Bram Stoker takes advantage of the wide range of situations and emotions the characters in ‘Dracula’ go through to insert powerful and moving quotes that encapsulate his philosophy and outlook on life.
Desire for Assimilation
But a stranger in a strange land, he is no one; men know him not—and to know not is to care not for. I am content if I am like the rest, so that no man stops if he see me, or pause in his speaking if he hear my words, to say, “Ha, ha! a stranger!”Dracula to Harker
Dracula’s plan for wreaking destruction in England depended hugely on his ability to seamlessly assimilate into the land and pass off for an Englishman. As he admits to Harker, part of the reasons he wanted Harker to visit was so he could have an Englishman he could practice his English with. Dracula’s foreignness and outsider status are, however, too strong, and he is never able to assimilate into England.
The Insufficiency of Modernity
It is nineteenth century up-to-date with a vengeance. And yet, unless my senses deceive me, the old centuries had, and have, powers of their own which mere ‘modernity’ cannot killJonathan Harker to his diary
This quote reflects Jonathan’s increasing awareness of the uncomfortable fact that although humans have made gigantic progress, there are some relics of the past or ancient powers that human advancements have no answer for. Dracula is one of such relics.
A year ago which of us would have received such a possibility, in the midst of our scientific, matter-of-fact nineteenth century?Van Helsing to the group
This quote by Van Helsing reminds his crew members of the realness of the supernatural nature of the enemy in an effort to convince them to rely on superstition and lore to defeat him rather than on modern weaponry and technology.
All three had brilliant white teeth that shone like pearls against the ruby of their voluptuous lips. There was something about them that made me uneasy, some longing and at the same time some deadly fear. I felt in my heart a wicked, burning desire that they would kiss me with those red lipsJonathan Harker on the three vampire ladies
Jonathan Harker came into Dracula’s castle a thorough Victorian gentleman- bristling with innocence and good-naturedness. However, the effect the three vampire ladies he met in Dracula’s castle had on him was transformative- even if only briefly. Even though he knew of the danger they posed to his life, he was still consumed by a powerful feeling of lust. Thus his brief sexual corruption here can be considered one of the many evils of vampirism.
For an instant my heart stood still, and I would have screamed out, only that I was paralyzedMina describing Dracula’s attack on her
Just like Harker’s experience with the vampire in Dracula’s castle, his fiancee, Mina, was also the subject of a near-sexual attack by Dracula that she was helpless against. Dracula was able to make her drink blood from his breast and Mina found that she was truly helpless against him. She also described feeling a weird sexual attraction that draws parallels with Harker’s own experience.
Corruption of the Soul
Lucy’s eyes in form and colour; but Lucy’s eyes unclean and full of hell-fire, instead ofthe pure gentle orbs we knewJohn Seward
Lucy’s transformation into a vampire robbed her of every speck of her humanity and erstwhile innocence. She completes a sure transformation into a seductress whose main objective is to use the expression of her sexuality to deceive and render powerless her victims. This total transformation is too much for her former friends and suitors to bear.
There, in the coffin lay no longer the foul Thing that we had so dreaded and grown to hate … but Lucy as we had seen her in her life, with her face of unequalled sweetness and purityJohn Seward
Just as Lucy’s transformation to being undead robs her of her pure spirit and the chance at heaven, so does her being killed return her to that previous state of sweetness and purity treasured by Victorian England. The corruption of her soul had been undone with her killing, and now she can literally rest in peace.
I sometimes think we must be all mad and that we shall wake to sanity in strait-waistcoatsJohn Seward
One of the techniques that Bram Stoker uses to lend his narrative an air of credibility is to make the participants themselves doubt their sanity. The normal living Europeans had their lives disrupted by a supernatural entity, and after everything, it felt like everyone was going insane and that this all could not possibly have happened, given how incredible the events are.
There are mysteries which men can only guess at, which age by age they may solve only in partAbraham Van Helsing
Throughout the book, Van Helsing always cautioned patience and an open mind towards resolving mysteries. Some mysteries may not find their solution in normal places. Sometimes it is time and patience we need, plus an open mind to not discount any possibility whatsoever.
What was Dracula’s plan for the protagonists?
Dracula aimed to outlive them all and carry out a slow and methodical plan of revenge against them and their loved ones.
Was Dracula always evil?
There are strong indications that Dracula only became evil when he became a vampire. His face returned to a state of absolute peace and calm after he was killed, just like with Lucy.
How was Dracula defeated?
Knowledge about his spiritual nature and fallibility to certain religious instruments, as well as a strong union of dogged and determined individuals, made all but certain of Dracula’s destruction.