class Dublin family in 1847, he was bedridden until the age of seven. During these years he listened and observed amusing himself with fantasy adventures. An indifferent student at Trinity college he followed his grandfather and father into the civil service at Dublin Castle, but was inexorably drawn to the theater as an actor and unpaid drama critic for the Dublin evening mail.
In 1876, he met the charismatic Henry Irving with whom he shared an almost love hate relationship, which according to a critic was "a kind of incestuous, necrophiliac, oral sadistic, all in all wrestling match." Stoker was drawn to Henry Irving and was so deeply influenced that it was almost a spell that Irving had entranced him in almost for a decade. Real life characters inspired his major characters. Abraham Van Helsing, repository of worldly wisdom, doctor, barrister, and psychic detective was appropriately named after Stoker's father and himself. Jonathan Harker was the alter ego i.e. an extension of his personality of the author cultivated for literary purposes, the passionless solicitor who heroically achieves manhood when he slits Dracula's throat with a great khukri knife. Mina Harkin was the epitome of Stoker's mother, brave and loyal. While the frivolous and fragile Lucy, yearning to marry all her suitors echoes Stoker's socially ambitious fiancé, Florence Balcombe. Stoker projected himself into all of Dracula's major characters: there is a little of him in each of them. It is his autobiographical novel.
Stoker joined Henry Irving at London’s Lyceum Theater for two decades of spectacular productions. The beautiful but dowry-less Florence Balcombe, first courted by Oscar Wilde, became his wife. Yet it was tragic that success eluded Bram Stoker as husband, father, novelist playwright, and entrepreneur. His books are The Duties of Clerks of Petty Sessions in Ireland (1879), Under the Sunset (1881), A Glimpse of America (1886), The Snake’s Pass (1890), The Watter’s Mou (1895), The Shoulders of Shasta (1895) Dracula (1897), Miss Belty (1898), The Mystery of the Sea.


Chapter 1     Summary
Chapter 1 starts with the main persona, Jonathan Harker; a solicitor clerk making a journey to Transylvania at the behest of a client Count Dracula. Jonathan starts making entries in his journal on May 3. He leaves Munich and arrives at Vienna Budapest. He stops at Hotel Royale, where he has dinner but his night is restless as he has queer dreams. He starts out again in the morning boarding the train at Bistritz. As directed by the Count, he goes to Golden Krone Hotel, where Dracula gives him a letter.
On May 4, his next entry tells about the fear on the faces of his landlord and wife. They refuse to tell him much about Dracula and instead try to dissuade from going, telling him that it is the eve of St. George's Day, when all the evil things in the world have full sway. The Landlord's wife puts a rosary around on his neck. The Count's coach arrives for Jonathan.
On May 5, in the castle, the driver, the landlord and his wife, and a small crowd point two fingers at Jonathan and make the sign of the cross. Jonathan is later told that this is to ward him of evil. The driver and Jonathan arrive earlier than scheduled. The driver urges Jonathan to go back. Before Jonathan can react, a tall man with a long brown beard and a great black hat comes along. The other driver makes a sign of the cross and leaves in a hurry. The tall man drives his carriage away towards Dracula's castle. At about midnight a dog begins to howl followed by many others. The horses nervously strain and rear but the driver pacifies them almost magically. The howling sounds nearer and nearer and this time it is the baying of the wolves. Suddenly, Jonathan sees a faint flickering blue flame. The driver sees it and jumps down and disappears into the darkness. He reappears again, the flames seems to have disappeared. Again it appears but does not seem to illuminate anything. Once a strange visual effect happens, where the driver stands between the flame and Jonathan, but he doesn't obstruct Jonathan's view. The howling of the wolves continuously follows the carriage. The horses jump and rear in terror, but the driver is in full command. After some time, they finally stop in the courtyard of a vast ruined castle with tall black windows through which no light penetrates. Jonathan enters all this in his journal.
The book, Dracula, starts out with the main persona making entries in his journal giving a more personalized perspective of the happenings. Chapters I - IV, not only give an introduction of Dracula, but also have a kind of a rising action emphasized by terror, which seems to be gathering momentum with each of the four chapters. The sign of the cross, the rosary, St. George's Day, all seem to be pointing at some impending danger. This chapter is important, because not only does it have undercurrents of evil but also dwells on the main persona's feeling of uneasiness.
There is a brief mention of Mina, in which the author briefly introduces the character, Mina. She is obviously someone close to Jonathan. Later on, of course, one realizes that she is Jonathan's fiancée and later his wife.
There are references of Ordog (Satan), Bokol (Hell), Stregoira (witch), Vrolok and Vikoslak, which mean wolf and vampires. These are words spoken by the landlord and the crowd. They also emphasize on the foreboding of evil.
Jonathan describes the land and the geographical out lay of the places very well. This is similar to the characteristics between the author, Bram Stoker and Jonathan Harker. Both of them have got their knowledge from the library of the British Museum.
Jonathan feels a strange uneasiness, but nowhere does he have any suspicion that Count Dracula is a vampire. Through the Count's letter, the Count comes across as a gracious host in a very polite gentleman. But Jonathan Harker still has a very uneasy feeling of foreboding. But this may be because of the reaction of the people and the strange fear on their faces.
The howling of the wolves, the strange blue flame and the driver's strange mastery over the horses also add up to this eerie feeling. This is not dispelled by the castle's ruined book.
Chapter 1 dwells on the strange fear enveloping seemingly ordinary ambiance.
Chapter 2       Summary
Jonathan Harker continues his journal. On May 5, Jonathan Harker recalls that his first glance of the castle is very grim. A tall old man with a long white mustache, clad in black greets him in excellent English, but with a strange accent. His touch is as cold as ice. He is Count Dracula. Jonathan is relieved of all his fears by Count Dracula's warm greeting and the excellent food served on the table. What is very apparent in Dracula is his long sharp, white teeth. He seems to relish the howling of the wolves. Jonathan feels his fear coming back. On May 7, Jonathan notices that there are no servants and no mirrors. In the library, there were a vast number of English books. Dracula enters the room and in conversation with Jonathan he tells about Transylvania. They talk about business and the purchase of Dracula's estate in England. After Dracula leaves the room, Jonathan finds an atlas, in which in the map of England. There are little rings, marking Dracula's new estate in England, Exeter and Whitby.
