Evil in Dracula Chapters 14-21

Chapter 14

  • This chapter starts off with Mina transcribing her husband’s journal and she is horrified by what she reads  
  • Interestingly she also writes “How he must have suffered, whether it be true or only imagination” – again rekindling that sense of doubt in the reader as to whether or not Harker’s experiences were a dream or reality  
  • This chapter starts off with Mina transcribing her husband’s journal and she is horrified by what she reads  
  • Interestingly she also writes “How he must have suffered, whether it be true or only imagination” – again rekindling that sense of doubt in the reader as to whether or not Harker’s experiences were a dream or reality  

Harker’s Memory Returns

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  • Van Helsing reads Harker’s diary and returns to see the couple at breakfast the next day 
  • Van Helsing’s belief in Jonathan’s observations restores the young man’s memories of his time in Transylvania 
  • Realizing that Dracula must indeed have journeyed to England, Harker begins a new diary  
  • Van Helsing reads Harker’s diary and returns to see the couple at breakfast the next day 
  • Van Helsing’s belief in Jonathan’s observations restores the young man’s memories of his time in Transylvania 
  • Realizing that Dracula must indeed have journeyed to England, Harker begins a new diary  

Lucy as the Bloofer Lady

  • Van Helsing reads the newspaper accounts of the “Bloofer Lady,” noting that the abducted children always reappear with wounds on their necks similar to those that appeared on Lucy’s neck  
  • Seward is skeptical of any connection, but his mentor urges him to believe in the possibility of the supernatural 
  • Van Helsing suddenly concludes that it must be Lucy who is responsible for the marks on the children’s necks  
  • Van Helsing reads the newspaper accounts of the “Bloofer Lady,” noting that the abducted children always reappear with wounds on their necks similar to those that appeared on Lucy’s neck  
  • Seward is skeptical of any connection, but his mentor urges him to believe in the possibility of the supernatural 
  • Van Helsing suddenly concludes that it must be Lucy who is responsible for the marks on the children’s necks  

Analysis

  • Van Helsing’s role in this chapter also solidifies his position as the leader of these men – knowledgeable in all areas of thought (science and religion!)  
  • His affirmations validate the occurrences in the diary for both Jonathan and Mina 
  • We seem to get confirmation in this chapter that Lucy is not dead 
  • Van Helsing’s role in this chapter also solidifies his position as the leader of these men – knowledgeable in all areas of thought (science and religion!)  
  • His affirmations validate the occurrences in the diary for both Jonathan and Mina 
  • We seem to get confirmation in this chapter that Lucy is not dead 

Chapter 15

  • Seward is shocked by Van Helsing’s suggestion that Lucy could be responsible for the assaults on local children 
  •  The two men visit one of the wounded children and find that the marks on the child’s neck are identical to Lucy’s  
  • That same night, Seward and Van Helsing go to Lucy’s tomb, open the coffin, and they find that it is empty  
  • Seward is shocked by Van Helsing’s suggestion that Lucy could be responsible for the assaults on local children 
  •  The two men visit one of the wounded children and find that the marks on the child’s neck are identical to Lucy’s  
  • That same night, Seward and Van Helsing go to Lucy’s tomb, open the coffin, and they find that it is empty  

Closing In on Lucy

  • Seward thinks that maybe a grave robber might have taken Lucy’s body, but Van Helsing tells him to keep watch at one side of the churchyard  
  • Seward sees a “white streak” moving quickly between the trees then he and Van Helsing approach and find a child lying nearby  
  • Seward thinks that maybe a grave robber might have taken Lucy’s body, but Van Helsing tells him to keep watch at one side of the churchyard  
  • Seward sees a “white streak” moving quickly between the trees then he and Van Helsing approach and find a child lying nearby  

Lucy’s Fate

  • Once the two men go back to Lucy’s tomb and find her laying in the coffin and “radiantly beautiful,” does Seward feel the “horrid sense of the reality of things.” 
  •  Van Helsing tells Seward that Lucy belongs to the realm of the “Un-Dead” and he argues that they have to decapitate Lucy, fill her mouth with garlic, and then drive a stake through her heart  
  • The  entire group of men decide to go through with the plan but Holmwood has a hard time with the impending act of violence 
  • Once the two men go back to Lucy’s tomb and find her laying in the coffin and “radiantly beautiful,” does Seward feel the “horrid sense of the reality of things.” 
  •  Van Helsing tells Seward that Lucy belongs to the realm of the “Un-Dead” and he argues that they have to decapitate Lucy, fill her mouth with garlic, and then drive a stake through her heart  
  • The  entire group of men decide to go through with the plan but Holmwood has a hard time with the impending act of violence 

