Mina Harker: A Strong Character Essay

Mina Harker: A Strong Character Essay.

A strong character is one who possesses many qualities such as being selfless, courageous and sacrificial. Dracula written by Bram Stoker portrays the young and witty Mina Harker. She is the best example to fit the description of a strong character. Mina starts off as a young school mistress who is engaged. As the plot progresses, her normal life changes and she is faced with many challenges that she overcomes, that show that she is the strongest personality in the novel.

The first attribute that portrays Mina as being the strongest character in the novel is her habit of being caring of everyone. The first time we see Mina doing so is when Lucy tells her that she has been proposed to by three different men, Dr. Seward, Quincey P. Morris, and Arthur Holmwood. Lucy loves the attention that is given to her by the three men and just like any best friend she tells Mina about it. Lucy says, “Just Fancy! THREE proposals in one day!” (P.

60) Meanwhile, Jonathan, Mina’s fiancée has been out of reach for the past month. Mina is quite worried about it but she hides her pain from Lucy so she doesn’t worry about her problems.

This not only shows that she is caring, it also shows that she is a great friend. Another example of Mina being caring is when she was staying with Lucy and her mother. Lucy had just started sleep walking and Mina did whatever she could to stop her. Mina did that despite knowing that she was under the curse of Dracula. She wrote, “Lucy did not wake, but she got up twice and dressed herself. Fortunately, each time I awoke in time and managed to undress her without waking her, and got her back to bed.” (P.93) Mina does a lot of little things that show that she is a genuinely caring person.

Mina shows the reader that she cares about the ones around her and she is willing to do anything for them, even if it means to sacrifice her wants and needs. She shows that she really loves her husband by sacrificing for his sake. Her journey of sacrificing starts when she is called to Vienne because Jonathan has been staying there because he was ill. Within a very short time of being with Jonathan, they get married. She marries a man who is not very sane at that time because of what he has been through. Jonathan’s insanity starts to become more obvious to her when he and Mina are walking down the road and he spots the Count and says “I believe it is the Count, but he has grown young.” (P. 184) Mina says that Jonathan was “was very pale, and his eyes seemed bulging out as, half terror and half in amazement.” (P. 183) She doesn’t get upset or regret marrying Jonathan. She doesn’t break down despite everything that’s going on around her. This proves how strong she really is.

The heroine of the novel continues to show how strong she really is by protecting her husband. After marrying Jonathan, Mina becomes Dracula’s next victim. Even though, it is not clearly said, she is dragged into Dracula’s deceitful plan because she is Jonathan’s wife. In chapter 21, Dracula comes into Mina’s room and threatens her by saying if she screams he’ll kill Jonathan. Dracula then makes her drink blood from his chest. Mina made another sacrifice by protecting her husband by doing something very unhygienic and immoral. She shows her strengths by protecting her husband all for the great sacrifice for love. The sacrifices that she makes show how much courageous she has.

Her bravery in the plan to kill Count Dracula shows that she is willing to risk her life in order to save mankind from Dracula’s immorality. Her bravery begins to show right after Lucy has become un-dead and Van Helsing wants answers from Mina. The idea of being interrogated about somebody’s death can be quite frightening. Although, Mina shows that she is brave and answers everything Van Helsing has to ask. Van Helsing and the other men start to think of her as a “new woman” rather than a Victorian woman.

Her ability to be brave like a man puts her in a position in which she is thought of as to be one of them. Van Helsing says, “Ah, that wonderful madam Mina! She has a man’s brain- a brain that a man should have where he much gifted- a woman’s heart. The good God fashioned her for a purpose believe me.” (P.253) This leads to the men trusting Mina with the strong qualities that she possesses. They know that despite the fact that she is a woman, she is brave. Mina shows her bravery and courage again when the men leave her in Dr. Seward’s home while they go to Carfax. The courage the she shows in these small scenes makes her a strong person overall.