On May 8, Jonathan talks about the strange fear he is experiencing. He tells how, when he was shaving, Dracula enters the room but his reflection is not visible in the mirror. That startles Jonathan and he cuts himself. As blood trickles down his chin, the Count looks at the blood almost like a demon and makes a grab at his throat, but the crucifix around Jonathan's neck thwarts him. Dracula says, "Take care, take care how you cut yourself. It is more dangerous than you think in this country." "And this is the wretched thing that has done the mischief. It is a foul bauble of man's vanity. Away with it!" Dracula then grabs the mirror and throws it out the window in anger and leaves. Jonathan realizes that the castle is a prison for him.
This chapter introduces the character of Count Dracula. The Count is a typical urbane gentleman based in Europe. His English is excellent though with a slight accent. His general knowledge is immense and he is an excellent conversationalist. By face value, he is like any other man but the undercurrents of peculiarity are present. In this chapter, except for the strange episode of Jonathan's shaving and Dracula grabbing his throat and then throwing the mirror out nothing is amiss.
But what is important, in this chapter, are the seemingly innocent rings around the estates in London in the atlas. This will be important in the other chapters based in England Jonathan. Harper is a prisoner and he realizes it, as there are no exits in the castle. This is the beginning of the tale of horror in Jonathan's life.
The Count has made a grab far Jonathan's throat. This is his first attack where he shows just a glimpse of his true self to Jonathan. Jonathan is horrified. He senses he is in deep trouble.
Chapter 3       Summary
Jonathan Harker’s journal continues. He realizes he is a prisoner and he is panic-struck. He rushes up and down looking for an exit point only to be denied. The Count and Jonathan meet and have a discussion on Transylvania. Jonathan is horrified when he realizes he is a prisoner, but manages to talk to Dracula calmly. During the conversation, he realizes Dracula is ageless and has been living through the centuries. On May 12, the Count talks to Jonathan about legal matters. He asks whether any man in England can have two solicitors. On being answered, in the affirmative, he continues talking about legal matters. Suddenly, he asks Jonathan whether he has written a letter to his boss, Peter Hawkins. He tells him to write and say that he will be back after a month. Jonathan is panicky but cannot do anything about it when Dracula hands him some thin foreign post. He writes two letters one to his loss and second to Mina in short hand. Dracula warns him not to leave the room. In the room, Jonathan gazes out of the sealed windows; he is horrified to see Dracula crawl on the castle walls. On May 15, Jonathan searches for the key of the locks of the door, but can’t find. On 16th May, Jonathan writes in his diary and lies on his couch. He finds three of the most beautiful ladies with him. They all want to kiss him. They overwhelm Jonathan. But a furious Count enters and says to them, "How dare you touch him ... he belongs to me?" "Well now I promise you that when I am done with him you shall kiss him your will." Jonathan falls down unconscious.
This chapter begins the horror. Jonathan is a prisoner at the mercy of Dracula. This chapter is almost like a semi-climax to the tale of Jonathan. He is enveloped by evil and is faced with foreboding death in the most horrific manner. This chapter, along with the next, tells the story of the evil that would be unleashed on the world in the next chapters. This was the ageless Dracula - an almost superhuman villain. He has been unleashing his terror and evil for long in the world.
The gothic aspect, which dwells in other tales of horror is absent, because it is not a story only of terror but perhaps an adventure story of a band of brave men fighting against a reign of evil.
Jonathan also meets the other vampire women. For perhaps the first time, in the Victorian prudish era of Bram Stoker, women are the initiators of sex. There are also hints of homosexuality in Dracula, though nothing is denoted in the action.
Chapter 4       Summary
Jonathan Harker’s journal continues to record the events. He finds himself in his own bed. The Count has carried him back and undressed him. Luckily his diary has not been found. On May 18, he wants to check Count Dracula’s door but the door is fastened from inside 19th May. The Count has asked Jonathan to write three letters. One saying that his work was nearly done he was returning home within a few days. Another, that he was starting for home the very next morning, and the third, he has left the castle and has arrived at Bistritz. The first is dated June 12, the second June 19 and the third June 29. Jonathan realizes that his life is short.
On May 28, he believes there is a chance of escape, as he sees a band of gypsies. He writes letters to Mina and Mr. Hawkins, and he gives the letters to the gypsies with a gold piece. The gypsies treacherously give the letter to the Count. The Count burns Mina’s letter because it is in short hand and burns the envelope of the other.
On May 31, all the envelopes and the papers are taken from Jonathan’s bag. On June 17, Jonathan realizes that his door has been locked from outside. June 24, before morning Jonathan is horrified to see the Count in his clothes. He realizes that the Count wants the others to think that Jonathan has left. Jonathan realizes that he is trapped. A couple of hours later, he hears a wail and though he sees a woman, who begs for her child. The Count gives a whistle and a pack of wolves appear and take away the woman.
On June 25, Jonathan decides to take a risk. He goes to the window to the South-side and climbs on the ledge and stands on a narrow ledge. From there he tries to enter the Count’s room to find it empty. In a corner he finds a heap of gold which is very old. There is heavy door, which leads to a ruined chapel, evidently being used as a graveyard. He finds old coffins. He opens the coffins and finds the Count in it. Scared Jonathan runs away. On June 29, the Count tells Jonathan that this is his last day. Jonathan realizes that he will be killed. On June 30, Jonathan goes back to the Count’s room to the coffin. He hits the Count with a shovel. He rushes out and decides to jump down.
