Dracula By Bram Stoker...Plot Summary

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Dracula By Bram Stoker...Plot Summary

Post  Dragonhawk on Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:33 pm

Notes on Dracula by Bram Stoker

I include it here because it is the root story of all modern Vampire stories ...am working on a critical analysis of Dracula, True Blood and the Sookie Books


Chapter One

Jonathan Harker begins the tale, detailing his trip to Count Dracula’s castle in Transylvania. In the way of popular reading of the time, it is written in the epistolary style and has such information as one might find in a travelogue.

Harker begins to foreshadow for us the turn of future events by telling us he slept poorly and was troubled by the baying of dogs or wolves. Harker also informs us Dracula’s name holds great sway over the people of the area and the name of Dracula is most fearful.

Harker also mentions that he hears strange words in association with Dracula and makes not of them: Ordog- Satan, Pokol- Hell, Stregioca- Witch, Vrolock or Vlkoslar- Werewolf/Vampire.
Harker is met by the Count’s driver and carriage around midnight and brought to the Count’s castle. Harker writes of seeing wolves and a riding through a terrible blue fire.

Chapter Two

Jonathan is met by Dracula who sees to him by himself. He is courtly, tall, dressed all in black with a silvery white moustache. Jonathan is shown to his room and then to the dining room, laid out with a nice meal. After supper, Jonathan makes a closer examination of Dracula.

Dracula possesses a strong aquiline face with a high bridge of a long thin nose. He has a high domed head with thinning hair at the temples but long thick hair on the top and back. He has a unibrow and he has a thin cruel mouth and white animal like teeth with long canines. He is ruddy skinned and has pointed elfin ears. He further has thick fingers and heavy palms with hair on his palms. He has long sharps nails and strong, foul breath.

Dawn is coming and they hear the sounds of the wolves howling. He says : Listen to them, the children of the night, what sweet music they make.

The next day, Harker tells him of the properties the Count has thus far acquired and about English customs till they come again to dawn.

The next day, as Harker prepares to his shave, Dracula comes in without his realizing it and Jonathan is surprised Dracula has no reflection. Dracula seems insulted and breaks Jonathan’s shaving mirror. Harker also realizes he is locked in Castle Dracula.

Chapter Three

Dracula now tells Harker something of his heritage. He claims among other bloodlines: The Norse who fought with their Berserkers and the Huns. Dracula then says he has business to attend to and he warns Jonathan he should not fall asleep in other parts of the castle.

Later, Jonathan sees an incredible thing, Dracula crawling head first down the side of his castle walls. Harker then does go exploring and falls asleep in another room is met by the three brides of Dracula. Dracula is angry with them and offers them instead of Jonathan a baby to feast upon.

Chapter Four

Harker now knows he must somehow escape the castle. He gets out his window and climbs up to the room Dracula climbed out of. He finds piles of gold and gypsies who are filling the Count’s boxes with soil and eventually Dracula himself, lying in the dirt in a coffin.

Later Dracula tells him he is leaving soon and he will be permitted to leave when he is gone, which is a lie. He escapes again and goes to Dracula’s room where again he sees Dracula but he is getting stronger and younger.

Chapter Five

Mina and Lucy begin their correspondence. Mina speaks of Jonathan and of learning to take stenography and learning to type and the fact that Jonathan in Transylvania.

Lucy tells Mina she has had three proposals of marriage: John Seward, the doctor at the local mad house. Quincy Morris, a brash American, and Arthur Lord Godalming Holmwood. She has chosen Arthur.

Dr. Seward is now writing of RM Renfield, who is a maniac who is interesting in consuming living creatures and blood.

Chapter Six

Begins with Mina visiting Lucy. There she chats with one of the locals about a superstition about the White Lady, a local ghost or revenant.

Seward goes on with his observations of Renfield who actively catches flies in his cell. He is also catching spiders, whom he feed the flies. Renfield is now asking for a kitten or cat, something he feed or raise. He has also partially tamed a sparrow. Renfield is also practicing autophagy, which is the consuming of one’s self…

Renfield has been denied a cat but he has gone on to eat his sparrow which he vomited up. Seward has taken to drugging Renfield with opiates.

