Dracula

Bram Stoker

Ashton Kroeker

Summary

Dracula starts out with Jonathan Harker going to Transylvania to do business with Count Dracula.  He notices many odd things about Dracula during his visit.  For example, his whole body is ghostly white, and his teeth are unusually pointy.  Dracula also cannot be seen in a mirror.  One day Jonathan decides to investigate the castle.  He finds Dracula in a coffin appearing to be in a heavy sleep.  Jonathan knows that Dracula will kill him, but he cannot kill the man in the coffin.  Men come to take the coffin away and Jonathan escapes death and flees. His fiance, Mina, comes to his aid. She leaves behind her friend Lucy Westenra who writes to her often.  The letters tell of three men who proposed to her.  One was Dr. Seward who ran an insane asylum.  He works with Renfield, an insane man who believes in consuming living things to gain life.  Another was Quincy Morris, a man from Texas.  The one she said yes to was Arthur Holmwood.  Lucy has trouble sleepwalking, and every morning she is pale and sickly.  Dr. Seward calls on Dr. Van Helsing to help her.  He knows that Dracula is drinking her blood but does not reveal it to anyone. Lucy eventually dies one morning in her bed.  A few days after her death, children start to go missing.  They are found with puncture marks in their necks and bloodless.  Van Helsing tells the other men that Lucy is the one drinking the blood of the children.  They go to her coffin and find her more beautiful than ever even though she had been dead for days.  Arthur drives a stake into her heart and the undead lucy dies.  At this time Mina and Jonathan meet Van Helsing and the other men.  They all know that Dracula needs to be killed.  The men decide to leave Mina and Jonathan at the asylum in Dr. Sewards home so that she will be safe and he can watch over her.  Arthur, Van Helsing, Quincy and Dr. Seward find Draculas many hiding places each containing crates of ancient dirt that he uses as a sanctuary.  These are all destroyed.  When they get back, They find Renfield, the insane man, dying on the floor in his room.  He tells them that he let Dracula in the house, and that he went to find Mina. Mina and Jonathan are found in their room with Dracula drinking Minas blood.  He made her drink his blood as well so she was cursed to do his bidding.  This happens to be Draculas downfall.  Because of her connection to him, Mina is able to know where Dracula is hiding.  He had fled to a ship, and they wait for him to return to shore.  One day the ship comes back and men pack the crate with Dracula in it on their wagon.  They race to Draculas grave site in Transylvania to get there before sundown.  Arthur, Quincy, Van Helsing, and Jonathan race after them, fight the men on the wagon, and drive a dagger into Draculas heart.  Dracula becomes dust.  In the scuffle, Quincy is stabbed and dies.  Mina no longer is cursed and all is good again.

Setting

Dracula takes place in the beginning at Dracula's castle in Transylvania.  The rest of the novel mostly takes place in Whitby.  Dracula is then killed as he is fleeing back to Transylvania.  The time in which this takes place is not given.

Turning Point

The novel is pretty slow until the group of good characters find out where Dracula is hiding and where he will go next.  The novel then builds up the anticipation as Dracula is being raced to his grave to beat the sunset.  A fight breaks out just before the sun goes down, and Quincy and Jonathan finally reach Dracula and destroy him.  This is where the climax is.  Quincy dies, but Mina is free from her curse, and all is good again.

Recommendation

I recommend this book to people who like old English styles of writing.  It is not a novel for those who have trouble switching between different peoples point of views.  It is written as a bunch of diary enteries and it skips between parts of the plot which makes it hard to understand.  Sometimes it is a challenge to know who is talking.  It is a challenging novel, but a very good one that shows the struggle between the forces of good and evil.  I believe that Dracula should be read by people who love old supernatural tales. It is a thriller that I believe many will enjoy.

Sources

Stoker, Bram. Dracula. New York: Bantam Books, 1897. Print.