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Ch. 6 - 10: Dracula - by Bram Stoker
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Author:  Chris OConnor [ Tue Mar 30, 2021 7:10 am ]
Post subject:  Ch. 6 - 10: Dracula - by Bram Stoker

Ch. 6 - 10: Dracula - by Bram Stoker


Please use this thread to discuss Chapters 6 - 10 of Dracula by Bram Stoker.

Author:  Mr. P [ Tue Apr 06, 2021 8:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ch. 6 - 10: Dracula - by Bram Stoker

Well, things are surely picking up... Or trending down. What an entrance to Whitby for our mustachioed Count of Darkness...that ship log was engaging and the beaching of the vessel, with its sole "remaining" crew member, was well done.

The infestation of darkness throughout the area surrounding Drac's new digs as well as the within the town folk is becoming pandemic in scale.

We have the first official, confirmed victim from our cast and Jonathan has been reintroduced to the story. Left off at a journal entry from Mina "Harker" , the first time with this surname in the time line, but we still have no clue about what has happened to Jon after Drac left him back in Transylvania.

Renfield seems to have a very strong connection to the presence of Drac and Lucy & her somnabulism seems to have made her the first mark...apparently having a disorder helps with the connection to the pervasive influence of the undead.

Author:  Mr. P [ Tue Apr 06, 2021 8:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ch. 6 - 10: Dracula - by Bram Stoker

Could Dracula perhaps be a symbol of foreign influence, or more directly, immigrants having a disruptive and destructive influence on English society? He is invading their society and bringing the utmost in darkness and despair.

I was reading some commentary when I came upon this thought. It was just a single sentence, but it seems to make some sense. Could this be a reaction to modernization of the world at that time and a lamentation of the impact of that change from simpler times?

Author:  Mr. P [ Wed Apr 07, 2021 6:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ch. 6 - 10: Dracula - by Bram Stoker

Just meeting Van Helsing. What an eccentric gent. It is a bit annoying reading his lines the way Stoker writes him...but, he is evidently the most aware of what is going on.

So interesting too about the transfusion. It seems blood typing was discovered around 1901. In the text, there is no discussion at all of any concern over giving a transfusion... Just who would do it, Seward or Van Helsing... Then Arthur shows up and he is chosen. So back before we knew, it was just a shot in the dark? I will have to do some research now...

Author:  Brooks127 [ Mon Apr 12, 2021 11:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Ch. 6 - 10: Dracula - by Bram Stoker

Mr. Pessimistic wrote:
Could Dracula perhaps be a symbol of foreign influence, or more directly, immigrants having a disruptive and destructive influence on English society? He is invading their society and bringing the utmost in darkness and despair.


This is a really good question, and I've thought about it for a few days with no clear answer to give other than how I view him in the first six chapters. This might change as the story progresses and more of his personality's revealed, but so far I see Dracula as highly intelligent and very logical. He understands morality, and it helps him to be more cunning. I've heard it said he's a predator, and I feel that in how he tries to control every situation by controlling his physical space with locked doors and pleas for his guest to stay so as not to venture off and get into trouble. His entire existence is governed by a series of strict rules designed to protect his secret. In this sense, the aging castle helps him because it's virtually a death trap waiting to collapse. So if he says, "Don't touch the walls because they're brittle," you believe him.

Now, the question goes back to yours. Was this done as more than a writing device? My guess is a lot of thought went into constructing Dracula but perhaps not in how some might think. William S. Burroughs mentioned how writers reveal themselves in their fiction whether they try or not. I suspect that period fears had a hand in creating Dracula but to what extent Bram Stoker actively did this, I have no clue. I'm not a Bram Stoker historian. So I'm speculating. However, one things is for certain. The book came out at a time when science and technology began to seriously challenge religion.

Author:  Brooks127 [ Tue Apr 13, 2021 7:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Ch. 6 - 10: Dracula - by Bram Stoker

I got to thinking about the oceanic voyage of Dracula going to England. My guess is he traveled as follows:
Departed by Black Sea.
Passed through Bosporus Strait into Sea of Marmara.
Entered Aegean Sea.
Navigated the Mediterranean Sea.
Exited via the Strait of Gibraltar.
Sailed up by Portugal.
Entered Bay of Biscay.
Arrived in England.

If correct, it might explain why the captain's hands were tied to the ship's wheel. Theories are he feared leaving his post, but the Mediterranean Sea has strong storms. He might have started tying himself to the wheel before reaching the Bay of Biscay.

Author:  Robert Tulip [ Tue Apr 13, 2021 5:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ch. 6 - 10: Dracula - by Bram Stoker

Brooks127 wrote:
William S. Burroughs mentioned how writers reveal themselves in their fiction whether they try or not. I suspect that period fears had a hand in creating Dracula but to what extent Bram Stoker actively did this, I have no clue. I'm not a Bram Stoker historian. So I'm speculating. However, one things is for certain. The book came out at a time when science and technology began to seriously challenge religion.

The Wikipedia page on Bram Stoker is fascinating and detailed. He was an Irish Protestant who became a prominent London theatre manager, and wrote a number of novels.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bram_Stoker

Author:  Brooks127 [ Tue Apr 13, 2021 7:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ch. 6 - 10: Dracula - by Bram Stoker

Robert Tulip wrote:
The Wikipedia page on Bram Stoker is fascinating and detailed. He was an Irish Protestant who became a prominent London theatre manager, and wrote a number of novels.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bram_Stoker



Thanks.

I checked out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bram_Stok ... philosophy and found this entry interesting, "Stoker believed in progress and took a keen interest in science and science-based medicine. Some of Stoker's novels represent early examples of science fiction, such as The Lady of the Shroud (1909). He had a writer's interest in the occult, notably mesmerism, but despised fraud and believed in the superiority of the scientific method over superstition."