Analysis

  • Seward starts to feel a sense of the ‘uncanny’ – he sees and experiences things that he previously thought to be impossible 
  • The way to kill the vampire is to drive a stake through the heart (fighting a supernatural threat with violence?) 
  • Seward starts to feel a sense of the ‘uncanny’ – he sees and experiences things that he previously thought to be impossible 
  • The way to kill the vampire is to drive a stake through the heart (fighting a supernatural threat with violence?) 

Chapter 16

  • That night, the four men go to Lucy’s grave and find it empty 
  • Van Helsing seals the door of the tomb with Communion wafers to prevent the vampire Lucy from going back into the tomb  
  • Eventually, a figure appears, dressed entirely in white and carrying a child  
  • That night, the four men go to Lucy’s grave and find it empty 
  • Van Helsing seals the door of the tomb with Communion wafers to prevent the vampire Lucy from going back into the tomb  
  • Eventually, a figure appears, dressed entirely in white and carrying a child  

Confrontation

  • The men confirm that it is Lucy—or rather, a monster that looks like Lucy, with eyes “unclean and full of hell-fire” and a mouth stained with fresh blood  
  • As the men surround her, she drops the child and calls out seductively to Holmwood, telling him to come to her and he is taken in by her charm 
  • The men confirm that it is Lucy—or rather, a monster that looks like Lucy, with eyes “unclean and full of hell-fire” and a mouth stained with fresh blood  
  • As the men surround her, she drops the child and calls out seductively to Holmwood, telling him to come to her and he is taken in by her charm 

Lucy as an Embodiment of Evil

  • Van Helsing jumps in between them and pulls out a crucifix which he holds out toward Lucy  
  • She recoils as if the crucifix has some power over her – this is clearly an example of the crucifix’s efficacy as an apotropaic device because the so-called evil embodiment of Lucy is repelled by it  
  • Van Helsing jumps in between them and pulls out a crucifix which he holds out toward Lucy  
  • She recoils as if the crucifix has some power over her – this is clearly an example of the crucifix’s efficacy as an apotropaic device because the so-called evil embodiment of Lucy is repelled by it  

Confirmation

  • Van Helsing quickly removes the Communion wafers, and the vampire slips through the door of her tomb  
  • Holmwood is now convinced after witnessing this scene that Van Helsing was right and that they must go through with the unpleasant task of mutilating Lucy’s body  
  • Van Helsing quickly removes the Communion wafers, and the vampire slips through the door of her tomb  
  • Holmwood is now convinced after witnessing this scene that Van Helsing was right and that they must go through with the unpleasant task of mutilating Lucy’s body  

Lucy’s Salvation

  • The following evening, he comes back to the tomb to hammer a stake through Lucy’s heart  
  • Van Helsing reassures Holmwood that he has saved Lucy’s soul from eternal darkness and has given her peace at last  
  • Before leaving the tomb, Van Helsing makes plans to reunite with the men two nights later, so that they may discuss the “terrible task” before them  
  • The following evening, he comes back to the tomb to hammer a stake through Lucy’s heart  
  • Van Helsing reassures Holmwood that he has saved Lucy’s soul from eternal darkness and has given her peace at last  
  • Before leaving the tomb, Van Helsing makes plans to reunite with the men two nights later, so that they may discuss the “terrible task” before them  

Analysis

  • Communion wafers as a means of protection making a physical barrier 
  • The mutilation of Lucy’s body can be understood in two ways: either an honourable death to return Lucy to a state of purity in death and/or an act that mirrors a sexual consummation of Holmwood and Lucy’s relationship 
  • Communion wafers as a means of protection making a physical barrier 
  • The mutilation of Lucy’s body can be understood in two ways: either an honourable death to return Lucy to a state of purity in death and/or an act that mirrors a sexual consummation of Holmwood and Lucy’s relationship 