Mina writes in her journal she has not heard from Jonathan except a brief letter saying he is well and soon on his way home. Lucy has begun to fall on and off ill, and Arthur’s father has taken ill. Lucy has begun to sleep walk.

Chapter Seven

The schooner The Demeter has wrecked off the coast of England, her captain lashed to the wheel, his hands clutching a rosary. His throat is torn out. He is the only one the ship, containing boxes of experimental soil.

The ship’s log explains they stopped at Varna to pick up these boxes. The crew is very unhappy and sailors are disappearing.

Chapter Eight

Lucy is still sleepwalking. Mina follows her one evening and finds her in the cemetery in some dream state. Mina does mention, however she saw a tall thin shadow bending over Lucy.

Afterwards, Mina manages to lock Lucy in her room at night but Lucy seems to be wasting away. Still no word from Jonathan.

When Lucy seems to be getting better, Mina hears from Jonathan. He has been ill and in the care of nuns.

Renfield has ceased collecting bugs. Instead he tells the doctor he is preparing for the arrival of his Master.

Chapter Nine

Mina eventually joins Jonathan in Budapest and is married. Jonathan gives Mina his journal and tells her she can read it. Mina instead seals it and says she will only read should she need to, a gesture of trust in Jonathan.

Renfield is still waiting for his Master. He tries to kill Seward.

Arthur writes to Seward and tells him Lucy is very ill. Seward visits Lucy and she tells him of her sleep walking and dreams. Seward suggests he call his mentor Abraham Van Helsing.

Upon his examination, Van Helsing reports Lucy is very ill and he is worried.

Further, Seward records in his diary Renfield has turned despondent. He says his Master has abandoned him.

Chapter Ten

Three times Lucy is found nearly drained and three times she has a blood transfusion, one from Quincy, one from Dr. Seward, one from Van Helsing. Then there is an odd note of the escape of a wolf from the zoo called Berserker.

Seward remarks in his diary Renfield broke into his offices and cut his arm. Renfield then fell on the floor and began to lick up the blood, shouting The Blood is the Life.

Lucy has begun keeping a diary like her friend Mina and she writes she is afraid. She says she tries to sleep but a large bat beats against her window and she heard the howling of a dog.

Later she records a large wolf broke into her room and killed her mother and when she went for help, she found the servants drugged with laudanum.

Chapter 12

The next day, Seward and Van Helsing arrive at Lucy’s. Lucy is again nearly bled to death and her mother is dead and the servants still drugged. Quincy appears and again they transfuse her with Quincy’s blood. Arthur’s dad is very ill and very close to death so he cannot go to Lucy.

Quincy corners Seward and asks him if Van Helsing really knows what he is doing. He then asks what is taking the blood out of Lucy.

The next day, Lucy seems to be having fits and her teeth seem to be growing. Mina and Jonathan return to England.

Seward continues to report on the case of Renfield who has attacked one of the warders.

Mina then writes in her journal Jonathan’s employer has passed away and left Jonathan his house and business, which makes him a very wealthy person.

Seward then says they are now at constant vigil of Lucy’s bedside. She is getting worse. She tries to bite Arthur. Seward says he notices the presence of a large bat outside Lucy’s window. Eventually, Lucy dies.

Chapter 13 and 14

Lucy is given a wake and during that time, Van Helsing tells Seward he wants to cut off Lucy’s head and cut out her heart.

Jonathan sees the Count on the street and Mina discovers the death of her friend. Because of the presence of the Count and the way Jonathan reacted, she resolves to read Jonathan’s journal.

There is news of the Bloofer Lady and attacks on children and the sighting of a wild dog.

Chapter 15

Seward and Van Helsing go to observe Lucy’s tomb. At night, her casket is empty, during the day, Lucy is there. Van Helsing is resolved to give her the True Death.

Seward, Van Helsing, Quincy and Arthur meet and discuss how and why they have to do anything to Lucy. There is much outcry against the destruction of Lucy’s body.

