For my assignment I am going to explain in detail about the classic story of Dracula by Bram Stoker. I will explain about the characters and then write in detail about the plot. Finally I will explain the way the novel is written. Characters Dracula Count Dracula is the central character around which the novel is based. This man is a Transylvanian nobleman who is a vampire. At the beginning of the novel Dracula is described: ‘His face was a strong – a very strong – aquiline, with high bridge of the thin nose and peculiarly arched nostrils’. Dracula is said to have a ‘rather cruel – looking’ moustache and ‘peculiarly’ sharp white teeth which are shown up by his red lips. The man is said to have a domed forehead with hair growing around the temples and bushy hair that ‘seemed to curl in its own profusion’.
Dracula is described as being welcoming and charming when Harker meets him for the first time. It is only later on in the novel when his true evil powers and capabilities are shown. This nobleman is centuries old and has to feed on the blood of the living. As the book goes on Count Dracula becomes younger and his powers increase. Vampires are the evil undead who live on by sucking the life out of innocent human beings. If one of the vampire’s victims is contaminated by one of these evil creatures they will die and then rise again as a vampire. Dracula can turn himself into a range of different animals and can affect humans in mysterious ways. He can turn into a bat so that he can fly through people’s windows, he can also turn into small rodent animals and in the novel it mentions that Dracula can turn into a large dog or wolf.
Jonathan Harker This man’s role in the novel is mostly at the beginning of the story when he travels to Transylvania to discuss matters with Count Dracula about him buying an estate in England. He is a young lawyer and is in love with Mina Murray who he writes to when away. Jonathan becomes a prisoner in Dracula’s castle and his journals of his experience become important when trying to destroy the vampire count. Later on in the novel Harker marries Mina.
Professor Van Helsing This Dutch professor is full of wisdom on the subject of vampirism and how to destroy them. He is well informed on the Nosferatu (vampire) and so becomes the leader and instructor on the search to kill Dracula. Dr. Seward (one of his former pupils) describes him as ‘a philosopher and metaphysician, and one of the most advanced scientists of his day’. Van Helsing goes to visit Lucy Westenra when she is ill and knows that a vampire has bitten her although he wonders whether such beliefs are true.
Mina Murray Mina Murray is Jonathan Harker’s and is best friends with Lucy Westenra (Dracula’s first victim). Jonathan and Mina eventually marry after he escapes from Dracula’s castle. She works as a schoolteacher and later becomes a victim of the Count herself. Mina is the heroine in the story as she is regarded by the reader as being innocent and pure. She becomes a victim to the Count but right up until her death she does not want to become evil. She represents goodness.
Lucy Westenra Lucy is a friend with Mina in the novel but falls into ill health and dies when she is bitten by Dracula. She is an attractive young woman who has been proposed to by three men. In the novel she becomes engaged to Arthur Holmwood who is the son of Lord Godalming. She becomes a vampire but is then killed by Van Helsing and the other three in the normal fashion by plunging a stake through her heart, cutting of her head and stuffing her mouth with garlic. Dr. John Seward This young doctor is the manager of an insane asylum that lies near to Dracula’s English estate. He used to be a pupil of Professor Van Helsing but in the novel he cannot diagnose what is wrong with Lucy Westenra until Van Helsing arrives. He is an intelligent, literate man whose diaries make up a lot of the novel. Seward is one of the men who proposed to Lucy Westenra but was refused.