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2017 Group Reads - Archives > Dracula - Week 3 (Chapters 11-13)

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message 1: by Gem , Moderator (new)

Gem  | 682 comments Mod
Our week three read will be chapters 11 through 13.

Why does Stoker resort to a newspaper account to describe the escaped
wolf? What do you, the reader, know at this point that readers of that
newspaper story don’t?

How does the back and forth switch between news accounts, telegrams,
etc. in this (and other) chapters contribute to our reaction to the pace of
the events described in the story?

Englishmen in the Victorian age adored death scenes and made a fetish
out of the dead, especially a young and beautiful corpse. The description, "All Lucy's loveliness..." agrees with the idea, current in those days, that the beauty of such a corpse was evidence of her purity. How does that contrast with Van Helsing telling Seward that after the funeral, they must cut off Lucy’s head and take out her heart?


message 2: by Deborah, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Deborah (deborahkliegl) | 4445 comments Mod
This book is really hard to put down. I wonder how much his readers knew about the vampire myth, if anything at all. Since we are very familiar with the story, even if we’ve never read it before. I feel like we know a lot more than the characters. Only one character seems to be familiar with vampires.


message 3: by Deborah, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Deborah (deborahkliegl) | 4445 comments Mod
The writing style of using diaries, letters, and newspaper articles reminds me a lot of Wilkie Collins’ Woman in White.


Roman Clodia I'm confused: who put the laudanum into the sherry decanter to make the servants go to sleep?

Also amused as Van Helsing says: 'A brave man's blood is the best thing on this earth when a woman is in trouble. You're a man, and no mistake. Well, the devil may work against us for all he's worth, but God sends us men when we want them.'


message 5: by Lori, Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lori Goshert (lori_laleh) | 1280 comments Mod
Roman Clodia wrote: "I'm confused: who put the laudanum into the sherry decanter to make the servants go to sleep?

Also amused as Van Helsing says: 'A brave man's blood is the best thing on this earth when a woman is ..."


I was wondering the same thing. Did Dracula bewitch that one servant to do it?


Roman Clodia Ah, thanks!

Interesting, too, the way in which sexuality becomes conflated with vampirism in women:

[Lucy] 'said in a soft voluptuous voice, such as I had never heard from her lips: - "Arthur! Oh my love, I am so glad you have come! Kiss me!"

Compared with the scene a few paragraphs later when she's 'human' again and speaks to V-H in 'a faint voice', kissing his hand in gratitude: 'my true friend, and his! Oh, guard him, and give him peace!'


message 7: by Deborah, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Deborah (deborahkliegl) | 4445 comments Mod
Roman Clodia wrote: "Ah, thanks!

Interesting, too, the way in which sexuality becomes conflated with vampirism in women:

[Lucy] 'said in a soft voluptuous voice, such as I had never heard from her lips: - "Arthur! O..."


Yes the sexuality piece is very interesting. It makes me wonder if the current vampire beliefs incorporate that as well. I believe it’s Romania that still practices certain burial rights to prevent vampirism.


Jeremy | 108 comments Deborah wrote: "This book is really hard to put down. I wonder how much his readers knew about the vampire myth, if anything at all. Since we are very familiar with the story, even if we’ve never read it before. I..."

I'm wondering the same thing. Why is Van Helsing being so secretive about what he knows? Of the two statements "I believe Lucy has been infected with vampirism" and "We need to cut off her head and remove her heart," is one really more shocking than the other? As a literary device I see how it keeps the reader in suspense, especially a reader not as familiar with vampire myths as modern audiences are. But I'm starting to doubt Dr. Seward's intelligence - how has he not connected the dots yet?


message 9: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 2768 comments Mod
I wondered about Dr. Seward myself when I read the book earlier this year.


message 10: by Deborah, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Deborah (deborahkliegl) | 4445 comments Mod
Rosemarie wrote: "I wondered about Dr. Seward myself when I read the book earlier this year."

So maybe the readers wouldn’t have been familiar with the vampire myth and Sewars would then have been a believable character. Yet somehow he knew about van helsing.


Hilary (agapoyesoun) | 181 comments It's a while since I read this and I, somewhat to my surprise, loved it. I love the way Bram Stoker writes!


message 12: by Deborah, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Deborah (deborahkliegl) | 4445 comments Mod
Hilary wrote: "It's a while since I read this and I, somewhat to my surprise, loved it. I love the way Bram Stoker writes!"

I’m really enjoying it too.


Rafael da Silva (morfindel) | 270 comments Me too. This epistolary writing it's so perfect for the mystery.


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