Chapter 16

Seward, Van Helsing, Quincy, and Arthur stake out Lucy’s grave and discovers she is the Bloofer Lady the new papers have been reporting about. This is when Van Helsing begins to tell us about Nosferatu and how they make others like him. Van Helsing says that if they stake Lucy, her immortal soul will be saved. While Van Helsing reads the Rite of Exorcism over Lucy’s grave, Arthur stakes her. He then leaves and Seward and Van Helsing cut her head off and fill her mouth with garlic.

Chapter 17

Mina comes to London to meet with Seward and Van Helsing. She is at the madhouse so she busies herself by typing up Seward’s diary from the phonograph cylinders and then goes through news papers and compiles articles that seem to be a part of the mystery they are working on. Jonathan brings correspondences between his firm and Dracula. Jonathan then tracks down Dracula’s boxes of earth, his resting places so they can be sterilized.

Quincy and Arthur meet them the next day.

Chapter 18

Renfield has been quite sane recently and is curious about it. Mina decides she would like to meet Renfield, having heard about him in Seward’s diary. He proves himself interesting and harmless.

Van Helsing meets with the group and he tells them a little bit about what a Vampire is and how his life is different from human life. This is interesting because later, Van Helsing adds to this, in a sort of a scientific level.

These are the characteristic of a Vampire, based on the folklore.

• He is known everywhere there has been man: Greece, Rome, Germany, France, India, China. He follows in the wake of the Berserker, the devil begotten Hun, the Slav, the Saxon, the Magyar.
• The Vampire lives as long as he has a supply of blood.
• He casts no reflection, nor does he have a shadow.
• He has supernatural strength and can see in the dark
• He can shape shift and control animals.
• He can call a mist and control the weather.
• He must be invited into a home
• He must hide himself in the day light, though this rule is not very clear because Dracula can move about in the day, but his powers are severely diminished.
• He must rest in his native soil.
• He can only cross running water in the highest point of the high tide and the lowest point of the low tide.
• He cannot stand Garlic
• He cannot stand religious objects.
• The branch of a wild rose will hold him in his coffin.

Seward records further of Renfield as he begs Seward to move out of the asylum, even if he is removed to a prison.

Chapter 19

Seward, Jonathan, Quincy, Van Helsing, and Arthur go to investigate where Dracula is holed up in Carfax Abbey.

They sterilize thirty-nine of the fifty boxes they know he brought with him. While they are working on the boxes, Jonathan and Arthur think they saw a face. Suddenly, the room is full of rats and dogs.
Mina records in her diary there was a strange mist in her bedroom.

Chapter 20

Mina continues to show signs of fatigue and worry the men are up to something they are not telling her.
Jonathan concerns himself with finding the rest of Dracula’s boxes. He discovers that in addition to the properties Dracula bought through his firm, he has bought others since coming to London. They find a further 9 boxes and make ready to destroy them.

Seward records Renfield has stopped collecting souls and seems to be waiting. He says he is like Enoch, who walked with God. Enoch was the son of Methuselah and he was noted for his faithfulness to God and was so faithful that God took him away rather than allow him to die. Seward does not see the analogy and that is he hopes that Dracula will make him Vampire.

The next day, Renfield is found in a pool of blood.

Chapter 21

Renfield is almost dead of a cracked skull and a broken back. He relates a dream he had of Dracula appearing at his window.

He says he heard dogs barking and he could see Dracula in the window and was baring his teeth , waning Renfield to invite him in. Dracula then begins to promise himself things, symbolized as gigantic flies and Acharantias Styx, the Death’s Head moth, fat rats, each of them a life, and dogs and cats to eat them. All Renfield has to do is invite him in, his Lord and Master. He does and Dracula came in through the small opening.

Then Mina came into the room in Renfield’s dream and she was pale as the moon. He said he tried grab Dracula but he glares at Renfield. Renfield then says he wakes but he knows Dracula has beguiled him and he is feeding off Mina.

They break into Mina’s bedroom just then and they Mina is being fed Dracula’s blood. Dracula turns into a mist and disappears. Quincy gives him chase.

Jonathan wishes to follow him but Mina is clinging to him. She tells him she is unclean because she has Dracula’s blood in her. They also discover that as Dracula made his escape, he destroyed their journals and research, even Dr. Seward’s phonographic records of their experiences.