This is one of the most important chapters amongst the chapters 1 - 4. This chapter keeps the reader hanging in exasperated anticipation about the fate of Jonathan Harker. One is not sure whether he is dead or alive. Dracula has already spelt out what would happen to him on the 30th June. Firstly, he would be feasted on by Dracula, and the three women would suck on his blood. Secondly, if he tries to escape, wolves would devour him in a pack. Thirdly, Jonathan could jump from the castle ledge and seek the mercy of God, for he feels it was better if he dies and becomes God’s soul, rather than being a member of the Un-dead.
In this chapter, each of the days, which Dracula dictates to him, is carefully described in the minutest of details. Each aspect dimension and description is very painstakingly done. Jonathan, the hero, is panicky and petrified, but his sharp lawyer-brain makes him record each moment in his diary.
Dracula comes across as a very careful and shrewd man in this chapter. Firstly, he asks Jonathan to write three letters so that through Jonathan’s letters it can be surmised that he has left the castle. Secondly, he has got the gypsies so terrified that they almost immediately give him the letter Jonathan has tried to smuggle out to Mina. Thirdly, his civil urbanity has not dipped even a little as he destroys Mina’s letter in front of Jonathan ever so politely. Fourthly, he wears Jonathan’s suit on the June 17 as if to infer that Jonathan has left the castle. All this careful detailed planning, barring the diary being found out, show a conniving man, careful and shrewd, trying not to leave a trace of evidence.
In this chapter, one realizes that Dracula has been living through the ages sucking blood of innumerable people and gathering immense wealth so that he can continue throughout the generations. He is finally exterminated in the last chapter of this book by the band of men, who will meet in the ensuing chapters.

Chapter 5       Summary
This chapter comprises of a series of letters. The first is from Miss Mina Murray to Miss Lucy Westenra, which dated 9th May. She writes that she was sorry for the delay in writing as an assistant schoolmistress and that she is very busy. She was practicing shorthand. She writes to her in shorthand and vice versa. She tells Lucy that Jonathan is in Transylvania and is well and returning in a week. She ends with teasing Lucy about rumors of her and a tall, handsome curly haired man. Lucy Westenra replies to Mina. She complains about the delay of Mina’s letters and then talks about her friend, Mr. Arthur Holmwood, whom she is in love with Then she talks about the doctor, who she believes would be just right for Mina, if she didn’t met Jonathan first. Lucy writes another letter dated 24th May, in which she writes of her three proposals in one day from Dr. Seward, Quincey Morris and Arthur Holmwood, who she will marry. She is very excited about it. Dr. Seward, who is the doctor of a lunatic asylum records in his phonograph about his strange patient. He is desolate after Lucy refuses him. He throws himself in his work. He records the day to day behavior of his patient R. M. Renfield who is potentially a very strange and dangerous man. In the meantime, Quincey Morris writes to Arthur to come to his place for dinner with Dr. Deword, Arthur agrees.
This chapter suddenly breaks the excited action of the last four chapters. This chapter is a series of letters of other characters. Mina, who is Jonathan’s fiancée mentioned in his journal, writes a letter to Lucy, who appears frivolous and carefree happy girl, almost like a child, cosseted and pampered. She is going to be important, as with the fatal lute of the vampire, she becomes, from a carefree girl to a dreaded vampire. Mina, in her letter, also talks about shorthand, which Jonathan dabbles in. Undoubtedly, she does not know about the horrible happenings in Transylvania.
In this chapter, the author uses the tool of several letters, seemingly unconnected to each other. However, as the reader finds out that all the incidents are like links in a chain. All are connected to Dracula whether it is the negative band of Lucy and Renfield or the positive player of Dr. Seward, Arthur Holmwood, Quincey Morris, and Jonathan Harker. Mina of course comes in between these two influences, as Dracula bites her. Yet with her will power she helps the band.
This chapter is almost like an anti-climax, a relief after tension packed chapters. It turns the dramatics to normalcy.
Chapter 6       Summary
This chapter begins with Mina recording entries in her journal. On July 24, she goes to meet Lucy at her place in Whitby, which is a very picturesque place near a little river, the Esk. She meets an old man who brushes off her queries of bells at sea and the White Lady. On August 1, Mina and Lucy meet some old people who sermonize about the Day of Judgment and the dead. Lucy tells Mina later on about her forthcoming marriage with Arthur. Mina misses Jonathan, whom she has not heard from for a month. She is worried about him. Dr. Seaward records in his diary, dated 5th June about Renfield, who loves animals. Dr. Seward asks him to clear the flies, which he currently was catching. He asks for three days. On the 18 th of June, Dr. Seward records that Renfield is now keeping spiders. The flies diminish. On 1st July Renfield eats a blowfly and this make Dr. Seward realize how Renfield is getting rid of his pets. Dr. Seward realizes Renfield is a zoophagous a life-eating maniac, which makes Dr. Seward more interested in him. Mina Murray’s Journal continues in the meantime, where she is anxious about Lucy who is sleep walking in her sleep and Jonathan who she has not heard about for a long time. Mina, in the end, deviates from her problems and records about a strange Russian ship, which was locked.
There is an entire change of scenario in this chapter. Mina goes to a very lovely village in England called Whitby. She is enchanted by the village but misses Jonathan whom she has not heard of. She has received one of Jonathan’s letters dictated by Dracula of his return. This chapter also digresses abruptly to Dr. Seward and Renfield. One does not understand its connections. Of course in the following chapters, it becomes clearer about Renfield’s strange obsession of animals and its connections with Dracula. Again the author digresses about Lucy’s sleep walking and the Russian ship. Two seemingly unconnected happenings, yet the connection, which becomes clear letter on again, points to Dracula.
Chapter 7       Summary
A paper cutting of a news column is pasted on Mina’s journal. It reports of a great storm, which struck the seas. A foreign schooner with all sails set docked in the storm almost unscrewed. A strange fog set in which prevented any clear sight. As the fog melted in the light of a searchlight a corpse was sighted in the ship.