Despite all of the “new woman” qualities she possess such as bravery and intelligence. She also possesses some other attributes of a strong person. She is a great listener and very comforting. Right after Lucy’s death, Van Helsing gets caught up in trying to explain what actually happened to Lucy to the other men. Dr. Seward, Quincey P. Morris and Arthur were in love with her. They went through quite an emotional ride after finding out what happened to her. In Chapter 17, everybody decided to meet at Dr. Seward’s house. The three men that loved Lucy hadn’t really opened up to anybody about their pain. Dr. Seward went through a lot of pain after seeing what Lucy went through. He hid it from others and himself by working day and night. On the other hand, Arthur was quite upset and shared a cry with Mina.

Arthur and Mina were talking about Lucy and “he turned away and covered his face with his hands.” (P.247) Mina could hear him crying. Then Mina comforted him, something that the men had never done before. She became more of a motherly personality to him. She said, “With a sob he laid his head on my shoulder and cried like a wearing child, whilst he shook with emotion.” (P.247) Arthur understood that she had comforted him so he spoke to her freely. He said, “and none other can ever know __ how much your sweet sympathy has been to me to-day.” This shows that Mina is strong because she can provide emotional support to the people around her, something that the men can’t even do.

Mina Harker: A Strong Character Essay

Do You Find the Rendition of Dracula’s Pursuit of Love Through the Centuries Sentimental? Essay

Do You Find the Rendition of Dracula’s Pursuit of Love Through the Centuries Sentimental? Essay.

What is your view? Do you find the rendition of Dracula’s pursuit of love through the centuries sentimental? He is Romeo, whose young wife, believing him dead, kills herself. He is Lucifer, vowing revenge on the God who has betrayed him. He is Don Juan, sucking the innocence out of his conquests. He is the Flying Dutchman, sailing the centuries for an incarnation of the woman he loved. He is Death, transmitting a venereal plague in his blood, in his kiss.

He is even Jesus, speaking Jesus’ last words as he dies, a martyr whose mission is to redeem womankind. Husband, seducer, widower, murderer, Christ and Antichrist, Dracula contains multitudes. He is every mortal man and every mortality with which man threatens women (Corliss, 1992 ). But is he “Bram Stoker’s Dracula”? No, he is not. He is Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula – humanized, redeemable, romantic, and tragic figure searching for his long lost love who has “come across oceans and time” to find it.

And only Mina, the avatar of his dead wife, can provide it. Over the years Bram Stoker’s Dracula has been reworked to films many times.

Even though Coppola’s film adaptation of the novel is considered as an essentially faithful rendition, the director made one far-reaching alteration to Stoker’s original: the inclusion of the romance between Mina and Dracula. According to some film critics this is the greatest flaw of the film. Originally Stoker’s Dracula is satanic figure, a force of pure evil while Coppola’s Dracula is romanticized hero. The film begins with a pre-credits sequence which tells us that Dracula is the historic Vlad the Impaler (making a factual mistake in saying that he ruled Transylvania.

The real Vlad ruled Wallachia, a region of Romania). In this sequence we see that Vlad became a vampire when his beloved wife killed herself after reading a false note of her husband’s death. Later in the film, Dracula believes that Mina is his wife reborn, and he seeks to rekindle that love and make her his beloved again ( Miller, 2007 ). For many film critics this is incredibly unnecessary , and completely cliched, and there is no valid artistic reason to add this subplot. To Fred Botting, Bram Stoker’s Dracula is ‘The End of Gothic’, the final metamorphosis of a faltering convention into some strange and alien form hat destroys all of Gothic’s power. Harry Benshoff writes, Most of Hollywood’s recent big- budgeted remakes of the classical horror movies have all refashioned their monsters with romanticized narratives and sexy star appeal; for example, Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula was called by some critics ‘sentimental, not scary, ‘precisely because it grafted a romantic reincarnation love story ( not present in the Stoker’s original, but since the late 1960s an increasingly popular trope ) to the story of bloodsucking aristocrat.

But why Coppola and screenwriter of the movie Hart go easy on Dracula this time around, why they don’t let him pour out the venom and ferocious sadism that might magnetize the audience, why they’ve played up a romantic-victim side that isn’t present in the novel they’ve otherwise adapted so faithfully. Perhaps Coppola felt that this addition might blunt the horrors of the film for a larger audience, but for many film critics the effect is to complicate an already intricate story, weakening an otherwise superior film.

