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Ch. 21 - 27: Dracula - by Bram Stoker 
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 Ch. 21 - 27: Dracula - by Bram Stoker
Ch. 21 - 27: Dracula - by Bram Stoker


Please use this thread to discuss Chapters 21 - 27 of Dracula by Bram Stoker.



Tue Mar 30, 2021 7:07 am
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Post Re: Ch. 21 - 27: Dracula - by Bram Stoker
Oy. The prose is getting so repetitive and irksome, specifically all the 'and all of us who love her dearly, bless her heart and pure soul, her fairness and her... Blah blah blah.' So antiquated to read now and even for that time, a tad over done. At least Mina gets credit for her contributions. But sheese. These men are just hounds. First Lucy, now Mina. So creepy.


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Wed Apr 14, 2021 9:06 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 21 - 27: Dracula - by Bram Stoker
A stray thought I had regarding the Host. So they are fighting a flesh eater/blood drinker with a practice that pretends to eat flesh and blood of Jesus.

Just amusing. No commentary.


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Wed Apr 14, 2021 9:08 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 21 - 27: Dracula - by Bram Stoker
Have not mentioned it before, but the device of the dirt is a bit cumbersome and I wonder why stoker made it so that the Count HAD to ship his home dirt about. Why not just any dirt?

The dirt is described as consecrated and connected to his homeland. Will the dirt of England (or any land) eventually suffice to regenerate the Count and other vampires? Or does it always have to be Transylvania dirt?

Seems the device will be a means for the hunters to kill him. But it also seems to be a gaping hole In Drac's plan and makes him extremely vulnerable. Although, maybe he figures he has been immortal for so long that he can always prevail. But not against the scrappy men (and women) of jolly ol'!!!


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Wed Apr 14, 2021 9:21 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 21 - 27: Dracula - by Bram Stoker
So Stoker's Drac can be active and out in the daylight. I figured the burning sun was at least a part of, if not initiated by, Stoker's tale.


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Thu Apr 15, 2021 9:05 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 21 - 27: Dracula - by Bram Stoker
Quote:
Our old fox is wily; oh; so wily, and we must follow with wile. I too am wily and I think his mind in a little while.


Is this alliteration simply pleasant sounding or indicative of something revelatory? Is Van Helsing a counterpart to Drac in some way? More so than a nemesis?


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Thu Apr 15, 2021 9:33 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 21 - 27: Dracula - by Bram Stoker
Quote:
With the child-brain that was to him he have long since conceive the idea of coming to a great city. What does he do? He find out the place of all the world most of promise for him. Then he deliberately set himself down to prepare for the task. He find in patience just how is his strength, and what are his powers. He study new tongues. He learn new social life; new environment of old ways, the politic, the law, the finance, the science, the habit of a new land and a new people who have come to be since he was. His glimpse that he have had, whet his appetite only and enkeen his desire.

Nay, it help him to grow as to his brain; for it all prove to him how right he was at the first in his surmises. He have done this alone; all alone! from a ruin tomb in a forgotten land.

What more may he not do when the greater world of thought is open to him. He that can smile at death, as we know him; who can flourish in the midst of diseases that kill off whole peoples. Oh, if such an one was to come from God, and not the Devil, what a force for good might he not be in this old world of ours.

But we are pledged to set the world free. Our toil must be in silence, and our efforts all in secret; for in this enlightened age, when men believe not even what they see, the doubting of wise men would be his greatest strength.


Just isolating this for now.


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Post Re: Ch. 21 - 27: Dracula - by Bram Stoker
A side note that made me smile, due to professional connotation: the mention of LLOYD'S. I am sure everyone knows Lloyd's of London, not the first insurance company on the technicality that it was not formed as an insurance company, but a collection of risk takers. It was formed in 1686 in a coffee house. It's primary focus: marine insurance.
It predated the first insurance company, Sun, by 24 years.

Lloyd's is mentioned in the context of the Vampire hunters need to keep track of the Czarina Catherine, where Drac is thought to be sequestered as he travels back to Transylvania.

As an insurance professional, I feel like I am now part of the hunt. Maybe not. But still like the mention.


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Fri Apr 16, 2021 8:34 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 21 - 27: Dracula - by Bram Stoker
So as I near the last 10 pages... I must say that I am not impressed with this story. It's ok. The whole thing though seems very basic and the characters are sooo thin and basic. The whole of Dracs plan to come to London was...just... Eh. He comes after so much planning and we rarely see him, and then flees back home.

Let's hope the climax is killer.


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Post Re: Ch. 21 - 27: Dracula - by Bram Stoker
Ok. This is a classic, and it did set the standard for modern vampire stories. But it was just ok IMO. The ending...so bland and anti-climactic. Jeez, they never really had a confrontation with him aside from that one scene in the Harkers room. And that fizzled.

