Monsters & Madness

Secret Lives in Victorian Literature

Author: Ian

Fancy me a cup of three will ya please?

While reading Dracula by Bram Stoker there has been some really interesting points being made about 19th century culture being portrayed in the writing and how social roles are being changed in the book and during the time period as well. However, one aspect of the book has always intrigued me from the start and that is the fact that there are three “witches” that Jonathan Harker meets towards the end of chapter three. I found this very exciting because in one of my favorite plays, Macbeth by William Shakespeare. In this play there’re three witches that lure Macbeth into a quite a horrible person. I get a sense that this will be the case in Dacula because of the first interaction that Jonathan had with them. However, putting aside, the characters for a moment I wanted to focus on the number three for a second. I did some research into why the number three comes up in writing a lot and wheat I found intrigued me. The number three represents in some cultures a beginning, a middle, and an end but what I found most important is the fact that some cultures believe that humans have a spirit, a soul, and a body. After reading this I completely understand why in a text like Dracula and Macbeth why a writer might have the antagonist of the story to have something to do with three because not only could you hide the character in three personalities you could have three different horrific events lead up to a final problem, like a beginning middle and an end. The possibilities are numerous. I’m very excited to see how this book plays out in terms of using the number three. 

“I find your lack of faith disturbing.”

Book Passage Pg. 21 “My wish is that we may find no disappointment when we get there” 

 

I’ve decided to focus in on this passage from the second chapter as George Talboys is talking to a young woman while on his way back from Australia to England. During this passage the young woman who George is talking to begins the passage with the quote that I started this post with. George is very very uncomfortable with this saying because he hopes that nothing bad has happened to his wife even though he left for Australia without telling anyone where he was going to. However, in his mind he was doing something right for his family. The lady who George is talking to reveals that she has been engaged for the past 15 years. She hopes that her fiancé hasn’t changed his feelings for her. However, as the two continue to talk the mood of the characters begin to swap. At the beginning Talboys is very anxious to get back to England to finally make his wife happy. While the young woman began being very worried about her future begins to feel better about her decision to leave her fiancé in order to bring some income in their family before they are married. I think that this is an important moment in the book because, not only is it a foreshadow moment but I think that Mary Elizabeth Braddon purposely wrote this moment to show how easily men are manipulated from believing their own thoughts to being corrupt and paranoid from someone’s other beliefs.  

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