However, may be it is not appropriate to say that Stoker’s Dracula is better than Coppola’s Dracula simply because they are different. The thing that Coppola really should be blamed is to name his version Bram Stoker’s Dracula because in Stoker’s novel, Dracula is almost entirely a “monster”, in the sense that he has little or no perceptible motives other than to stalk and feed upon (subsequently horrifying and killing) his victims. He acts more as an animal, concerned only with his primal urges to survive (though he deals with these urges in sly, pre-meditated, human-like ways).

In Coppola’s take, however, there is an alternate sub-plot which has Dracula as a passionate lover with almost super-human emotions. He is still a monster in the sense that he can transform into horrible beasts and kill people with no regret, but he does so to satisfy his longing for love. The viewer can almost sympathize with him as he cries over the loss of his lover, or claims that “the luckiest man who walks on this earth is the one who finds… true love”. He is a man trapped inside a monster’s body.

This is much different than in the book, where he is hated and feared without a doubt of his monstrosity. In fact, the mask of a human form that he hides behind in the book can even be seen to add to his sinister traits; that he would take a human form to deceive his victims just makes him that much more dangerous and downright creepy. He is a monster hiding in a man’s body while Coppola’s Dracula, on the other hand , looks much more like a human being who has been trapped in the body of a monster.

In the late twentieth century, monstrosity becomes acceptable in popular culture when there are reasons behind it that surpass the purely one-dimensional evil of Victorian texts. In effect, Coppola’s postmodern vision delineates Dracula as a complex, multi-dimensional entity; a deeply emotional persona perched on the delicate boundary between man and beast, struggling between the incessantly carnal needs of the predator and the longing of an unrealized and possibly redeeming love (Sahay, p. ) Hence, utilizing the popular myths of true love and reinforcing it with “new age” beliefs in reincarnation, Coppola’s film represents Count Dracula as a redeemable soul whose humanized Otherness dispels much of his monstrosity. The vampire as an icon of evil exists side by side with its postmodernist counterpart. That the vampire created by Stoker has adapted so well without losing connection with its roots is a tribute to the power of the archetype, and of the novel ( Carter, ‘’ Has Dracula Lost His Fangs? ’’).

Sympathetic vampires, like Coppola are more appealing to some contemporary readers, but this attraction has a price — the loss of some of the power, grandeur and intensity that comes from a confrontation with something utterly diabolical. Count Dracula is appealing and interesting not in spite of the fact that he is evil, but because he is evil. Take that away and you weaken that ritual encounter with evil which is at the core of the best horror fiction. Yet, on the other hand, would the appeal of the vampire be as great were it not for the wave of sympathetic vampires?

Do You Find the Rendition of Dracula’s Pursuit of Love Through the Centuries Sentimental? Essay

Dracula Essay

Dracula Essay.

Francis Ford Coppola, director of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, changed a few minor parts of the plot from the book. Even though the movie and book differ slightly, they both are great works. One of the most obvious similarities between Dracula the book and Bram Stoker’s Dracula the movie, is the setting and genre. Both the book and the movie take place in Transylvania sometime during the late 1700s. During the 1700s, most writings were considered to be written with the gothic style of writing.

The gothic style of writing Another similarity that Dracula and Bram Stoker’s Dracula share is the genre they fall into.

Another fairly obvious similarity that Dracula the book and the movie have in common is the loss of personal power. Dracula is described as having the strength of twenty men, take the form of an animal, and even control the weather. In addition to these powers, Dracula can have someone under his curse and have them do his bidding.

Throughout both plotlines, there are many instances were Dracula has people under his spell. In both the movie and the book, it’s fairly easy to tell who is under Dracula’s curse. When Dracula has someone under his spell, they are a complete different person.

