After finishing the novel Dracula, by Bram Stoker, I realized that throughout the text it shows a theme of distrust of strangers and foreigners and gaining power. Throughout the book you can see these themes popping up all around the text. One of the main times that I saw it was in the beginning of the book when Jonathan was staying at Dracula’s castle. When he was first there he felt safe, even though he was staying at a complete stranger’s castle. This is because Dracula was such a good host when Jonothan was there. As time went on Jonathan became more and more suspicious of Dracula due to his behavior, which made him trust Dracula less. In the book it seems like Dracula’s whole mission is to gain power. He does this by killing people and making them into vampires. “My revenge is just begun! I spread it over centuries, and time is on my side. Your girls that you all love are mine already; and through them you and others shall yet be mine—my creatures, to do my bidding and to be my jackals when I want to feed.”(Stoker 245 Chapter 23). This shows how Dracula is wanting to gain power and feel powerful and he does this by making people feel afraid. When people are afraid of him then he feels more in power and more in control. These themes might show how in the Victorian age there was a distrust to foreigners and strangers in their society, and also how they might have been craving power and what they do to get it.
The passage that I chose to look at is on page 32. It is one of Harkers journal entries with the date May 28. In the passage he is talking about how he wants to escape and send letters home to Mina. He sees gipsies outside of the castle and wants them to send the letters home for him so Count Dracula doesn’t see the letters. He describes them in his journal entry and says that he has notes on them. In his descriptions his sort of bashes the gipsies a little bit by saying “who are almost outside all law”(pg 32). He also says that he has been talking to them a little to try to make them friends so that they will be more inclined to do this favor for him.
I feel like this passage really shows Harkers whole situation and how much he wants to get out of the castle. It shows how he is really willing to trust anybody with very important tasks if it means that he might be able to get out. This is important because it shows how scared Harker is and how desperate he is to get out that he is willing to trust people that he doesn’t know. This shows the true amount of fear and torture that Count Dracula can put on someone and what it can do to your mind. This is important because at the beginning of the book Dracula seemed like a good person being a good host but then after a while he showed his true self, and this shows what his true self can do to someone.
“‘Give it me — give it me’ she cried; ‘let me see what more he has to say.’”
Throughout the story we have seen Lady Audley as a person who doesn’t usually seem scared and a person who usually controls any room she’s in. During the second volume she becomes more and more jittery and nervous. This is due to the progression of Robert’s case on George’s disappearance. Robert gets deeper into his case and starts to suspect Lady Audley for George’s disappearance. When he goes to Audley Court he starts to call out Lady Audley for George’s disappearance and after he keeps piling evidence on her and his suspicion of her she starts to get a little flustered. She doesn’t seem as confident and calm as she usually has throughout the novel. This shows a big character trait from Lady Audley in that she might crumble from pressure. This has yet to be shown in the novel until now. At the end of chapter 13 a letter comes to Lady Audley from Robert and she says “‘Give it me — give it me’ she cried; ‘let me see what more he has to say.’” In this quote Lady Audley shows her impassionance and her nervousness. She tries to hide it because she is in the company of people but it shows when she demands to see the letter. I think that this new character trait that Lady Audley has shown might confirm Robert’s suspicion and all of the readers’ suspicion that Lady Audley’s secret has something to do with George. I think that this character trait will become a big part in Robert’s case for Lady Audley being apart of George’s disappearance.
“ “Great Heaven!” exclaimed George Talboys, “is this the way you welcome me? I come to England to find my wife dead within a week of my touching land, and you begin to chatter to me about my beard — you, her father!” “True! True!” cried George” (63)
This conversation is the first one that George and Maldon have had since George left. George does not hesitate to call Maldon out for not being serious and about how the first thing he said was about his beard and not his wife. George in this conversation is obviously upset and seems like he has already had enough of Maldon, which is very reasonable. Maldon on the other hand doesn’t seem that fazed and is really just blaming his daughters death on George. Later in the conversation Maldon says “If you’d only been here a week earlier?”(63) It seems like Maldon can’t take responsibility for his actions and just wants to put the blame on someone else, or it also seems like Maldon might be hiding something. It seems like he might be lying about his daughter’s death and trying to keep a secret because of the way he acted. When he first saw George it didn’t seem like the way someone would act when they saw the husband of their daughter who had just died. I wouldn’t think that his first reaction would be to blame him for his daughter’s death. Also at the end of the conversation Robert said to himself “He seems, for some reason or other, to be half afraid of George.”(63) This shows how Maldon might not want to tell George something that would make him upset.
I think that this conversation shows the relationship that George and Maldon have and Maldons suspicious actions. Even though Maldon does seem sad his altercation with George makes it seem like he is hiding something from George.