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Dracula

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The title of the book is Dracula. It was written by Bram Stoker originally in 1897, but has become a beloved classic novel. This book was written in the form of diaries and letters. There is a group of people whose lives are haunted by Count Dracula. It starts out in Jonathan Harker’s point of view; he recounts his time in Dracula’s Castle. His experiences go from arousal to mortal fear in the castle. Then there is Lucy Westerna; she has a terrible sleepwalking habit which had gained Dracula access to her once he came to London. The devil is not welcome where no one wants him, so he must be invited. Drs. Van Helsing and Seward attempt to save Lucy Westerna’s life, but she had turned undead. Through the story, it shows the effects of Dracula’s evil on everyone around Jonathan Harker. With Dracula rarely appearing in the text, Stoker achieved an eerie and haunted aura to the story. The demonstration of good and evil is Mina versus Dracula. Mina has begun to turn, yet she is kind through it all; whereas Dracula treats humans as “fodder” or food. As for the view of Victorian women, they were expected to be dumb, eat small portions, and to be motherly/sisterly to the men around them; it is helpful and not helpful for different reasons, mostly to deal with Mina’s character.
The theme of good and evil is demonstrated by Mina and Count Dracula. Mina cried out, “Unclean, unclean! I must touch him or kiss him no more. Oh, that it should be that it is I who am now his worst enemy, and whom he may have most cause to fear” (Dr Seward’s Diary, qtd. On page 302). Mina states, “Because if I find myself- and I shall watch keenly for it- a sign of harm to any that I love, I shall die!” (Seward’s Diary quoted from page 308). Mina was the representation of good, she didn’t believe so, but she was willing to help the Knights of the Round Table even though she was becoming a vampire. She did a lot to help them and all she wanted was to keep everyone safe. Mina states in her diary, “I suppose one ought to pity any thing so hunted as the Count. That is just it: this Thing is not human- not even beast. To read Dr Seward’s account of poor Lucy’s death, and what followed is enough to dry up the springs of pity in one’s heart” (245). This quote shows me that she pities Dracula for being hunted, but that knowing what had happened to Lucy would make someone feel less pity for him because of what he did to her. Dr Seward says, “…and we, knowing that so far symbols went, she with all her goodness and purity and faith, was outcast from God” (Dr Seward’s Diary, quoted from page 327). Now, this quote shows me that Dr Seward cared deeply about Mina and hat she was the representation of good to him. Mina says, “…That poor soul who has wrought all this misery is the saddest case of all. Just think what will be his joy when he too is destroyed in his worser part that his better part may have spiritual immortality. You must be pitiful to him too, though it may not hold your hands from his destruction” (Dr Seward’s Diary, quoted from page 327). It takes great kindness and love to pity your enemies.
Now moving on to show how Dracula represents evil. Jonathan had been tricked by the Count when the Count had said, “Enter freely and of you own free will” (Jonathan Harker’s Journal, quoted from page 20). By saying this, he gave himself away to use Jonathan as he pleased. This shows that Dracula is a sly person. As Dracula was aboard the Demeter, he took the blood of the crew and threw their bodies overboard. He had been using them only for food. Dracula had tricked Renfield into thinking that he was a Savior, when really all Dracula was offering was a morbid half life as a slave for Dracula. (Dr Seward’s Diary, found on page 263). Later on, Dracula forced Mina to let him bite her and he forced her to bite him back. As he did so, they had created a connection through the blood. He is purely evil because a sane, kind man would not rape an innocent woman. (Dr Seward’s Diary, found on pages 300-306). When Dracula was cornered, he had taunted the men saying that they are just food and that their women (Mina and Lucy) belonged to him (Dr Seward’s Diary, found on pg. 325). These quotes show the evil he had done. He made a man crazy, and made him believe that he was a man of God, while he was the complete opposite. They also show that Dracula only used humans as food, except Mina and Lucy, who he believed belonged to him because he forced himself on them. Now to move on to how his rare appearances achieved an eerie and haunted aura to the text.
Bram Stoker achieved an eerie and haunted aura in this text. Even though Dracula doesn’t show up often, you can still feel his presence in everyone’s diaries. The fear he inspires is very consuming. Just the reaction of poor Mr. Jonathan Harker, after he returned and recovered from his “brain fever” showed the thrill of Dracula’s presence. He had seen Count Dracula on the streets, but didn’t think it was him because he was younger (Mina Harker’s Diary, found on pg. 186). The fact that he saw him from afar shows the eerie feeling Dracula creates. Next, there is the Victorian view of women and how it helped the characters in some ways, but not in others.
Victorian women are thought to be motherly/sisterly. Mina portrayed it beautifully/ She was there as a sister to Dr Van Helsing, Dr Seward, Arthur, and Quincy. Quincy said admiring Mina in her diary, “Only a woman can comfort a man when a man is emotionally troubled” (247). In this way it was helpful, Mina sat by them all and spoke with them. Mina states in her diary, “I suppose there something in woman’s nature makes a man free to break down before her and express his feelings on the tender and emotional side without feeling it derogatory to his manhood; for when he sat down on the sofa and gave way utterly and openly…” (Quoted from pages 245-246). This means to me that men were willing to have women’s help in emotional troubles.
Victorian women were thought to not be smart, but Mina disproved that. She had read Jonathan’s journal and connected it to Lucy’s symptoms and death. She also stated that if she were to become a threat to stake her in order to save her and themselves. She was praised by Van Helsing because of her intelligence. She had led them to where Dracula was via hypnosis, and she had been correct. In this way, the views of Victorian women were underestimating them.
Victorian views of women were helpful, but would sometimes underestimate or belittle them. The rarity of Dracula’s appearances made a somewhat horrific aura to the text because it felt as if he was always around. Good and evil were presented by Dracula and Mina. I enjoyed the text especially because Mina was able to bring the others to their senses, and she was still kind even though she was being cursed by Dracula. Mina was very inspiring.



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