Along with acting different, people under Dracula’s curse physical appearance changes. ‘‘As he spoke he smiled, and the lamplight fell on a hard-looking mouth, with very red lips and sharp-looking teeth, as white as ivory” (Stoker). In the book Dracula, the vampire Dracula only has two total victims the reader knows about: Lucy Westerna and Mina Murray. However, in the movie the director shows us that Dracula also has three wives under his curse. This part is not in the book, but it emphasizes how powerful Dracula is.

There is one more common theme between Dracula the book and Bram Stoker’s Dracula the movie, the fear of sexuality. This fear of sexuality is the fear of men being seduced by a woman that is under the spell of Dracula. For example, when Lucy Westenra falls under Dracula’s curse she is described as being a becoming a sexual monster. This idea of female sexuality was unheard of during that time period. With having a woman become a sexual monster the seduces men, this causes a threat to the men in the movie and book.

Dracula Essay

An Epitome of the Gothic Novel Essay

An Epitome of the Gothic Novel Essay.

Dracula, by Bram Stoker, is quite the epitome of the gothic novel. Towards the beginning of the story, the setting takes place in an old and ominous castle, which is highly characteristic of gothic literature.

Harker’s tribulation begins when “the driver was in the act of pulling up the horses in the courtyard of a vast ruined castle,” (Stoker 18). There is also a gloomy and menacing tone given to the setting of the novel, as in most pieces of gothic literature.

This gloom is evident early on in the novel, as it reads, “Then a dog began to howl somewhere in a farmhouse far down the road–a long, agonized wailing, as if from fear. ”(Stoker 16). Also coinciding with the nature of gothic novels is the ever reoccurring supernatural events, such as Count Dracula scaling the castle walls, up-side down: “I saw the whole man slowly emerge from the window and begin to crawl down the castle wall over that dreadful abyss, face down, with his cloak spreading out around him like great wings.

” (Stoker 39). Another common theme of gothic novels is one of women in distress.

This theme is evident throughout Dracula, as Lucy Westenra is in a constant struggle for her life for many days. “She was ghastly, chalkily pale; the red seemed to have gone even from her lips and gums, and the bones of her face stood out prominently;” (Stoker 133). In novels where there is a theme of good versus evil, there is usually a “villain” with ill intentions and a hero or heroin who tries to thwart the villain’s malevolent plans. Dracula, by Bram Stoker, is a perfect example of a “good versus evil” novel. Stoker uses the Christian characters such as Mina, Dr.

Seward, Van Helsing, Harker, and others to portray the side of good in the story. Dracula and his fellow vampires are depicted as the evil characters of the gothic novel. The novel begins with the evil Count Dracula holding Harker captive, in order to attain his ultimate goal, to drink his blood. Harker states in his journal that he wishes to die rather than suffer the evil of the count’s desires: “He might kill me, but death now seemed the happier choice of evils,’ (Stoker 57). There is a constant struggle between the good and evil characters of this story to survive.

As Dracula drinks the protagonists’ blood, he becomes stronger and revitalized. He is mentioned in renewed form in Mina’s journal when it states, “’I believe it is the Count, but he has grown young. My God if this be so! ’” (Stoker 187). His transformation into a younger and more powerful being depends on the carrying out of his devious plans. Lucy Westenra struggles to survive as Dracula slowly drains her life away in order to sustain his in good health. Eventually the side of good prevails as in most “good versus evil” plots, and Dracula is defeated.

The death of the Count is finalized, as the novel states, “It was like a miracle, but before our very eyes, and almost in the drawing of a breathe, the whole body crumbled into dust and passed from our sight. ” (Stoker 398). The entity of Dracula embodies many themes and motifs. He is a sign of pure evil, even taking the form of a devil-resembling man. Count Dracula’s features are described as devilish in the beginning of the novel: “The mouth…with peculiarly sharp white teeth…his ears were pale and at the tops extremely pointed. ” (Stoker 22-23). Count Dracula also embodies sexual desire and lust.