On August 9, Mina records that the ship is Russian, and from Varna, a dog was sighted making its way from it. Later, it was found dead, its throat torn away and its belly slit. In the log of Demeter, the captain records, which Mina is very kindly allowed to see, tells about the crew being dissatisfied, about sighting a strange tall man, the mysterious disappearance of two men and then the captains record of being the sole man on board. He ties his hands to the wheel and then he dies. The verdict given on the strange happening is misadventure. In the meantime, Mina continues her journal. She talks about Lucy being restless and trying to get out in the night dressed twice. Mina without waking her puts her back to sleep. On August 10, the funeral of the captain of the Russian ship takes place. The old man, who Mina met earlier, is dead, his neck mysteriously broken.
This chapter tells about a strange ship. Again the author has strange ship. Again the author has deliberately digressed from the point what connection does a ship have with Dracula until an obscure statement of a tall thin man comes to the fore. Of course it is Dracula who has preyed on the ship. His abilities, as a super- villain, again are evident. He can turn himself into a fog or a mist or a dog or a wolf. He can change himself. The Count has landed in England and the meaning of those odd rings on the map of England on the atlas is now evident.
Lucy too is behaving very strangely, nothing too obvious yet in anticipation. After the climax of the first four chapters, one starts thinking on the lines of "vampire."
Chapter 8       Summary      
Mina continues to note in her diary that though it is a normal day, Mina is worried about Jonathan. On August 11, at 3 a.m., Mina gets up in the dark when she realizes Lucy is missing. Lucy has sleepwalked in her nightdress. Mina rushes outside and in the moonlight sees Lucy on their favorite seat. For a moment it looks as if someone is beside her. She cries out "Lucy." A strange white face with red gleaming eyes is seen but disappears. Lucy is alone and is covered by Mina with a shawl. However, she feels she has pricked Lucy with a pin by mistake for there are two pinpricks on her neck. On August 12, Lucy tries to get out but is stopped by Mina. In the meantime, Dr. Seward is observing Renfield, who is very excited and says the master is coming. A letter reaches Mina from St. Agatha that Jonathan is alive, but very sick in Budapest. In the meantime, some bones have arrived and have been delivered in Whitby.
Dracula has arrived in England. His preys Lucy and Renfield announce his arrivals. Their symptoms are similar Lucy of course has been bitten by Dracula while Renfield is a follower.
There is news of Jonathan at last. The reader is relieved to note that he is alive though sick and has escaped from the clutches of Dracula. This chapter is essential for it announces Dracula’s arrival.
Chapter 9       Summary
This chapter is again a series of letters. The first is from Mina to Lucy, who writes on 24th August from Budapest. She tells about an ailing Jonathan who tells of a terrible tale. He hands his diary to Mina who keeps it carefully. They get married in the hospital itself. Lucy writes back and congratulates Mina and tells about her own marriage to Arthur, which is slated for 28th August. In the meantime, Dr. Seward observes Renfield keenly; who looses interest in animals. A big bat is seemingly watching. Lucy records in her diary that she is very unwell and can’t sleep too well. Arthur writes to Dr. Seward to see Lucy. Arthur is summoned home for his father is unwell. Dr. Seward writes to Arthur that Lucy is indeed unwell as she is almost bloodless and he is calling his professor and mentor Abraham Van Helsing. The Professor has seen Lucy. He is very troubled and rushes to Amsterdam. Renfield again starts eating flies and is brooding. Later he tries to run away. On September 6, Dr. Seward urgently summons Professor Van Helsing.

This chapter now takes a serious turn with Lucy falling very sick. Dracula, so it is revealed has sucked her almost bloodless. Renfield too suffers in his own way. Dr. Seward, as some critics point out, is seen to be very cruel in his treatment of Renfield, as he experiments, on Renfield almost like a guinea pig.
There, Mina and Jonathan have been reunited. The traumatic early escapades with Dracula have rendered Jonathan unconfident and unsure. He feels he is suffering from something terrible. Jonathan, it should be noted, is the only one amongst Dracula’s victims to escape almost scot-free. The next few chapters draw all the brave men together. All the characters among the men have been already introduced.
Chapter 10     Summary
This chapter starts with a letter, dated September 6, to Arthur Holmwood from Dr. Seward. It tells about Lucy’s downward slide in health. Abraham Van Helsing has returned to see her. Dr. Seward records in his diary that how he recounts Lucy’s symptoms to the Professor. The Professor looks grave. He sees her and is appalled to see Lucy almost bloodless. Arthur rushes in, worried after receiving the telegram. Van Helsing takes blood for him and transfuses it to Lucy. He allows Arthur to kiss her and then let her rest. Lucy is much better. The Professor sees the pinpoint marks on Lucy’s throat and asks about them. He then abruptly says he has to leave for Amsterdam. He tells Dr. Seward to keep watch on her himself. On September 8, Lucy seems much better. The Professor sends Dr. Seward a telegram to be at Hellingham. Lucy Westenra records in her diary about the feeling of being looked after and secured. Dr. Seward’s continues to write his diary. He is dosing off when Van Helsing enters and demands to see Lucy. They rush up and see her almost bloodless again. Van Helsing rushes to transfuse blood from Dr. Seward to Lucy. Lucy gets better. On September 11, Van Helsing makes Lucy wear a garland of garlic. He fastens her windows and rubs garlic on her sashes. They all retire for bed.
This chapter dwells on Lucy. Dracula bit Lucy earlier; the aftermath of the bites is described. She has been shorn of every drop of blood and so has to be given blood by Arthur and Dr. Seward. Blood symbolizes ties almost akin to marriage. She has received blood from Arthur, Dr. Seward, Quincey Morris, and Van Helsing himself. This is described in this chapter as well as the next. This makes Lucy the common law wife of all these men. So Dracula, as he also boasts off later, has attacked and made the woman of these men his own. By attacking Lucy, and later on Mina, he too is a husband of these women. Again, there is a reference of sexuality in this act of exchanging blood. However, as it is said earlier, the action itself seems devoid of any such actual act.