Chapter 17

  • At Van Helsing’s urging, Jonathan and Mina Harker come to stay with Seward at the asylum 
  • Seward reads the Harkers’ journals, realizing for the first time that Dracula may well be his next-door neighbor and that there may be a connection between the vampire’s proximity and Renfield’s behavior  
  • At Van Helsing’s urging, Jonathan and Mina Harker come to stay with Seward at the asylum 
  • Seward reads the Harkers’ journals, realizing for the first time that Dracula may well be his next-door neighbor and that there may be a connection between the vampire’s proximity and Renfield’s behavior  

Discoveries

  • During this same time, Jonathan researches the boxes of earth that were shipped from Transylvania to England  
  • He discovers that all fifty were delivered to the chapel at Dracula’s estate, but worries that some might have been moved elsewhere in recent weeks  
  • Harker seems to have recovered from his ordeal in Transylvania 
  • During this same time, Jonathan researches the boxes of earth that were shipped from Transylvania to England  
  • He discovers that all fifty were delivered to the chapel at Dracula’s estate, but worries that some might have been moved elsewhere in recent weeks  
  • Harker seems to have recovered from his ordeal in Transylvania 

Analysis

  • Dracula is in close proximity and based on the details Stoker includes, it appears that he is closing in and the build-up to the final showdown has begun 
  • The missing boxes are further cause for concern 
  • Dracula is in close proximity and based on the details Stoker includes, it appears that he is closing in and the build-up to the final showdown has begun 
  • The missing boxes are further cause for concern 

Chapter 18

  • With Seward’s permission, Mina visits Renfield and he quickly swallows his flies before she arrives 
  • But in her presence he is rational and coherent – this suggests two possibilities: either Mina’s goodness brings out the ‘good’ in Renfield OR Mina herself will be susceptible to the evil that exists within Renfield and his connection to Dracula  
  • With Seward’s permission, Mina visits Renfield and he quickly swallows his flies before she arrives 
  • But in her presence he is rational and coherent – this suggests two possibilities: either Mina’s goodness brings out the ‘good’ in Renfield OR Mina herself will be susceptible to the evil that exists within Renfield and his connection to Dracula  

Next Steps

  • Van Helsing compliments Mina on her work but hopes that she will be spared a role in the business before them  
  • The destruction of the vampire, he notes, is “no part for a woman.”  
  • Therefore, their quest to stop Dracula is viewed as dangerous manly work that Mina is not to take part in  
  • Van Helsing compliments Mina on her work but hopes that she will be spared a role in the business before them  
  • The destruction of the vampire, he notes, is “no part for a woman.”  
  • Therefore, their quest to stop Dracula is viewed as dangerous manly work that Mina is not to take part in  

Nosferatu

  • Van Helsing gathers the entire company and tells them the legend of the nosferatu, or “Un-Dead.”  
  • These creatures are immortal and possess an un-human amount of strength 
  • They also have the ability to command animals and the elements of nature; and can disappear or even change their bodily form whenever they want  
  • Van Helsing gathers the entire company and tells them the legend of the nosferatu, or “Un-Dead.”  
  • These creatures are immortal and possess an un-human amount of strength 
  • They also have the ability to command animals and the elements of nature; and can disappear or even change their bodily form whenever they want  

Weakness

  • But these creatures also have certain weaknesses 
  • For example, they cannot survive without blood; as we saw earlier, they cannot enter a house unless they have been invited 
  • They also lose their powers at once the sun comes up and so they are only active at night time 
  • Once the morning comes, they have to find shelter somewhere in the earth or a coffin; crucifixes also seem to drain them of their evil powers as do Communion wafers, and other holy objects  
  • But these creatures also have certain weaknesses 
  • For example, they cannot survive without blood; as we saw earlier, they cannot enter a house unless they have been invited 
  • They also lose their powers at once the sun comes up and so they are only active at night time 
  • Once the morning comes, they have to find shelter somewhere in the earth or a coffin; crucifixes also seem to drain them of their evil powers as do Communion wafers, and other holy objects  

Renfield

  • The entire company asks to see Renfield  
  • They gather, and he makes a remarkably rational and passionate plea to be released at once in order to avoid terrible consequences 
  • Fearing that this sudden display of sanity is but “another form or phase of his madness,” Seward denies Renfield’s request  
  • The entire company asks to see Renfield  
  • They gather, and he makes a remarkably rational and passionate plea to be released at once in order to avoid terrible consequences 
  • Fearing that this sudden display of sanity is but “another form or phase of his madness,” Seward denies Renfield’s request  