One can see his sexual side and desire being fulfilled as he forces Mina to drink his blood, resembling a different swapping of body fluids: “…his right hand gripped her by the back of the neck, forcing her face down on his bosom…a thin stream trickled down the man’s bare breast…” (Stoker 300). One may even venture to say that he portrays homosexuality. The Count desires to save Jonathan Harker as his own: “Back, I tell you all! This man belongs to me! ” (Stoker 44). He is a symbol of corruption, as he turns pure women into shameless, sexually hungry harlots.

Lucy’s transformation by Dracula into one of these creatures is portrayed by the words of Dr. Seward as he states, “The sweetness was turned to adamantine, heartless cruelty, and the purity to voluptuous wantonness. ” (Stoker 226). Lastly, Dracula embodies a symbol of great and overwhelming power. Dracula proclaims his own might as he declares, “My revenge is just begun! I spread it over centuries, and time is on my side. Your girls that you all love are mine already; and through them you and others shall yet be mine – my creatures, to do my bidding and to be my jackals when I want to feed. Count Dracula has a profound effect on all the characters in the work of literature. Jonathan Harker’s true determine and courage is brought about to prove that he is more than just a mere solicitor when he is faced with the troubling dilemma of being trapped in a vampire’s castle. His testament that he will escape may be observed in his journal as so: “I shall not remain alone with them; I shall try to scale the castle wall farther than I have yet attempted. I shall take some of the gold with me, lest I want it later.

I may find a way from this dreadful place. ” (Stoker 59). One may also observe the complete distraught the Count reeks on Harker. Mina’s diary reveals that he “raved of dreadful things,” (Stoker 116). Lucy Westenra is affected at great lengths also. Dracula causes her horrible nightmares, and transforms her dreams into “a presage of horror,” (Stoker 138). Eventually the Counts consequence is so heavy upon her that she is transformed into a vampire, “working wickedness by night,” (Stoker 230). Dr.

Seward is perhaps revealed as very courageous man through the actions of Count Dracula. His dedication to help save the life of the woman he loved and could not have is commendable. His love is exposed as he journals the entry, “No man knows till he experiences it, what it is like to feel his own life-blood drawn away into the woman he loves. ” (Stoker 141). When one is dealing with a book about vampires, blood is obviously going to play a key role in the story. To Dracula, the blood is his source of energy, youthfulness, and nourishment.

He bites humans and sucks their blood in order to fulfill his undying thirst. “The whole bed would have been drenched to a scarlet with the blood the girl must have lost… ” (Stoker 137). This quote refers to poor Lucy after Dracula has feasted on her blood in order to sustain himself and his desires. Humans on the other hand do not need to constantly replenish their blood supply to live nor is it a form of nourishment for them. However, it is absolutely necessary for them to live.

This is evident throughout the novel as Lucy struggles for her life each time Dracula drains her blood. “Young miss is bad, very bad. She wants blood, and blood she must have or die. ” (Stoker 135). In the novel, blood is not only a means of life for the humans but also a sign of love. Arthur proclaims his love for Lucy as he states, “My life is hers, and I would give the last drop of blood in my body for her. ” (Stoker 134). The mentally disturbed Renfield sums up the importance of blood in the novel when he proclaims, “The blood is the life! ” (Stoker 155).

I believe Stoker chose to write Dracula by using letters and journal entries to give readers an omniscient perspective while still allowing the story to be in first person and for readers to feel a sense of empathy for the characters. One can understand and relate to the true emotions of all the characters and understand the authenticity of the story’s plot through the use of letters and diary entries. For example, readers can realize Lucy’s true feelings for her fiance when she proclaims in a letter to Mina, “But, oh, Mina, I love him; I love him; I love him! (Stoker 63). The use of journal entries also allows for readers to consume multiple perspectives of the same situation from separate characters. Stoker gives Dr. Seward and Van Helsing the important professions of being men of medicine and science. This proves to be key in the struggle to maintain Lucy’s life, as Seward and Van Helsing both use their medical expertise and intelligence to attempt to conquer her malady. Seward is smart, but not as smart as Van helsing, who is the backbone of the life-saving effort.