The white flowers of garlic are to safeguard Lucy from vampires. Though it escapes Dr. Seward the reason for Lucy’s illness totally, Van Helsing has realized it is the bite o a vampires. Garlic pods were supposed to ward off evil. This chapter also shows the difference in Dr. Seward and Van Helsing. Both are men of science yet as Dr. Seward has a closed mind to other unexplainable things. Van Helsing has an open mind. It should be noted that though Dr. Seward is the first to see Renfield and Lucy, he accepts the truth about Dracula almost in the end.

Chapter 11     Summary
Lucy records in her journal that she feels she can sleep better. Dr. Seward diary records how Mrs. Westenra tells the professor that Lucy is bitter but because she has opened the windows and removed the garlic. Professor rushes up, Lucy looks bloodless again. He gives her blood. He also tells Mrs. Westenra not to remove anything for Lucy’s room. Lucy’s journal continue on how she can hear bats flapping on her windowpane. In the meantime, a wolf has escaped from the zoo. After a tiresome escape, he has returned to the zoo. Dr. Seward’s journal continues to note on how Renfield attacks him with a knife. Dr. Seward is hurt and bleeds. The blood drips on the floor and Renfield drinks on it crying, "The blood is the life!" A strange flapping on her window awakens Lucy. Her mother comes to the room and sees her. Suddenly, they see through the aperture a great gaunt wolf. Mrs. Westenra, in a shock, grabs and tears Lucy’s garland of garlic’s and collapses. She is dead and Lucy too faints. When she comes through, she sees the maids putting Mrs. Westenra’s body on the bed. Suddenly, they shrike and rush out. Lucy is left alone and terrified, she prays for god’s help.
The wolf appears in two sections in this chapter. The inference is that it is a follower of Dracula, or Dracula himself can change into an animal at his own will. Van Helsing has left Lucy unguarded just for one night but that very night Dracula strikes. Except for the scant protection of the garlic’s, she is totally helpless at Dracula’s mercy. This is one of the mistakes Dr. Seward and Van Helsing make, even though they are said to be men of scientific minds with great consciousness of eye.
Chapter 12     Summary
Dr. Seward's diary continues to note that, on 18 th of September, Van Helsing and Dr. Seward rush up to find Mrs. Westenra dead, and Lucy barely alive. The maids have all fainted. Quincey Morris enters and he gives blood to her. Arthur is informed about Mrs. Westenra’s death for the first time. Van Helsing tells Dr. Seward about his suspicion of vampires. On 19 th of September, Lucy is examined; her teeth look unnaturally sharp. Mina Harker sends a letter to Lucy, which is unopened by her, telling her about Jonathan and her. A report from Patrick Hennesey is added about Renfield, who has run away twice to the house next door crying, "I’ll fight for my lord and master." Lucy is dying, but this time Van Helsing does not allow Arthur to kiss her.
This chapter is very somber in tone. Lucy is dead and all the men who had loved her are at her bedside.
Renfield keeps on running to the house next door, which should have pointed out something suspicious, at least, to Dr. Seward, who is keeping him under minute observation. Yet he fails to be suspicious. This is his second mistake.
Chapter 13     Summary
Lucy’s funeral is arranged. According to legal matters, as both Lucy and Mrs. Westenra die, bereft of heir, the estate passes to Arthur. Van Helsing wants to perform an operation on Lucy the next morning. He puts a crucifix on the coffin but the very next morning the crucifix disappears.
In the meantime, Jonathan sees Dracula but a younger version. Lastly, this chapter ends the tale of strange women in black, preying on children.
Lucy is dead almost ten days before her marriage. She has become one of Dracula’s. The inference is
1) The crucifix, which Van Helsing has left on her coffin, has disappeared.
2) A strange woman was preying on small children.
As it is seen in the next few chapters, Lucy has become an Un- dead. Jonathan sees a younger Dracula. Preying on the blood of many men has made Dracula younger, and again the super human aspect of the antagonist is observed.
Chapter 14     Summary
Mina’s journal continues to note. Jonathan is in a poor state of mind. Van Helsing writes a letter asking Mina to meet him regarding Lucy. She meets him and then tells about Jonathan tale and gives him Jonathan’s diary. Van Helsing writes back that whatever Jonathan has seen is true. Jonathan is rejuvenated. Dr. Seward still has no suspicion how Lucy died. Van Helsing explains to him again about vampires and how Lucy made the pinpoint mark on the children.
Dr. Seward still cannot make out how Lucy died. Van Helsing has given him immense clues yet Dr. Seward refuses to take it. It is very strange that a man who is such a keen observer still cannot see the facts so close to him. This is an essential part of his character.
Jonathan is a new man. He realizes he is not a sick man. What he has seen were not dreams but reality and Van Helsing believes him. This chapter shows Van Helsing and Dr. Seward's characters in contrast.
Chapter 15     Summary
Dr. Seward continues to note in his diary. He is enraged that Lucy could be the woman in black who attacks children. They examine the child who is attacked by the lady in black. He has similar pinpoints on his throat. Dr. Seward and the Professor go to the churchyard where Lucy is buried. Her coffin is empty. The child’s pinpoint scratches have mysteriously disappeared. Dr. Seward is still not convinced. On 27th of September, at 2 O’ Clock in the afternoon, they open the coffin. Lucy is in her coffin, looking as rosy as ever. Van Helsing plans to cut off her head and fill her mouth with garlic and then put a stake to her body. Arthur and Quincey Morris are appalled but agree in he end to go with Dr. Seward and Van Helsing.
Lucy has been bitten by a Vampire. Of course, later in the book, one knows it is Dracula but for now he is being termed as just as the ‘vampire.’ There is a dual life to all this. Lucy is dead yet still Un-dead because in the night she becomes a vampire preying on children. Lucy is still different, as there is no malice on her face, as she sleeps in her coffin.
In the olden days putting a stake into the heart of vampire was said to be the only way to kill them. Van Helsing uses this method.
