Monsters & Madness

Secret Lives in Victorian Literature

Parallels Between Lucy And Dracula

            At first glance, it doesn’t seem likely to have a lot in common with a vampire; however, Dracula by Bram Stoker has created a parallel between Lucy, a human, and Count Dracula, a vampire.

            Firstly, the number three is connected to both characters, which creates a parallel. Lucy has three suitors anxious to marry her. She asks Mina in a letter, “why can’t they let a girl marry three men, or as many as want her, and save all this trouble?” (Stoker, 67) in response to the three proposals she received in one day. Similarly, as revealed in Johnathon Harker’s journal Dracula has “three young women, ladies by their dress and manner” (Stoker, 44).

            Additionally, both Lucy and Dracula rely on blood to survive. Dracula depends on drinking blood, which leads him to Lucy as his next victim. As a result, Lucy then must receive the “transfusion of blood at once” (Stoker, 131) in order to survive. This idea that “the blood is the life! The blood is the life!” (Stoker, 152) is repeated by Renfield, Dr. Seward’s patient, later on in the text.

            Ultimately, these parallels prompt a deeper meaning in the novel. Considering the parallels are drawn between a human and a vampire, perhaps it shows that anyone is capable of being a monster. As mentioned before, the women connected to Dracula appear as beautiful ladies. Johnathon “somehow [knew] her face” yet, “there was something about them that made me uneasy” (Stoker, 44-45). These women have no problem passing as human beings. Despite the fact that “all three had brilliant white teeth” (Stoker, 45) they otherwise had ordinary outward appearances.

            Likewise, Lucy can arguable been seen as a monster, but in a different way. Lucy received “three proposals in one day!” (Stoker, 64). Yet, she can only marry one of her three suitors. Therefore, she becomes a monster in the sense that she must break the hearts of two well-deserving men. Lucy even admits to her immoral behavior stating, “here was I almost making fun of this great-hearted, true gentleman” (Stoker, 67). While Lucy’s actions aren’t as life-threatening as Dracula and his fellow vampires, her refusal still causes “a man like that [to] be made unhappy” (Stoker, 68) because of her decision.

            In the end, what I’m really try to say here is that these parallels reveal that the supernatural is not so far removed from humanity.

4 Comments

  1. I think that this idea of yours is very interesting. After having drawn parallels between three female vampires and three male suitors for Lucy in class, you take the idea a step further by highlighting another aspect that seems to connect Dracula and Lucy in a way. Since blood in itself functions as one of the main motifs and symbols in the text, this parallel also seems to have a lot of weight. I especially like (and agree with) your interpretation of this claim: By establishing parallels between vampire and human, Stoker implies a certain closeness of these two. The idea of the monster within the human, as we have discussed in class, becomes quite evident in this.

  2. I agree with you, there are lots of parallels between Lucy and Dracula. While Dracula and Lucy both have human forms and capabilities that they use to lore others in, I think their motives are different. Lucy was attracted to her three suitors, and had hoped to marry and love one. Dracula used his three ladies to attract and captivate others by using their human appearance to suck blood. I would not consider Lucy to be monstrous because she had good intentions. Dracula and his other vampires I would consider monstrous because they are selfish and simply want to use humans and steal their lives.

  3. I agree with your claim that humans have more similarities with monsters than one might think at first glance. I think vampires in general might represent a monster within because of how human like vampires are. And perhaps this is proven by the need of blood by both Lucy and Dracula. Both, as you said, are monstrous by feeding off of others. Lucy is in a much less gory way, but seeing that she turns into a vampire maybe that is the inevitable. Since the victims of vampires can be any human, maybe this shows how anyone has the potential to be a monster.

  4. I agree with you observations and find it interesting how you connected the two characters to one another. I also agree with the other two comments in that although there are many similarities, the differences between the two characters is quite evident in the text. I think that the similarities you mentioned along with the differences highlighted between the two characters adds to the underlying theme of femininity vs. masculinity in the novel. Lucy is a boastful young women with many suitors and as you pointed out, there seems to be nothing wrong with the fact that Dracula also has many suitors but Lucy is the one who seems to be in the wrong. You mentioned that Lucy is a monster in a sort of way and I believe that observation truly shows how women are put down during this century. Although Dracula really is a monster and Lucy is not, she is still portrayed as a monster solely for her relations with several men. My point is, while the parallels between Lucy and Dracula are important, I think the use of them in this novel provides the reader with a true sense of how women are portrayed compared to men during this time period.

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