The book is titled “Dracula” because it’s about a count named Dracula, who lives in a castle in Transylvania.
The main characters
Count Dracula: he’s an immortal monster so long as he is able to drink the blood of the living. He’s tall, red-lipped, pale and has sharp canine teeth. He sleeps by day and moves about by night. He can shift shapes at will and can become a wolf, a bat or a puff of smoke. He has enormous physical power, but at the same time he’s vulnerable to garlic, crucifixes and holy water. The only way you can kill him is by driving a stake into his heart and cutting his head off.
Jonathan Harker: he’s a young lawyer, who’s sent to Transylvania to meet with the count, because he’s interested in buying a couple of houses in England. But eventually his visit to the count is no longer by his own free will, because the count keeps him as his prisoner until Jonathan manages to escape.
Mina Murray: she’s Jonathan’s wife. She’s a good soul and all the good men in the story become very attached to her. She almost turns into a vampire after drinking the counts blood. Her main task during the hunt on Dracula is to type out all of the letters and notes that the good men have sent to each other.
Lucy Westenra: she’s a good friend of Mina. She’s adored by three men: Arthur Holmwood, Quincey Morris and Dr. Seward. Before Dracula’s visits to her, Lucy was a beautiful and sweet girl who just wanted to marry Arthur Holmwood and be a good wife to him, but after a long period of sickness and her tragic death, she transforms into a vampire and the good men have to kill her on the only way a vampire can be killed.
Dr. Jack Seward: he’s a young doctor and is already in charge of a madhouse. He’s one of Lucy’s admirers and although Lucy decides to marry Arthur instead of him, he’s still willing to risk his life to kill Lucy’s murderer, all out of love for her.
Dr. Abraham Van Helsing: he’s a dutch doctor and friend and mentor of Dr. Seward. He’s more or less the leader of the group on their mission to kill Count Dracula. He makes all the plans and knows how to deal with vampires. Everybody relies on him.
Arthur Holmwood: he’s one of Lucy’s admirers and right before her death, they got
married. After the death of his lovely wife, Arthur wants nothing more but sweet revenge.
Quincey Morris: he’s a rich man from Texas, who had also lost his heart to Lucy and he also
wants to kill Dracula.
Patient Renfield: he’s one of Dr Seward’s mental patients and he’s very interested in animals.
He catches flies and then eats them. His periods of excitement correspond with Dracula’s
coming and goings. He refers to Dracula as his Lord and Master. He gets killed by Dracula.
The story took place partly in Transylvania and partly in Whitby which is located in England.
Jonathan Harker goes to Transylvania to meet with a client of his, Count Dracula, who’s interested in buying a couple of houses in England. At first the count seems nice, but after a while Jonathan starts to get suspicious: the count never eats with him, he never sees him during the day and he doesn’t have a reflexion in the mirror! Then one night while Jonathan’s wondering around in the castle, he enters an old dusty room and lies on the bed. That’s where he meets the three voluptuous lady vampires who try to seduce him and then try to bite him. But all of a sudden Dracula enters the room, chases the three shameless sluts away and starts laughing. From that moment on, Jonathan realises that he is no longer Dracula’s guest, but his prisoner. While he desperately tries to escape, the count leaves on a ship for England.
Meanwhile Jonathan’s fiancé Mina is staying with her friend Lucy in England. She’s very worried about Jonathan, because she hasn’t heard from him in a while. When finally a message arrives from a nunnery where Jonathan has been found, Mina goes to Transylvania and there they get married.
Back in England strange things are happening to Lucy. She has been bitten by Dracula and is getting weaker and weaker by the day, but Dr. Seward doesn’t know the cause of her weakness. In despair he sends a telegram to his old friend and mentor Dr. Van Helsing and asks him if he could come to see Lucy. Dr Van Helsing gives her three blood transfusions and covers her room with garlic, because he recognizes the symptoms. But despite of all his efforts Lucy dies and turns into a vampire.
After Dr. Van Helsing tries to convince Dr. Seward, Quincey Morris, Jonathan and Mina Harker and Lucy’s husband Arthur Holmwood that Lucy has become a vampire, they go to her grave and kill her the way vampires have to be killed so that her soul can rest in peace. Then After Lucy’s tragic death, the good men and Mina decide to kill the monster who did this to Lucy…Count Dracula!
They start their mission by searching Dracula’s houses and there they find lots of coffins and they put a little bit of the host in them so that the ground in the coffins are made holy. This way they can make Dracula’s territory smaller, because he can’t sleep on holy ground. However the count gets them back by drinking Mina’s blood and letting her drink his blood in order to transform her into a vampire as well. To protect Mina, Dr. Van Helsing gives her a piece of the host, but it burns on her forehead. The mark on her forehead would remain as long as Dracula didn’t get decapitated. However, because she and Dracula now share the same blood, she can read his mind and locate him. So Dr. Van Helsing hypnotizes her so that she could tell them where Dracula was. She could hear the lapping of water sp that means that he’s on a ship back to Transylvania. They went to Transylvania by train, hoping they would arrive before the Count. Arriving in Transylvania they split up in three groups. Mina and Dr. Van Helsing continued with a carriage and the rest of the men went by horse.
When Dr. van Helsing and Mina were close to the castle, Dr. van Helsing protected Mina by putting her in a circle of garlic. Then he went to the castle and killed the three lady vampires. Arriving at the castle, Mina and Dr. Van Helsing met with Jonathan, Quincey, Arthur and Dr. Seward and they saw a carriage arriving. It was the carriage where Dracula was on! During a fight with the gypsies who were on the carriage, Quincey got badly hurt and after opening Dracula’s coffin, Jonathan stabbed his knife through Dracula’s throat and Quincey’s bowie knife plunged in his heart, crumbling the count’s body into dust. After accomplishing that, Quincey died.
I think this is a Gotic novel, but not in every meaning of the word, because the story is situated in the “century of romance”. There are several aspects of that time incorporated in the story: death, the supernatural, love, nature, religion, dreams, graves, …
I think the book definitely deserves a 9 out of 10, because although the story is about a creature that doesn’t exist, the author has managed to fascinate millions of people with Dracula, the living death. There have been many movies about him and about vampires in general.
Although it was written in old English, it was very easy to read. The book was a connexion of letters and telegrams and diaries of the main characters and each letter would continue the facts of the story. It was a nice book and I enjoyed reading it.
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