Stoker just glossed over every conflict and it came off as an afterthought that the hunters were always going to win.

It was worth the read, but... I am just not in awe.


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Sat Apr 17, 2021 10:13 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 21 - 27: Dracula - by Bram Stoker
Good to see these comments on the ending from Mr. P. I tend not to read comments until I have read the chapters they are about, so have only just read them now.

Having just finished reading Dracula, I thought I should reflect on some points including some of the ending. I realized about halfway through that when I first read it back in 1974 I had abandoned it early on, being too terrified to continue. I seem these days to be more inured to scariness.

The Wikipedia entry on Vampires https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vampire and some of the related pages on vampire literature and Dracula show what a popular and imaginative theme Stoker established. The recent vampire books of the Twilight series sold more than a hundred million copies, showing the strangely seductive allure in the vampire myth.

While there was a range of earlier vampire books, Dracula remains the classic masterpiece of the genre, definitive and iconic, establishing numerous popular modern vampire myths, and also conflicting with others such as the ability of sunlight to kill vampires, as Mr P notes.

Again as Mr P mentions, one strange point that attracts little comment is that the Christian communion ritual of drinking the blood of Jesus Christ has a vampiric overtone. And yet the communion bread, in the form of the consecrated wafer, plays a major role in the book, regularly used by Van Helsing to sterilise vampire lairs and prevent their passage.

I found Dracula compelling to read, although there were some weaknesses in the plot, and the ending is somewhat predictable and lame.

Count Dracula lives alone in his castle with his three ‘brides’, with support only from random paid gypsies, going out at night to prey upon infants. Why the locals tolerate this is never discussed. An armed siege of the castle could easily winkle the monster out, in a region where warfare is continual. The ability of Count Dracula to travel by boat to and from England with his coffins of earth is something even the most failed of states should have been able to notice and prevent. Even accepting that the English imagined Romania as a rather backward region, the idea that Dracula had long continued this reign of terror with impunity requires a significant suspension of disbelief regarding Romanian tolerance of vampires. Only by going to England did he encounter people able to challenge him. This seeming prejudicial contempt for Balkan indifference and incompetence shows Stoker assuming the prevailing British imperial arrogance as normal. There is something formulaic in the gang of four – an American, a solicitor, an aristocrat and a doctor – who work with the Dutch vampirologist to kill the beast by stabbing it with their steely knives.

A second questionable point is that when Madam Lucy becomes a vampire, and the maid steals the cross from her corpse, Van Helsing seems to give up, stating “now we must wait”. This is strange, considering he had already explained the dangers of allowing Lucy to emerge in her undead state, having gained the agreement of Lucy’s grieving husband to exorcise the vampire spirit. The result is that he allows the vampire loose to prey on the innocent people of London when he could have easily prevented it as he planned. Stoker could have found a better way to explain this failure by Van Helsing.

The third plot weakness arises after Mina is forced by Dracula to drink his blood, giving him partial control of her mind. Mina is allowed to accompany the vampire hunters to Transylvania, due to her telepathic communication with the vampire in his coffin on the high seas, even though they know this will allow Dracula to read her mind and avoid them, which he duly does. This is a case of dramatic emotion getting priority over logical sense, but hey, that is the whole point of the genre, so all these dubious points don’t really matter.

Great book.


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Post Re: Ch. 21 - 27: Dracula - by Bram Stoker
Mr. P wrote:
So Stoker's Drac can be active and out in the daylight. I figured the burning sun was at least a part of, if not initiated by, Stoker's tale.
In China Mieville's "The Scar", the Brucolac is some variety of vampire and is defeated by the wielder of the Possibility Engine. A nice piece of SciFi. Mieville can be counted on for interesting inventiveness. So Uther Doul, the victor, strings the Brucolac up on the masts, to roast in the sun.

I am away from the pressures of my teaching, and looking forward to catching up on Dracula. But I am also beginning to wonder if defining his superpowers and his kryptonites may be just a distraction from the demonstration of Will. Dracula is a kind of local Sauron, inexhaustably determined to dominate for the sake of the blood on which he thrives. The interesting part of the story, to Stoker, seems to be the contest between the will of Dracula and the will of van Helsing and his helpers. The latter must rely on occult symbols and powers, like the sword used against Grendel and other monsters, and so these artifacts are granted sacred status. By virtue of power, taken as the only way to counter the awesome power of Dracula.

We have moved beyond this view of the world. Power is almost banal now, an impotent giant huddled in nuclear silos and a subject to explore in comic books and thriller novels. Today we counter Will with a commonality of morals that agrees to reject domination and permit individual thriving on its own terms. I am curious, as I read the last half of the book, whether Stoker has any inkling of this change, or is still captive to the spell created by power.



Wed May 26, 2021 4:54 pm
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