Analysis

  • We learn more about how vampires operate, what type of power they have, and what their weaknesses are 
  • The men also decide to engage Dracula in order to save themselves from succumbing to same evil that took Lucy 
  • We learn more about how vampires operate, what type of power they have, and what their weaknesses are 
  • The men also decide to engage Dracula in order to save themselves from succumbing to same evil that took Lucy 

Chapter 19

  • The men head over to Dracula’s estate bringing holy objects with them for protection 
  • There is no sign of Dracula in the chapel, but there is a terrible smell, and the men find a bunch of the boxes they were looking for but some are missing 
  • Rats begin to fill the chapel, which appear to function in a similar fashion as the bats and wolves in that they serve as a literary device to signal the uncanny or ‘evil’  
  • The men head over to Dracula’s estate bringing holy objects with them for protection 
  • There is no sign of Dracula in the chapel, but there is a terrible smell, and the men find a bunch of the boxes they were looking for but some are missing 
  • Rats begin to fill the chapel, which appear to function in a similar fashion as the bats and wolves in that they serve as a literary device to signal the uncanny or ‘evil’  

Mina

  • Mina records her increasing level of anxiety in her diary and one night in the asylum, she wakes up after hearing strange sounds from Renfield’s room and finds that her window is open even though she is pretty sure that she closed it – what does this tell us about female characters in general?  
  • Even though Mina is the picture of purity and goodness, she too seemingly opens the window. Is this on her own volition? Does she possess the same characteristics as Lucy? Did she invite Dracula in as well?  
  • Mina records her increasing level of anxiety in her diary and one night in the asylum, she wakes up after hearing strange sounds from Renfield’s room and finds that her window is open even though she is pretty sure that she closed it – what does this tell us about female characters in general?  
  • Even though Mina is the picture of purity and goodness, she too seemingly opens the window. Is this on her own volition? Does she possess the same characteristics as Lucy? Did she invite Dracula in as well?  

Dracula’s Attack

  • Mina stares out the window at a thin streak of white mist that slowly creeps across the yard toward the asylum, seeming to have a “sentience and a vitality of its own.”  
  • Mina sleeps fitfully and wakes to find a “pillar of cloud” in her room and she sees a “livid white face” bending over her, but assumes this figure is merely part of her dream  
  • Mina stares out the window at a thin streak of white mist that slowly creeps across the yard toward the asylum, seeming to have a “sentience and a vitality of its own.”  
  • Mina sleeps fitfully and wakes to find a “pillar of cloud” in her room and she sees a “livid white face” bending over her, but assumes this figure is merely part of her dream  

Analysis

  • Mina’s experience parallels Harker’s – is she dreaming or is her experience real? 
  • Another case that illustrates the vulnerability of the subconscious/unconscious  
  • And what is Mina’s role in Dracula’s apparent entrance? 
  • Mina’s experience parallels Harker’s – is she dreaming or is her experience real? 
  • Another case that illustrates the vulnerability of the subconscious/unconscious  
  • And what is Mina’s role in Dracula’s apparent entrance? 

Chapter 20

  • Mina starts exhibiting similar symptoms to Lucy 
  • Harker also notes that Mina is more ‘affectionate’ than she normally is – a clear indicator that she too has begun a transformation much like Lucy  
  • Mina starts exhibiting similar symptoms to Lucy 
  • Harker also notes that Mina is more ‘affectionate’ than she normally is – a clear indicator that she too has begun a transformation much like Lucy  

Other Changes

  • Seward continues to observe rapid changes in Renfield’s behavior  
  • He seems to have given up his interest in eating living things but he still talks about his earlier wish for life  
  • Soon after, he is found in his cell covered in blood 
  • Seward continues to observe rapid changes in Renfield’s behavior  
  • He seems to have given up his interest in eating living things but he still talks about his earlier wish for life  
  • Soon after, he is found in his cell covered in blood 

Analysis

  • Mina seems to have begun a similar transformation to Lucy but the details seem different 
  • Mina is married, has not exhibited any overt sexuality or interest in other men, and she has been presented so far as an ideal woman: strong but loyal and modest 
  • Mina seems to have begun a similar transformation to Lucy but the details seem different 
  • Mina is married, has not exhibited any overt sexuality or interest in other men, and she has been presented so far as an ideal woman: strong but loyal and modest 

Chapter 21

  • Renfield admits to the other men that Dracula often visited him, promising him flies, spiders, and other living creatures from which to gain strength in return for Renfield’s obedience  
  • When Mina visits him, Renfield sees her pale features and concludes that Dracula had been “taking the life out of her.”  
  • Renfield admits to the other men that Dracula often visited him, promising him flies, spiders, and other living creatures from which to gain strength in return for Renfield’s obedience  
  • When Mina visits him, Renfield sees her pale features and concludes that Dracula had been “taking the life out of her.”  