Van Helsing uses his medical knowledge and quickly assesses what must be done in order to save Lucy’s life by proclaiming, “There must be a transfusion of blood at once. ” (Stoker 134). Van Helsing’s knowledge of science also gives him insight into the realm of the supernatural. Although science and the supernatural are polar opposites, his experience has taught him that both are equally prevalent in life. His knowledge of the upernatural can be observed as explains how to kill Dracula: “Find this great Un-dead and cut off his head and burn his heart or drive a stake through it, so that the world may rest for him. (Stoker 219). In Dracula, Christian mythology can be seen with an inverted twist. Count Dracula can be directly related to an inverted form of Christ himself, as Dracula is persecuted by those who wish to rid the world of his evil doings, and is eventually impaled, relating to the crucifixion. The drinking of blood in order to sustain the vampires’ lives parallels inversely to that of the story of the last supper. As the vampires “must go on age after age adding new victims and multiplying the evils of the world,” they only achieve physical immortality (Stoker 230).

But the story of the last supper in the New Testament teaches us to drink the “blood” of Christ in order to attain spiritual immortality and purify our souls. “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up in the last day” (John 6:54). This subversion of Christian “myth” is important because shows the true tragedy of Dracula and the other vampires’ lives. They will never truly be fulfilled as they go on being the undead, unlike those of the Christian faith who are spiritually fulfilled by the partaking of Jesus’ blood and life.

The major female characters of Dracula are Lucy Westenra and Mina Harker. These women are both noted for their innocence and intrinsic worth as women of there society. Mina is the purest and most submissive of the two, as she has only desires to serve and love her husband Jonathan. Van Helsing credits her for these attributes as he says, “She is one of God’s women, fashioned by His own hand to show us men and other women that there is a heaven where we can enter, and that its light can be here on earth.

So true, so sweet, so noble, so little an egoist – and that, let me tell you, is much in this age, so skeptical and selfish. ”(Stoker 203). Lucy, on the other hand, has a more desirable physical appearance and has a slightly more lustful and sensual side to her. Early on in the novel she writes to Mina in a letter about the three men who have proposed to her. Her almost lustfully unattainable desire to have all of them is written in the letter: “Why can’t they let a girl marry three men, or as many as want her, and save all this trouble? ” (Stoker 66).

Her sexual side is amplified when she becomes a vampire, as she is seen trying to seduce her fiance Arthur. She approaches him seductively and says, “Come to me, Arthur. Leave these others and come to me. My arms are hungry for you. Come, and we can rest together. Come, my husband, come! ” (Stoker 227). Minas importance as one of the major storytellers through her insightful diary and Lucy’s role as the damsel in distress makes them key factors in the development of the plot in this novel. According to the novel, vampires are attracted by the blood of humans.

It would seem as though the blood of the opposite gender is the most alluring, depending on the sex of the vampire. Dracula tends to hunt the female characters such as Lucy, and the three vampire women have a strong attraction to the blood of Jonathan Harker. The vampires are highly opposed to items such as a crucifix, or cloves of garlic. Lucy;s strong opposition to the crucifix can be when “Van Helsing sprang forward and held between them his little golden crucifix. She recoiled from it, and, with a suddenly distorted face, full of rage, dashed past him as if to enter the tomb. (Stoker 227). In order to permanently destroy a vampire, one must thrust a stake through its heart. “Mr. Morris’s bowie knife plunged into the heart…the whole body crumbled into dust and passed from our sight. ” (Stoker 398). Other precautions can also be taken to ensure the vampire’s death: “I shall cut off her head and fill her mouth with garlic,” (Stoker 216). Dracula still remains an icon in today’s society as many shows and books such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Twilight saga have captured the imaginations of many people.

The vampire figures in the Twilight novels are similar to those in Dracula in that they are both very attractive and alluring to the human race. Physically they are very strong, and both need blood to sustain themselves. However, the vampires in Twilight can be either bad or good. The good vampires choose not to feed on the blood of humans but rather on that of animals, in order to keep other humans from experiencing the cursed life that they are damned to. Vampires in this novel are also limited to their human forms, and may not transform into bats, wolves, or any other forms.

An Epitome of the Gothic Novel Essay