“She saw, I suppose, the doubt in my face, for she put the rosary round my neck, and said, “For your mother’s sake,” and went out of the room. I am writing up this part of the diary whilst I am waiting for the coach, which is, of course, late; and the crucifix is still round my neck. Whether it is the old lady’s fear, or the many ghostly traditions of this place, or the crucifix itself, I do not know, but I am not feeling nearly as easy in my mind as usual.”
While this being a very very early on passage from the book it is something I wanted to talk about in a blog post while we were still focusing on this book. I found it very interesting that a large part of what was used to be religious against a vampire was a religious object. While there are other objects or foods such as garlic that are talked about later in the novel in terms of deterring vampires. However, something about there being a religious object used in detriment was just surprising to me. I also connected this as a theme to other types of monsters in stories as it seems there are always a few objects that are used to fight back against the monsters. I ask in this post though why is it that this un-dead vampire’s weakness is symbolism of religion? I also wondered why it came so early on in the novel, I feel in a lot of novels the way key facts like this are portrayed are through the novel characters uncover information and this would be something they discover mid way through. I thought it was extremely unusual for Stoker to write this information so early on in his book. I also connected this information to some extent to the devil, as a vampire being an un-dead monster, who is harmed by these religious symbolism made me think of how the devil is portrayed in Catholicism and the similarities between the Count and the Devil.
For my analysis I looked particularly at a lot of the words and language that is used on page 87 of the novel. In this current moment of the novel there is very little being said that is actually about Dracula however a lot of the words being used to allude to him broadly and if not to him to a “Undead Monstrous” type person. Roared, devouring monster, grim clasp, fatalities, dangers, ghostly fashion, spirits, and death are all words that are used on this page. I think it is very interesting as I said these are all words that could be used to describe him but were not describing him in the moment but were used to set a scene that he would be in eventually. I think it was very clever how this was done because the fact that the words are grouped in this way pointed to the concept of undead or a dangerous person by describing elements of the ocean and the weather at this moment in the novel.
“Mr. Maldon is not at home, Sir,” she said, with insinuating civility; “But if not for the water rate, he requested me to say that- “She was interrupted by little George Tallboys, who scrambled down the high chair upon which he had been perched, and ran to Robert Audley” (165)
I think what peaks my interest the most regarding the beginning of volume II is the interest Robert Audley has directly within finding George Tallboys. It would be one thing if he just reported his disappearance to the proper authorities and from their just waited on word from that point but instead he has this very boots on the ground style approach to looking for him. Going very far in the process even looking at a place where he knew he would find George’s son. I think these actions speak a lot to the bond between the two. I wonder as we continue how these actions will evolve as well as Robert’s attitude toward this investigation. Is there a deeper reason or secret to why Robert is being so throughout this investigation? Is there anyone that he really trusts? The other thing I thought about in this volume is how it seems like a lot of characters end up giving very half answers to a lot of questions that a rise from Robert.
“This George Talboys was the life and soul of vessel; nobody knew him or what he was, or where he came from, but everybody liked him. He sat at the bottom of the dinner table, and assisted the captain in doing the honours of the the friendly meal. He opened the champagne bottles, and took wine with every one present; he told funny stories, and led the laugh himself with such a joyous peal, that the man must have been a churl who could not have laughed fore pure sympathy. (19)”
I thought this was an interesting character development for George. The way he is described very much made me think of a simple person who would make others laugh and was a joy to have around. However we later learn that this changes so quickly as the time on the Argus comes to an end. It made me think if he was truly this joyous person to be around or if this was a act of some sort while he was on board. It is mentioned that his personality change started as they were a fortnight’s sail from port (A fortnight is two weeks) which also made me think that maybe he was the a true bright life on the ship and he just did not think about his situation at home as much until they were close enough that it became so real but was not while he possibly distracted by the sea. regardless I think if was interesting that they decided to include this part about his character specifically how he was viewed on the Argus in this chapter. As well as the way it is mentioned earlier just how “average” George is I found this interesting as I felt after mentioning his qualities it always circled back to this.