Dracula 2

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Following my last blog post, I have decided to write about Mina’s journey into vampirism and how it is similar and different to Lucy’s.

Dracula first visits Mina when she is staying alone.  It is kind of ironic that he visits her then, since the men are away.  It seems that Dracula is taunting the men and their inability thus far to destroy him.  Mine, however, is clueless to what is happening to her.  “The gas-light which I had left lit for Jonathan, but turned down, came only like a tiny red spark through the fog, which had evidently grown thicker and poured into the room.  Then it occurred to me that I had shut the window before I had come to bed.  I would have gotten out to make certain on the point, but some leaden lethargy seemed to chain my limbs, and even my will.” (page 227).
She believes this meeting to be only a dream, though she does after some time realize that she is “dreaming” of Dracula. 

It is evident that Dracula has been draining the blood from Mina, because she wakes up so weak.  Renfield even commented on it.  “I don’t care for pale people; I like them with lots of blood in them, and hers had all seemed to have run out.  I didn’t think of it at the time; but when she went away I began to think, and it made me mad to know that He had been taking the life out of her” (page 245)

Mina’s relationship with Dracula seems to be more intense than Lucy’s ever was.  Lucy was just used, and he blood taken.  However Mina actually gets into the act as well, drinking Dracula’s blood too.. even though it seems like it was forced on her.  After the fact, she is very upset and calls herself unclean and says that she should not be able to touch her husband any longer.

It’s interesting that Mina was so much more connected to Dracula than Lucy was. It seems to me to go back to the fact that Dracula is taunting the men.  This is especially clear because in the scene where Mina is drinking Dracula’s blood, Jonathan is lying helpless nearby. The men in this book seem very protective of Mina, for example, they don’t let her know of the progress of their mission is, and don’t tell her any details relating to Dracula.  This actually works in perfect favor to Dracula, who is able to manipulate her without her knowing the details of him. 


Emily Zettle said...

In so many ways, Dracula taints the women in this novel. He takes from Lucy, and forces others to perform transfusions and insert their own blood into her body. Blood being a bodily fluid is such a sexual innuendo, so it seems almost taboo to see all this blood being transferred from one person to the next. And of course Mina drinks from Dracula himself, taking in his blood and ingesting it. No longer are they 'pure' or virginal, but rather they are being corrupted in a way by Dracula.

Vampires have such a different way of looking at sex. It is so free and untainted by morals and standards like it is for human society. Their lust for blood and contact is a vice we would like to consider ourselves separate from but in reality, some humans have that very same lust and desire--maybe not for blood or sex but for something. Dracula is just an extreme example of desire that corrupted, but in reality he isn't so different from us.

Andrew said...

Lindsay, I agree with your opinion of Mina. It was interesting that Mina was seemingly unaware of Dracula feeding on her for such a length of time. As you said, “Mina’s relationship with Dracula seems to be more intense than Lucy’s ever was. Lucy was just dues, and the blood taken.” Mina’s was clearly Dracula’s main fascination. Mina was innocent and pure, in other words the ideal Victorian women, and Dracula took great pleasure in feeding on her and later fully tainting her purity by having her drink from his blood. To me, Mina’s description in chapter 21 of Dracula forcing her to feed on him read almost like a rape. Mina immediately knew what repercussions this act would have on her ever-important Victorian chasteness, she notes “What have I done to deserve such a fate, I who have tried to walk in meekness and righteousness all my days. God pity me! Look down on a poor soul in worse than mortal peril. And in mercy pity those to whom she is dear!” Easily one of the most powerful and memorable scenes from the novel. After reading this it is hard not to hold pity for poor Mina as she realizes that she will never be viewed as pure again, she will always carry the taint of Dracula.

Emily, your comment offered an idea I had not considered. That vampires are themselves sympathetic creatures because they, like us, are driven by passion. Vampires simply seem to be an example of what happens when passion is taken too far, in this case a sexual bloodlust. Obsessive passion is an age old moral lesson in many literary works; consider Frankenstein as another relevant example. Thanks for the intriguing thoughts!

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