Is the Dracula Gang Just Dracula Part 2?

Dracula explores various aspects of good and evil in unique ways. Carol Senf, in an article titled “Dracula: The Unseen Face in the Mirror,” argues that the people who vow to destroy Dracula at any cost are not much different from him in terms of their behavior. 

Senf’s main argument that Dracula revolves around the similarities and differences between good and evil reveals a lot about the characters’ actions. Using this interpretation, it is clear that while the main characters, especially Mina and Quincey, aim to destroy Dracula in the name of good, they perpetrate many of the same actions that he does. For example, Senf argues that “Lucy’s death might just as easily be attributed to the blood transfusions,” yet Dracula is blamed for Lucy’s death (425). She also argues that “Mina acknowledges her complicity in the affair with Dracula by admitting that she did not want to prevent his advances” (425). Her ultimate conclusion, therefore, is that by pledging to destroy Dracula by any means necessary without even concrete evidence of his wrong-doing, and resorting to illegal actions to do so, puts the main characters on the same moral level as Dracula himself. This argument certainly has support in the novel. For example, Van Helsing suggests that “…if we can so treat the Count’s body, it will soon after fall into dust. In such case there would be no evidence against us, in case any suspicion of murder were aroused” (Stoker 313). The fact that erasing evidence was considered necessary lends support to the idea that the main characters knew that they were in fact committing at least some form of crime by destroying Dracula. Their complicity and moral grayness are further supported by the fact that the only comparable crime to what they were doing was murder. In this way, Senf’s article highlights some of the moral hypocrisy of a group of people who plot to kill a person or person-like creature in the name of good. 

However, Senf’s argument overlooks a few key aspects of the nature of Dracula that somewhat undermine her analysis. For example, while stuck in Dracula’s castle, Jonathan sees a woman outside yelling “Monster, give me back my child!” (41). She is then attacked by a group of wolves. The obvious logical conclusion here is that Dracula killed her child and then sent wolves to kill her. This event continues in various iterations throughout the story, where Dracula attacks innocent people and anyone who stands in his way. By the end of the novel, Dracula has killed countless people himself and through his other servants like Lucy. The group of main characters then commits their only murder to destroy the creature who has taken countless lives. While Senf is correct that Dracula is “tried, convicted, and sentenced by men…who give him no opportunity to explain his actions,” the main characters clearly didn’t view it that way (Senf 425). Mina writes in her journal “But to fail here, is not mere life or death. It is that we become as him, that we henceforward become foul things of the night like him, without heart or conscience, preying on the bodies and the souls of those we love best” (223). Mina, Jonathan, and their friends felt a moral imperative to destroy Dracula before he could hurt any more people. Dracula was a threat that needed to be destroyed, like an aggressive animal that needs to be put down, not a person who also has feelings. One could argue that this makes them more morally repugnant because they don’t care about this creature that clearly has some human-like emotion, but in the end, they only wanted to destroy what could have been an even more dangerous threat if they’d waited and tried to get Dracula to “explain his actions.”  

2 thoughts on “Is the Dracula Gang Just Dracula Part 2?”

  1. This blog post was so fun to read and led me to ponder a lot of ideas. My question then is what is Dracula to do? Should he sacrifice himself in agreement with Van Helsing for the greater good of humanity? Dracula does not want blood; he needs blood to survive. Is there a sustainable way to feed vampires through ingesting animal blood or transfusing blood like the gang did with Lucy? My understanding is that it is not successful long term to donate enough blood to satisfy the hunger of vampires which led Lucy to go out at night and feed the children. Even then, theoretically, if a good amount of the human population were converted into vampires there would not be enough human blood to go around. There are no definitive answers to my questions, but it is interesting to think over for possible future research. Great Job!

  2. I like how this post addresses both sides of the issue. Sometimes the group’s devotion to destroying Dracula seems like a product of xenophobia, of hating the mysterious supernatural monster simply because he makes them feel powerless. At the same time, Dracula definitely harms people as a vampire. As Moretti quotes Van Helsing, “there comes with the change the curse of immortality; they cannot die, but must go on age after age adding new victims and multiplying the evils of the world” (Moretti 433). Calling immortality a curse suggests the audience should have pity for Dracula, who doesn’t want to kill but must to survive. Of course, as Senf points out, the reader doesn’t get to hear Dracula’s perspective.

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