Characterisation in dracula

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Characterisation in dracula

  1. 1. Characterisation in Dracula Character development is a crucial aspect of any narrative. Which characters are permitted to develop the most in ‘Dracula’ and in what ways? What constraints or limits are imposed upon character development by the style of the narrative?
  2. 2. Dr Jack Steward • Known to friends as Jack • Main Narrator • Profession: medical specialising in treatment of the insane. • Main role is provide a sounding board for Van Helsing’s arguments. Ins.1.a • Fails to wins Lucy’s love and fails to protect her • He is identified with the modern aspects of society e.g. uses a phonograph to record some of his narrative.
  3. 3. • As a man of science he is unable to protect Lucy or understand what is happening to her. • A misdirected Telegram means he is not around to save Lucy. • Like Jonathon he fears for his own sanity. “I am beginning to wonder if my long habit of life amongst the insane is beginning to tell on my brain.” • He is observant in detail. • He often mistakes or doubt the evidence of his senses.
  4. 4. • He belatedly discovers the reasons for Renfield’s madness. He rightly suspects that the Count and Renfield are in contact. • He is wrong in keeping Mina out of the hunt for the Count. • He has very traditional views about ‘Men of the World’ Ins.1.b • He suppress his emotions • He knows what it is like to be a hunter when he kills Lucy the vampire • Despite all his failings and uncertainties, he is a large part of the novel because he learns to trust Van Helsing. • Dr Steward who beings broken hearted is restored through his journey of faith and duty and we a told is a ‘happily married’ man
  5. 5. Jonathon Harker • Narrates about a third of the Novel. • Is the first immediate link to Dracula • Romantic role of lover, husband and hero. • The balance of the narration prevents him as being seen as the hero. • His narrates the most openly erotic episode in the book and discusses the desires aroused by the three vampire women. • He is brave and manly proven by his climb down the castle walls “At worst can only be death.” • Inabilities to face the realities of his memories leave him in weaken state of mind.
  6. 6. • Appears to be less certain in himself after Castle Dracula experiences. • At same time given wealth and position in society through inheritance. • His restoration resonates with Christian faith. • All fears banished when he realises what is written in diary is truth not madness. • Ins 1.c.
  7. 7. Mina Harker (Née Murray) • She see herself as dutiful subordinate partner and role model for Lucy • Ins 1.d. • During the novels climax the battle between men and Dracula Mina love for Jonathon almost religious. • Sympathetic character and her compassion is even extended to Dracula. • She is aware of he place in society and in the home.
  8. 8. • Her character clearly embodies the Christian understanding that suffering, self sacrifice and redemption is part of an unknown divine plan. • Her acceptance of her fate is a test of her faith with god this shows courage, humility and strength. • Her last contribution to the novel is not her own feelings but “our bitter grief” at the lost of their friend Quincy Morris. • Ins 1.e
  9. 9. Lucy Westenra • Her role in the novel is the fallen woman. The woman who cannot be saved from herself. • Contrast with Mina; sufficient versus insufficient virtue. • Ins 1.f • No strength of character to call upon in her crisis • In facing death her thoughts are negative • Stoker increases her physical attractiveness as she approaches her transformation to vampire.
  10. 10. • Lucy character embodies the interconnection of sex and death in the Victorian outlook • Her beauty and vanity are warnings of the dangers of indulging in the pleasures of the senses. • Her ‘voluptuousness’ is the parody of a Victorian prostitute; combines fears of sex, disease and death.
  11. 11. Dr Abraham Van Helsing • Only narrates a few times • Able to move Dr Seward into thinking with a open mind and accepting aspects of the supernatural • He recounts his adventures in Dracula’s Castle the ‘butcher work’ when dealing with the three ladies. • Most of his other activities narrated by Dr Seward. • Ins 2.g
  12. 12. • We first meet him when he is brought to save Lucy. • His temperament is explained as arbitrary = random • He is able to present himself to the other characters is a way that suits his purpose. • He is able to bring in ‘the weapons of superstition’ such as the symbols of superstition. • He is open to the possibilities of the supernatural
  13. 13. • He is the combined role of priest and scientist • By the end of the novel Van Helsing has travelled further in his beliefs than might be appreciated at first glance.
  14. 14. Arthur Holmwood, Lord Godalming • He is one of the suitors of Lucy • Calls Seward to care for Lucy when she appears to be suffering from the strange disease. • His duties; to be with his father when he is dying even though Lucy is ill. • Able to attend to her momentarily to make a blood transfusion be then must leave to his father. • Displays fortitude as he comforts her during her death scene. • Ins 2.h.
  15. 15. Quincy P. Morris • The American from Texas • Although he is from the New World he holds Old World values. • Man of action; shoot first ask questions later. Keen to use the latest technology the Winchester Rifle. • His readiness to leap into battle costs him his life • His name lives on in the next generation of the Harker family.
  16. 16. R. M. Renfield • Initial interest in him aroused by Seward because he is unlike ‘a normal lunatic’ • There is an immediate connection with Dracula but it is not explained. • No reason is given for Renfield adopting Dracula as his ‘master’ • He grants Dracula access to the asylum • He too pays the price for assuming that he will become immortal, recalling old wisdom of the Greek dramatist Euripides: ‘Those whom God wishes to destroy, he first makes mad.’

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