Religion Plays an Imported Role in Dracula.
Dracula and the other vampires in the book are clearly portrayed as devil like creatures. With their burning red eyes. The world of vampires is on large part based on an assumption in the existence of a god or something god like. So this begs the question would a vampire be vulnerable to other symbols of faith, like the Star of David or pagan symbols? Christianity was the dominant religion at that time/place, so it’s never made clear if other religion symbols would work at repelling vampires. Van Helsing is a catholic and, many of the vampire “repellents” he use come from that faith, through as Christianity is closely tied with Catholicism the symbols, are peasants . Stoker never explores the idea of other religious symbol working, but for the time and place, when the only other religion is Judaism, and that is looked down upon. You could not expect him too.
No One is Safe
An imported character trait of mina is her being very Religionist and pure. Bram stoker did this deliberately to accentuate her dissent in to vampire hood and thus impurity and evilness. We see that Dracula can touch and taint even the purest among us.
Why The Garlic?
Garlic was associated with health and considered a remedy. There is also a theory that with vampires heighten senses, the smell was too much for them. As far as actually knowing the reason why it was used I don’t know. It could be for one of the two reason above or for something very different like the old wives tale that Garlic repels Mosquitoes.
To pass the bechdel test the book/movie/ect needs to have at least two named women in it. Who talk to each other, about something besides a man. Dracula dose pass the first test there are fact a grand total of 3 named female charters in Dracula (Mrs. Westenra, Lucy and mina, ). It’s hard to know if something counts as passing the Bechdel test in Dracula because in large part it’s in dairy and letter form. In mina journal she talks a lot about Lucy and her wellbeing. (Thought she almost always maintains Jonathan as well) and from these dairy we get the general idea that they have conversation about other things beside the men in their lives. But we don’t hear about it. The conversation we do hear about are about their men. I could only find real evidence of two conversation between two women not being about men and they were both in Mina journals. In Chapter 8 Mina talks in her journal about Lucy telling her about a sleep walking episode. The problem with this is, it’s was not much of a conversation but Lucy telling a story to Mina. The other is when Mina mentions in her dairy that Mrs. Westenra has told her she only has months to live. This is mention is such quick passing I cannot say it counts. Mrs. Westenra and Lucy both died very early in the book. I can’t say I think Dracula pass the Bechdel test, the letters which I would say are the true test are filled with talk of men and nothing else really. If Bram stoker had include even one conversation or letter exchanged that did not include the talk of men but something else perhaps the female characters might have been a little more believable.
Bram stoker Dracula was written in 1897, and in a much different style then I am used to. The style took some getting used to and I don’t think I ever did. I found the beginning of the book quite long and drawn out. But by chapter three I was fully engaged in the book. Most of the book was interesting, but it lack the fast pacing we are so used to in modern writing, making it hard to get thru. The last few chapter where long and lacked the build by to the rather anti-climax ending that was rather in abrupt in nature. With so many characters, I don’t think any if anywhere given the chance to fully developed or become well rounded charters, this makes it hard as a reader to become fully involved on in story. I enjoyed reading the story, and the window in to Victorian era. I don’ think from my perspective, I can’t really say how good the book was.
When reading Dracula, I found that the character Lucy was very interesting. The way she is described points manly at her looks and her general weakness. “Lucy was looking sweetly pretty in her white lawn frock; she has got a beautiful color since she has been here” – Mina Harker. She only severs to play the victim. Lucy is someone all the major charters have an attachment or love her when she dies. She is a person who gives the protagonist there motive to start hurting down the vampire. Without her the plot in impossible, she is a miner charter in the book who servers a large purpose. Lucy is the activating circumstance.