Chapter 16     Summary
At midnight, the land of Dr. Seward, Van Helsing, Arthur and holy hosts on the tomb of Lucy when they see a white figure with a child Quincey Morris proceed the graveyard to open the coffin. The coffin was empty. Van Helsing explains the strange happenings to the others. They put the holy hosts on the tomb of Lucy and she drops the child. Her lips drip with flesh blood. She tries to entice Arthur, but Van Helsing shows her the sign of the cross. She is trapped between the crucifix and the host on the tomb. All the men agree to help her loathing the sight of the creature. The next night, they enter the tomb and put a stake on the creature and kill it.
The most crucifixes are all signs of the deep-rooted Christianity prevalent in England at that time. They were said to be so powerful that they would destroy all evil in the world.
Lucy has evidently become a thing in the clan of the Un-dead, and the very men who were in love with her hate her. They all help in killing the thing.
The band is being formed slowly. In this chapter a group of four, of Dr. Seward, Van Helsing, Arthur Holmwood and Quincey Morris are present.
Chapter 17     Summary
Dr. Seward continues to note in his diary. Mina Harker telegrams that she is coming by train and she has important news. Van Helsing, who is a great admirer of her, is delighted. She arrives and stays in the asylum. Dr. Seward shows her his phonograph, and she is fascinated by it. She tells them that Jonathan has seen Dracula. Jonathan arrives on September 30, and they try to trace Dracula. Renfield's reaction make Dr. Seward realize that the next door house is Count Dracula’s, which is confirmed by Jonathan, who has done the sale of purchase Arthur Holmwood and Quincey Morris join in the pursuit of Dracula.
The band is set. All the men arrive and the pursuit has begun. Jonathan knows the next door house is Dracula’s as he has conducted the sale of purchase of the estate. The others, Dr. Seward and the Professor help and systematically make details of the facts present. Quincey Morris and Arthur also help in uncovering some details and facts from records and newspapers of Dracula’s movement or some mysterious happenings.
Chapter 18     Summary
Dr. Seward's diary continues to record. He goes over the transcripts of the diaries and letters of Jonathan and Mina Harker. Mina comes into the room and asks to see Renfield. Renfield talks to her like a polished gentleman. Van Helsing enters eager to know the results of the pursuit of Dracula. They discuss way and means to vanquish Dracula, Renfield demands to see Dr. Seward Van Helsing, Arthur and Dr. Seward go to meet him. Renfield begs for him to be released and says if he is not, he will not responsible for the consequence.
The brave band of men is in hot pursuit of Dracula. The vampire is much stronger than they are. He is more cunning than any mortal with the strength of twenty men is. He is ageless. His shrewd acumen has been honed over the ages. He can take any form and is a devil at heart. He can command the rat, owl, wolves, or any animal. They cannot possibly vanquish him, as they are merely men. This is the question, which is persisting in their minds.
Chapter 19     Summary
Jonathan Harker’s diary starts, with a portion of the sacred wafer each; they try and enter Dracula’s house in Whitby. The whole place is covered with dust and spiders. There is a faint bad odor. They find 29 boxes out of the 50 sent by Dracula. Suddenly, the whole place is filled with rats. Arthur whistles for his dogs and the rats disperse. They return back to the asylum. Mina complains of feeling tired. Mina writes in her journal of strange dreams of a red-eyed white face. She is restless and can’t sleep well.
Dracula has claimed another of the woman of the band of Mina Harker. In this chapter, it is not clear if the reader recalls that she suffers from the same symptoms as Lucy.
In the meantime, the band has achieved success on one count. They have managed to seal off the house of Dracula with the sacred wafer.
Chapter 20     Summary
On October 1, Jonathan notes, in his journal, of his pursuit of the other houses of Dracula. A man named Thomas Snelling leads him to Joseph Smollet, who tells him the destination of the boxes to the houses in Carfax, New Town and Bermondsey. They go pursuing the addresses. Mina, in the meantime still looks very tired. Renfield is acting strange Dr. Seward observes. At last they get a clue about Dracula and rush to pursue it. Renfield, in the meantime, an attendant rushes in to tell suffers from an accident.
The band is catching up with Dracula. They want to pursue him and erase all signs of him from England. In the next chapter, the reader realizes how the pursuit of these men was really bothering Dracula that he has to leave town and go back to Transylvania, but not before he seeks vengeance on them by biting Mina.
Chapter 21     Summary
Dr. Seward records that Renfield's back has been broken. He is in deep anguish and is dying. He tells them that Dracula has come from the window and has struck him. But he also divulges he (Dracula) has attacked Mina. The band rushes in to the Harker’s chamber and finds Jonathan in a stupor, and Mina sucking the blood of Dracula. Mina comes out of her trance as Dracula runs away and wails "unclean unclean." Mina tells hem how Dracula entered when she was sleeping and said to her that he has drunk her blood many times. He makes her drink his blood as a sign of unity and tells her that each time he calls she would have to obey.
Nowhere in the book does one get to see Dracula in action sucking blood. There are inferences but no direct action. It’s the first time that Dracula has been caught in action. The sucking of blood signifies oneness so that Mina becomes something akin to a wife to Dracula. That makes Mina a common wife to both Dracula and Jonathan. It also shows Dracula’s hold on ordinary human beings, as on his bidding Mina will have to obey. Renfield, at last, shows that he is linked to Dracula.
Chapter 22     Summary
Jonathan Harker continues to write his journal. He tries to make himself busy, or he feels he will go mad. Van Helsing tries to talk to Mina and console her. He tells her to be strong and resist being an Un-dead. Van Helsing puts the wafer on Mina’s head. She gives an agonizing yell and the wafer makes a mark on her forehead. They go to rest of the houses of Dracula and destroy the boxes and seal off the houses.
The Devil signifies everything bad and evil and the holy wafer signified the body of Christ. The author uses these Christian streams of thought continuously in the book, giving it superhuman powers. If Dracula had superhuman powers then the host would stand as a power against it. This chapter continues with the pursuit of Dracula.