Now, I want to read a biography on his life.

Author:  Mr. P [ Tue Apr 13, 2021 8:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ch. 6 - 10: Dracula - by Bram Stoker

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1631493868/re ... UTF8&psc=1

Author:  Mr. P [ Wed Apr 14, 2021 7:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ch. 6 - 10: Dracula - by Bram Stoker

Brooks127 wrote:
... but so far I see Dracula as highly intelligent and very logical.
And this right here, to me, is THE most underrated aspect of the vampire mythos... The immortality and all the knowledge and experience it brings. I feel this gets downplayed so much vis a vis the more emotional aspects, like the sexuality or the evil. I might be inclined to suffer this curse if that would allow me to experience centuries of human existence. Maybe.

Brooks127 wrote:

Now, the question goes back to yours. Was this done as more than a writing device? My guess is a lot of thought went into constructing Dracula but perhaps not in how some might think. William S. Burroughs mentioned how writers reveal themselves in their fiction whether they try or not. I suspect that period fears had a hand in creating... The book came out at a time when science and technology began to seriously challenge religion.


And I agree. Authors are excellent at detaching themselves from their writing, but I do like detecting the unconscious biases and sentiments that in their work. Things so ingrained in the social conscious that they are super hard to omit. I am no literary critic or analyst, but I do sense these things sometimes.

Author:  Harry Marks [ Sat Apr 17, 2021 10:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ch. 6 - 10: Dracula - by Bram Stoker

I'm struck by the dailiness and petty dramatics of the woman Lucy in Ch. 6. Is it too much to wonder if she is a bit of a vamp herself? She is certainly not averse to telling the stories of the men whose hearts she breaks, despite her friend Mina missing her Jonathan.

I rather suspect that we are meant more to dwell on the contrast between her frivolous ways and Dracula's willfulness and dominance, but we may be meant to sense some comparison with the three weird sisters of the castle in Transylvania. Stoker is interesting enough and can certainly carry on more than one extended metaphor at once.

Author:  Mr. P [ Sun Apr 18, 2021 9:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Ch. 6 - 10: Dracula - by Bram Stoker

Ooh. I do like that thought about the comparison between Lucy and the three female vampires. However, she did have three men trying to seduce and win her. Could there also be something in that?

Author:  Harry Marks [ Sun Apr 18, 2021 10:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Ch. 6 - 10: Dracula - by Bram Stoker

Well, it's a strange kind of inversion, and the more I think about it the less I am confident that I see what Stoker has in mind, but I can't help thinking there is a reason for the number of suitors matching the number of vampire women. A foil is a useful literary device, with compare and contrast wrapped up together.

The weird sisters in the castle have something sexual in their desire for Harker, but we also understand that the need for blood is not sexual at its core but uses "animal magnetism" as part of the way it casts its spell. Is Stoker suggesting that the attraction the suitors feel for Lucy is vampiric, with at least one of them having hardly met her but feeling compelled by her beauty? Maybe. The genuine love she feels for Arthur, and from Arthur, is surely a contrast with the vampiric predatory hunt.

I suspect the well-known Victorian repression of sexuality, matched by secret skulking off to prostitutes, is a kind of stage of movement beyond the ribaldry of 18th century society and towards a healthier sense of the satisfactions of "gentlemen" that came with Victoria's power (and Albert's sublimated, generous masculinity). And Stoker is wrestling with those tensions, trying to "unearth" (sorry) the dark forces that also gave us Jack the Ripper, but in a captivating (sorry) and ultimately hopeful way.

Lucy's sleepwalking, which irritated me very much when I read the book in college, is clearly symbolizing a Jungian shadow side of her dedication to romance. It will make her vulnerable, and suggests that she has some repressed side that already represents vulnerability. A desire to be dominated? Maybe, but more likely a desire to be captivating, to recruit the power of masculine station and willfulness to her own repressed goals of domination over others. She wants to be free, in a way that is not available in daytime society.

Domination is the old way, the way power was maintained for the sake of power but increasingly also for the sake of achieving civilized common life. Dracula's contrasts suggest adaptation to this tension to me, (I like the suggestion that he is "aware" of morality, like a sociopath would be) but he is clearly still committed fully to domination as the reality of "human" nature. Stoker is going to pit otherworldly power against his horrific ways of domination, but not in some modernist, optimistic way, nor with any power of the romantic at all.

Author:  Harry Marks [ Thu Apr 22, 2021 3:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ch. 6 - 10: Dracula - by Bram Stoker

Much of the writing in the next few chapters takes the shape of a process we have become familiar with in horror writing. I wonder how new it was at the time. Incident after incident, from the arrival of the ship to the escape of the "zoophagous" madman, takes the shape of revealing what we as readers know to fear, but the people in the story seem oblivious to. We know, because that is the way story works, that Dracula is behind Lucy's repeated exhaustions and pinprick holes in her neck, behind the dog escaping from the ship, behind the madman's obsessions and alternating extremes.

Why can't they see it? This is the maneuver that so many horror films trade in, where we know there is a murderous madman lurking and the characters go on with their lives, perhaps bewildered, but not clued in enough to be alarmed. I wonder if that leads to the actual function of van Helsing - to serve as a transition object for the reader, to contain our horrifying knowledge with some semblance of ability to stand up to the dreaded swirling menace.

Author:  Mr. P [ Thu Apr 22, 2021 4:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ch. 6 - 10: Dracula - by Bram Stoker

I was so annoyed that no one really heeded the signs. And even when Van Helsing kinda knew what was going on....they STILL managed to leave Lucy alone enough to get her killed (unkilled?)

At least stay with her!

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