Transfixiation of the Subconscious

Dracula has proven in the first part of the book to have a way of transfixing his “victims”. Not only this, but Dracula also accomplishes this “controlling” through permeating their subconscious and the harm or pain that is caused by him is forgotten about by his victims, in particular Lucy. Dracula’s ability to transfix his victims and the repetition of “tiny pin-pricks” “cannot leave a scar” in this passage shows that he’s able to slip in and out of people minds without much knowledge or recognition from them. What is particularly interesting about this subconscious work of Dracula is that while it isn’t noticed or thought about by Lucy (or any other victim) it is certainly noticed and worried about by the “conscious” characters (like Mina), which further emphasizes the point that Dracula transfixes his victim. This is shown when Mina says, “I must have pinched up a piece of loose skin and have transfixed it, (103)”. This use of the word transfixed has a very different connotation in my mind than it seems to have here and coupled with the fact that Mina didn’t cause this injury (even though initially she’s convinced she did and apologizes profusely to Lucy) just goes to show that Dracula clearly has a way of subtly (or not so subtly in some cases) controlling his victims. Not only this, but the idea that it goes unnoticed or is “not even felt” by his victims is also intriguing. The fact that a supernatural figure, like Dracula is trying to stay unnoticed but is still somehow becoming discovered, is something I think will be pertinent throughout the rest of the novel. In the passage the size of Lucy’s neck wounds is mentioned multiple times, describing the wounds as, “pin-pricks, tiny, and drops” (103). This language is showing that Dracula’s “transfixiation” is so small it’s not easily recognized or is simply forgotten despite the fact that when Lucy regains consciousness, these wounds are still very apparent and as Mina describes “might have been serious” (103), despite being what she thought was a pinprick. Lucy’s wounds and condition are only noticed by Mina and Lucy’s doctors even when they are apparent. This is curious because you would think that a wound that isn’t healing would be at least painful enough to notice it, yet only the people to notice and be concerned are those who have not been controlled in any way by Dracula, furthering the point that his control over his victims alters their conscious behaviors.

One thought on “Transfixiation of the Subconscious”

  1. I really enjoyed the part where you compared the small neck wounds being not easily recognized. I think the idea of Dracula’s ability to control the mind of his victims is one of the reasons why the character of Dracula is still so prominent a century later. During the Victorian era, Psychology was just starting to be created and was very interesting for the people in this era. Funny enough, people today still very much enjoy the concept of mind control as can be seen in with characters like the Mad Hatter from the Batman series, or Hitoshi from My Hero Academia. The ability to alter someone’s conscious mind is a terrifying but very intriguing ability and is one that makes Dracula even more fascinating

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