Mina tells the group Dracula won her silence by threatening to kill Jonathan. He told her he did not like their cat and mouse games so he would mark her as his through a blood exchange. Dracula fed from Mina and then he opened his skin and fed her his blood. Now she was in his thrawl and would do his bidding.

Chapter 22

The group says they are still committed to destroying Dracula’s resting places. Jonathan also notes Mina is displaying some the characteristics of Dracula.

They manage to destroy two more of Dracula’s boxes and are heading to house in Piccadilly. Before they leave, Van Helsing blesses them all with the Host. When he touches Mina, the Host burns her forehead because of the blood bond with Dracula.

Arthur and Van Helsing go to the house in Piccadilly and break in to destroy more of his boxes. They destroy the boxes there and discover the deeds and keys to other properties.

Chapter 23

The group goes through the papers and also receives some word from a scholar friend of Van Helsing who has some information about Count Dracula. Dracula was a warrior and scholar who was heavily into magik and alchemy. This seems to be a holdover from his time with the Turks and had from an early age been trying to become immortal. This seems to be at odds with we know about Vampirism which seems as much a spiritual condition which transforms the body than a transformation of the body which alters the state of the soul.

They have one more box to track down. They went to the final house Dracula had purchased and meet up with Dracula. He tells them they are too late, that he is even now making more Vampires. He then disappears and they do not find his coffin.

Mina comes up with idea Van Helsing must hypnotize her. During the hypnotism, she reveals Dracula is at sea.

Chapter 24

They know Dracula is headed back to Transylvania by ship, aboard the Czarina Catherine. Van Helsing offers the theory that the world is criss crossed with magnetic metaphysical lines called ley lines that empower Dracula and feed him and give him strength even in sparsely populated areas like his home in Transylvania.

Van Helsing then turns philosophical. He thinks about Dracula, all of his power and his intellect and his charisma and imagines that power used in the cause of good, actually considering the possibility even a Vampire might be able to be “good”. Van Helsing also suspects that just as they peered into Dracula’s mind, he is using Mina as a window into their world.

They begin to “weapon-up” gathering guns and they contrive to leave Jonathan and Mina behind. But Mina has figured out she has a connection to Dracula and they can use it to their advantage for as Mina is called by Dracula, they can follow her and find Dracula.

Chapter 25

As Mina watches the men plan their trip, she makes them promise they will give her the true death if she becomes Vampire. They promise. Dracula is slowly making his way to Transylvania.

Chapter 26
Dracula has been blocking Mina’s ability to read his mind, but, Mina knows through the blood bond he is on his way to Varna.

The group decides to split up. Arthur is going by river with Jonathan, Quincy by horse with Seward and Van Helsing and Mina by carriage.

Chapter 27

Mina becomes more and more like a Vampire the closer she and Van Helsing get to Dracula’s castle. They stop for a rest and the three brides of Dracula try to entice Mina away from Van Helsing and when they are thwarted, they kill the horses.

The next day, Van Helsing goes to kill the brides. He finds them in the castle and also discovers Dracula’s home tomb. He kills the brides and sterilizes the tomb.

Dracula and his men are driving hard to the castle with Quincy and Seward behind. Jonathan and Arthur are not far behind. They over take the wagon containing Dracula in his box. Jonathan kills Dracula but Quincy is mortally wounded.

Notes on Dracula, Vlad Tepes, Slavs, Tirgoviste.

The Slavs originate from Iran (though there is some argument about that) who traveled west into Eastern Europe. They speak an amalgam of Greek, Hebrew and Armenian.

The southern Slavic Vampire has roots in the old pagan beliefs of the Persians. Many Vampires appear in lore from Pagan stories with their roots in the Greek about Lamia, in Hebrew Lilith.

Targoviste is Dracula’s birthplace. Vlad Tepes ruled for only six years. He had been a hostage/foster to the Turkish Sultan. There are three major social groups:

Boyars- Nobles with royal blood.
Magyrs- Nobles ( this is where Vlad Tepes comes in)
Szeskys- Commoners and Ethnic people (Roma)

Vlad Tepes had an affinity for the Szeskys.

The Demeter and the escaped wolf named Berserker were true stories of events that happened when Bram was writing his tale...
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