Chapter 23     Summary
Dr. Seward’s diary continues to record the happenings. On the 3rd October, he tells about the appalling changes in Jonathan. Mina’s plight has made him haggard and desolate. Quincey Morris and Arthur come in and report that they have destroyed the other boxes. Dracula is at Carfax. He leaps out saying, "All your girls are mine." Taking gold with him, he rushes off Mina. In the meantime, he asks Van Helsing to hypnotize her. Through her they find out Dracula is in the sea. They decide to follow pursuit immediately for Mina’s sake as he can live for centuries and she is a mortal woman.
Again the Dracula comes face to face with the band. They have destroyed his houses, his boxes, but he claims to have the upper hand because he has got their girls.
They have to pursue him before Mina becomes an Un-dead, as she is merely mortal for she will die but Dracula will live
Chapter 24     Summary
Dr. Seward’s gives strict instructions, through Van Helsing, to Jonathan telling him to stay with Mina. Count Dracula, he informs, has gone back to Transylvania as the band has destroyed his last box so that’s why he has been forced to flee. He has gone by ship but Van Helsing assures him that the battle has just begun and in the end they will win. Jonathan Harker in his journal records that when he read Van Helsing’s message to Mina, she was much happier. There is a red scar on Mina’s forehead. Dracula has the money, so he scatters it around. He has sailed Czarina Catherina, and he is on the sea. There is a change in Mina, the band notices. Dracula’s ship is going to take at least three weeks to reach Varna. So the band plans to travel overland in three days. They plan to leave on the 17th so that they reach one day before Dracula’s ship reaches. Mina asks Jonathan not to tell her about any of their plans. Then she asks Van Helsing to allow her to go with them.
In this chapter, the chase is still on but this time this is being done with intensity, especially since Mina is in danger of being changed. Despite her will power, she is under going changes. The host signifying the body of Christ is being used as a weapon to fight Satan. It has already burnt a red mark on the forehead of Mina, who is in the clutches of Dracula. So the chase continues with the men checking every detail with great care. Dracula has fled to his castle since all the coffins, which is where he dwells has been destroyed.
Chapter 25     Summary
On 11th of October, according to Dr. Seward’s Diary, Jonathan asks Dr. Seward to check Mina’s health. Mina begs them to destroy her if by chance she changes totally. Filled with emotion, yet touched by her bravery, the men agree. On 15th of October, according to Jonathan’s journal, they leave Charring Cross on the 12 th , get to Paris in the night, board the Orient Express and reach Varna. Mina is hypnotized. Dracula is still on the sea. The men are preparing all their weapons specially Jonathan, who is sharpening his Kukri knife. Dracula’s ship is late. The men sit down discussing Dracula’s psyche.

The chase is in full speed. Dracula’s character is discussed by the men. Dracula, they claim is a criminal and he is selfish. His intellect is small and his actions are based on selfishness. So he confines himself to one purpose. He had come to London to invade a new land. He was beaten and when all hope of success was lost and his existence in danger, he fled back over the sea, to his home. His selfishness frees Mina’s soul from the terrible power. Her will power and courage has helped her to withstand Dracula’s powers. But the baptism of blood has trapped her unwillingly to Dracula.
Chapter 26     Summary
Dr. Seward’s continues to note in his diary. On 29 th of October, he writes this note on the train from Varna to Galats. Mina is hypnotized again and reveals that the Count has reached. However, she is changing so he becomes sullen and refuses to speak. The captain of the ship reveals to Jonathan that there was trouble on the ship because of the boxes. A letter of instructions has been sent to Emmanuel Hildesheim to clear and take away the boxes before sunrise, which was to be collected by Petrof Skinsky. But the men have lost the trail of Skinsky. Mina surmises that the Count has decided to get back to his castle by water through a secret way. He has also murdered Skinsky. To erase the trail, they all plan to meet by separate way at Transylvania at Dracula’s castle.
Dracula senses that the band is following him. If they can hypnotize Mina and sense where Dracula is, Dracula can read her mind on the basis of their blood kinship. Mina may be under the influence of Dracula yet she is still well poised to plot out a detailed list of his movement, which is very adroitly done. In fact, beside Van Helsing, Mina is the only one who can be considered an able tactician. In this chapter, Dracula has again become a better plotter than the men have, as he has managed to erase his trail.
Chapter 27     Summary
In her journal of 1st November, Mina records that the women in the village makes the sign of the cross each time they see Mina, because of the red scar on her forehead. She has decided to wear a veil in order to avoid that. Van Helsing is worried about Mina because not only she cannot be hypnotized but also because she was becoming healthier and redder. So Van Helsing makes a ring around her and puts some holy wafer on it. Suddenly, from the mist the three women that Jonathan had seen in the castle tries to entice Mina, but they cannot come in because of the Holy ring. Inside an old chapel, Van Helsing finds three graves and he finds the three beautiful women who are vampires. He severs their heads. Suddenly, Van Helsing sees a band of gypsies carrying a carriage with a big chest, which he surmised, was Dracula’s coffin. He sees two horsemen, Quincey and John following them, and on the other side they see Jonathan and Arthur following. A battle ensues between he gypsies and them. Jonathan rushes up to the chest with Quincey Morris and plunges the knife into the heart of Dracula and Dracula dies. But Quincey is wounded and dies crying, "now god be thanked that all has not been in vain" and dies. Seven years later, a son is born to the Harkers on the day Quincey died, whom they call Quincey Van Helsing. They burn rest of all the evidence, as they believe no one will believe them, and they live happily ever after.

This chapter is the final climax in which the last battle takes place. There is plenty of action in this chapter from the holy ring around Mina, to the women vampires, who are vanquished by Van Helsing. Dracula is killed but, unfortunately, Quincey Morris also dies.
The ring around Mina symbolizes God and is a weapon used against Satan/ Dracula/ women vampires. This ring protects Mina.
The final confrontation, however, is slightly one-sided. Dracula, being a super-villain following the epic like structure of having superhuman qualities, except in thing that he is a villain. The band of men vanquishes him when he lies in his coffin unable to do anything. His powers do not help him and so he is easily vanquished.
