Course Hero. "Dracula Study Guide." Course Hero. 28 Nov. 2016. Web. 2 June 2023. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Dracula/>.
Course Hero. (2016, November 28). Dracula Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved June 2, 2023, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Dracula/
(Course Hero, 2016)
Course Hero. "Dracula Study Guide." November 28, 2016. Accessed June 2, 2023. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Dracula/.
Course Hero, "Dracula Study Guide," November 28, 2016, accessed June 2, 2023, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Dracula/.
It is odd that a thing which I have been taught to regard with disfavour and as idolatrous should in a time of loneliness and trouble be of help.
Harker muses over why the crucifix the landlady gave him comforts him, unaware that it has the power to repel Dracula. Later, he thinks, he'll try to understand how it helps him. In this early chapter, the crucifix's power hints at Dracula's nature and foreshadows the coming conflict between Dracula and Van Helsing.
There was something about them that made me uneasy, some longing and at the same time some deadly fear.
Harker has just met the voluptuous, deadly vampire women. After describing their beauty in detail, he confesses his sexual longing for them despite his fear of death and his desire to be faithful, even in his thoughts, to his fiancée.
Blood is too precious ... in these days of dishonourable peace; and the glories of the great races are as a tale that is told.
These lines sum up the history of Dracula's fictional lineage, of which he is quite proud. The blood of Attila and other great leaders is in his veins; but for Dracula, the world as it is has no need of such rulers. This is why Dracula has decided to change the world.
Why can't they let a girl marry three men, or as many as want her, and save all this trouble? But this is heresy, and I must not say it.
Lucy writes to Mina of the three proposals she receives, from Seward, Morris, and finally Holmwood—all worthy men and mates. She regrets having to break two hearts, but she hints also at the triumph of being sought by three men—one of the few triumphs a young Victorian woman can have, and perhaps not quite proper, as Lucy acknowledges.
My dear, please Almighty God, your life may be all it promises: a long day of sunshine, with no harsh wind, no forgetting duty, no distrust.
Mina, Lucy's friend and teacher, tries to prepare her for the realities of marriage, in which the wife serves the husband's needs. Mina may, however, underestimate how Holmwood's wealth will ease Lucy's duties and enhance her pleasures. Mina feels the contrast between the pinched household economy she will have to practice and Lucy's advantages.
So you shall keep knowledge in its place, where it may rest—where it may gather its kind around it and breed.
With this analogy, Van Helsing puts off Seward's questions, not for the first or last time, about Lucy's illness and Van Helsing's treatment. Van Helsing keeps a stranglehold on information for much of the novel. Here, his reasoning assumes all of humanity incapable of grasping what he knows—a sign of the arrogance that later opens Lucy to attack.
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.
Seward never overcomes his disappointment at Lucy's rejection of his proposal. Holmwood, appropriately, gives the first transfusion as Lucy's fiancé; but Seward's rapture during the transfusion speaks to the Victorian ideal of the heroic man defending the weaker woman—and to his love.
I could not resist the temptation of mystifying him a bit—I suppose it is some of the taste of the original apple that remains still in our mouths—so I handed him the shorthand diary.
Mina hands Van Helsing her shorthand diary, proud that she can do something the great professor can't—write and read shorthand. This is Mina as her sassiest and realest self, but she identifies the pride with the sin that caused the Fall in Eden and immediately feels shame over her "little joke" on Van Helsing. Shame is a driving force in much of Mina's conduct.
A brave man's hand can speak for itself; it does not even need a woman's love to hear its music.
A central question of the novel is whether Jonathan Harker will overcome the trauma of his weeks in Castle Dracula and act as a man should, or instead allow fear to incapacitate him. Mina's description of Harker's touch represents what a Victorian man should be. She's glad to know that he is "a brave man" after all.
And you, their best beloved one, are now to me, flesh of my flesh; blood of my blood; kin of my kin; my bountiful wine-press for a while; and shall be later on my companion and my helper.
Dracula's pride and his plans are clear as he explains why he forced Mina to drink his blood. His language is biblical and poetic; it evokes words from Genesis 2, in which God creates woman as a helper for man. Dracula co-opts Adam's statement that Eve is bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh, substituting "blood" for "bone," as he claims his new bride. His use of biblical language to describe an adulterous and perverted marriage is further evidence that Dracula is not merely a monster but an enemy of God.
It may be that we are chosen instruments of His good pleasure, and that we ascend to His bidding as that other through stripes and shame; through tears and blood; through doubts and fears, and all that makes the difference between God and man.
As he tries to encourage Mina, after the communion wafer he applied to her forehead in blessing instead burns her skin, Van Helsing describes the quest to destroy Dracula and purify Mina as a religious crusade. His reference to "stripes and shame" allies each member of team with Christ during his passion. The parallel is bold: as Christ's suffering saved Christians, so, too, will the suffering of Dracula's foes save others from Dracula's evil.
Your girls that you all love are mine already; and through them you and others shall yet be mine—my creatures, to do my bidding and to be my jackals when I want to feed.
Dracula is cornered—all but one box of earth sterilized, he must flee England. But his language is no less confident as he faces Van Helsing and the young men. He speaks as if he's already triumphed, not as if he's on the run, and mentions Lucy and Mina to cause the men pain.
Just think what will be [Dracula's] joy when he too is destroyed in his worser part that his better part may have spiritual immortality.
Mina, that "sweet, sweet, good, good woman," as Seward calls her at this point, comforts the men. They've had to do terrible things and will have to do so again; she fears they will succumb to "grim hate" and doubt. Her words comfort them—except Harker—and suggest that redemption is possible even for Dracula.
Have you seen that awful den of hellish infamy—with the very moonlight alive with grisly shapes, and every speck of dust that whirls in the wind a devouring monster in embryo? Have you felt the Vampire's lips upon your throat? Oh, my God, what have we done to have this terror upon us?
Harker is the only foe of Dracula who has experienced the horrors in Castle Dracula. He objects, anguished, at the thought that Van Helsing will take Mina there, but he relents, as everyone always does, when Van Helsing explains the necessity. Van Helsing's authority has such force that even Harker, the most tortured of the young people, bows to it.
Now God be thanked that all has not been in vain! See! the snow is not more stainless than her forehead! The curse has passed away!
Morris's dying words, as he gestures toward Mina's face, come at the novel's climax. It's not enough that Dracula is destroyed and his evil plans foiled. Mina, the "best beloved" of these men, must be purified as well—the sign that God approves of the men's actions and lifts from Mina the divine wrath Dracula's blood in her deserves.