Dracula & Renfield

  • When Dracula attempts to enter his room that night, Renfield tries to grab hold of him 
  • But Dracula of course was the more powerful of the two and his eyes “burned” Renfield, and he is easily thrown across the room as Dracula makes his escape 
  • Renfield becomes the battlefield for this struggle between good and evil, much like Lucy had become earlier in the novel  
  • When Dracula attempts to enter his room that night, Renfield tries to grab hold of him 
  • But Dracula of course was the more powerful of the two and his eyes “burned” Renfield, and he is easily thrown across the room as Dracula makes his escape 
  • Renfield becomes the battlefield for this struggle between good and evil, much like Lucy had become earlier in the novel  

Mina’s Room

  • The men rush upstairs to the Harkers’ room but they find it locked, so they have to break down the door 
  • They walk into an unsettling scene: Jonathan lies unconscious, Mina kneels on the edge of the bed (again also a posture for praying but in this case for something sinister involving Dracula), and Dracula stands over her as she drinks from a wound on his breast  
  • The men rush upstairs to the Harkers’ room but they find it locked, so they have to break down the door 
  • They walk into an unsettling scene: Jonathan lies unconscious, Mina kneels on the edge of the bed (again also a posture for praying but in this case for something sinister involving Dracula), and Dracula stands over her as she drinks from a wound on his breast  

Dracula’s Escape

  • Dracula turns on the intruders, his eyes flaming with “devilish passion,” but Van Helsing holds up a sacred Communion wafer and the count retreats 
  • All that is left of Dracula is a faint vapor escaping under the door 
  • Morris chases it and sees a bat flying away from Carfax – suggesting that Dracula again is capable to changing his appearance and bodily form  
  • Dracula turns on the intruders, his eyes flaming with “devilish passion,” but Van Helsing holds up a sacred Communion wafer and the count retreats 
  • All that is left of Dracula is a faint vapor escaping under the door 
  • Morris chases it and sees a bat flying away from Carfax – suggesting that Dracula again is capable to changing his appearance and bodily form  

Mina’s ‘infection’

  • Mina and Jonathan then both regain consciousness and Mina relays parts of the story that she remembers – she awoke that night to find Jonathan unconscious beside her and Dracula stepping out of a mist  
  • The count threatened to kill her husband if Mina made a sound and he drank blood from her throat, telling her that it was not the first time he had done so 
  • Mina and Jonathan then both regain consciousness and Mina relays parts of the story that she remembers – she awoke that night to find Jonathan unconscious beside her and Dracula stepping out of a mist  
  • The count threatened to kill her husband if Mina made a sound and he drank blood from her throat, telling her that it was not the first time he had done so 

Role Reversal

  • Then, slicing his own chest open, he pressed her lips to the cut and forced her to drink his blood 
  • Dracula taunts the upstanding moral characters such as the doctors and tells Mina that he will make her “flesh of my flesh.”  
  • Mina cries out, “God pity me! Look down on a poor soul in worse than mortal peril!”  
  • Then, slicing his own chest open, he pressed her lips to the cut and forced her to drink his blood 
  • Dracula taunts the upstanding moral characters such as the doctors and tells Mina that he will make her “flesh of my flesh.”  
  • Mina cries out, “God pity me! Look down on a poor soul in worse than mortal peril!”  

Analysis

  • Dracula is perverting an image of a nursing mother: rather than giving life by offering milk, Dracula tries to guarantee Mina’s death by feeding her his blood  
  • Even though Mina is being forced to participate, she is in a position of power 
  • This scene also perverts the Eucharist and the ritual sacred consumption of blood 
  • Dracula is perverting an image of a nursing mother: rather than giving life by offering milk, Dracula tries to guarantee Mina’s death by feeding her his blood  
  • Even though Mina is being forced to participate, she is in a position of power 
  • This scene also perverts the Eucharist and the ritual sacred consumption of blood 

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