The last chapter of Dracula also emphasizes the courage of the men in the band who are all out to save the world. This act is slightly personalized through Mina, as beside Mina, they fight to save the world and her especially.
Therefore, this chapter is the result and the final product made through linking all the links in all the chapters. It is the final outcome.
Character Analysis
A mysterious tall thin man clean-shaven, except for a long mustache and clad from head to foot in black. He was a linguist and extremely knowledgeable. The most conspicuous of his appearance are his long sharp canine teeth and his touch, which is of the dead. He is a villain with almost supernatural powers. At his will, he can turn himself into a wolf, dog, mist, fog or bat. He has strange powers on the wolves with his one action, the pack of wolves go away.
Extremely mysterious, he does not have any menial servants and does all the work from making the bed to driving the carriage himself. He gets stranger and stranger, as he does not appear as a reflection on Jonathan’s mirror. When Jonathan cuts himself, there is a light of demonic depths when Dracula sees blood. He is Count Dracula, the dreaded lord of the Un-dead. He is a blood- sucking vampire who has for centuries preyed on victims turning them into vampires and disciples of the Un-dead.
He is extremely suave and courteous and has an almost hypnotic power over his victims. He can make himself age according to his whims and fancies. He is the lord of the night. The anti- Christ, who fears the Crucifix, but has enough powers to create a deadly aura of evil. His victims Lucy, Renfield and Mina are under a hypnotic trance each time they hear him. He can, from miles ahead, read their minds and can put them in his powers. He is, as some critics feel, bisexual as his relationship with Jonathan has sexual hues. When the women vampires go to kiss Jonathan, he chases them away saying "he belongs to me, when I'm alone with him, you will get to kiss him."
He is absolutely wily and calculating, for he knows Jonathan will be missed, so he makes Jonathan write three letters to his employer and fiancée, saying that he has left Transylvania. A formidable man, he has the gypsies in his power and they do everything he tells them to do.
An anti-Christ, he stands for all the negative forces of Satan. At night he has immense powers, but at daybreak all his powers come to naught. He takes on mankind and tries to convert them into vampires. He has been living for centuries feeding on the blood of men. He is revengeful and boasts that he will make all the women in the band, his women. He has already done that with Lucy and his eyes are set on Mina.
Dracula is a very formidable enemy with supernatural powers, but he cannot escape the power of the holy-cross and garlic which are the only two things that scare him and these are the instruments with which he is vanquished.
PLOT (Structure)
The plot structure of the book is divided into passages of entries in journals, actual action, and the ending climax. The characters give insights into their individual feelings and the happenings in their life so the reader is made aware of all the happenings in each of the character’s life.
The book opens with the persona of Jonathan Harker entering his fears and feelings of ‘amiss’ and uneasiness in his journal. He is the one who first gives the reader an introduction to the gory happenings in Dracula’s castle. Count Dracula is a vampire and his persona is slowly unraveled as Jonathan Harkin recounts his traumatic stay at Dracula’s castle. His character also develops during his account giving deep insights into his persona.
Mina’s letters and journals too are a great source of information giving profound insights. Their special love and loyalty also comes out very openly as Jonathan marks entries about recipes etc. to Mina, and Mina talks about her alarm and fear on Jonathan’s absence. Her letters to Lucy also tells the reader of her friendship and love for the other girl. Lucy’s frivolous nature comes to the fore, when, in her letter, she talks about her relationship and proposal from her three suitors, Arthur Holmwood, Dr. Seward and Quincey Morris. The suitors too, in her account, are given color and traits.
In Dracula, Bram Stoker emphasizes how as the daylight ends, the horror begins, for from the depths of the swirling mist, he (Dracula) appears, his pointed teeth gleaming as he edges towards his victims. This is Count Dracula the King of the Un- dead - the dreaded vampire. Centuries old, he walks the earth to quench his insatiable thirst for the blood that gives him life.
Jonathan Harker had escaped the Count’s evil and had vowed to forget the horror he had witnessed. This is recounted in his journal. However, Dracula does not let his victims ever escape. He is in England and after sucking the blood of Lucy, Mina’s friend; his next intended victim is Mina, Jonathan’s wife. Jonathan joins a band of brave souls willing to face death in order to destroy the Dracula. There is a progressive action in the book. As each character recounts his part in the book, he plots unfolds slowly and steadily as the action builds up to a breathless level.
Dr. Seward's account is done in a most clinical manner, which is typical of the doctor. He is amazed at his patients’ strange ways but his emotions come to the fore, where Lucy is considered. He is in love with Lucy, so he reacts in a normal manner and not like a doctor. Abraham Van Helsing has very few entries and does not have any journal except for the last when he talks into Doctor Seward’s phonograph and a memorandum.
The action is described in great depth with insights on every character’s feelings and horror, as Van Helsing try to save Lucy or when they kill Lucy, the vampire or at the end, Dracula’s killing. As journals are written, the final action culminates as insights build up for the actual action. Each action leads to the ending climax where Dracula, the antagonist is killed.
The plot structure culminates from entries, actions and climaxes. Undoubtedly, this has a more powerful impact rather than an ordinary narrative.
The style of the author is simple, in a narrative manner the story of Dracula unfolds. Stoker is almost autobiographical in context, where he projects himself into all of the major characters of Dracula. His family is thrown into the hued characters of the book and bristles with repression, apprehension of homosexuality, devouring women and rejecting mothers. The style is vastly descriptive especially the physical aspects. His style especially the sexual tension in the scenes not only titillates with its potential for homo-erotic union, but also arouses the character’s hidden wells of sexuality and fantasy, which were earlier unspoken of amongst Victorians.
Stoker exposes the sexual aspect of the book by making the women (the three women vampires) usurp the male prerogative of initiating sex. It shatters the myth that only fallen women can experience ecstasy. The stalking of Lucy violates the taboo on depicting passionate intercourse ending in orgasm. Yet, Stoker does not show real sex, there is no lovemaking. Stoker’s genius was to develop a coded eroticism covering it in the supernatural, and then shrug off all social responsibility by obliterating the author’s voice.


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