Dracula Summary

Dracula by Bram Stoker


Set in the late nineteenth century, Jonathan Harker, a young English lawyer, is traveling to the Castle Dracula, which is located in Transylvania. He makes the trip to finalize a transfer of real estate in England to Dracula. On his journey, the local peasants react in fear when they hear where he is travelling. One peasant begs him not to go on. Harker does continue on to the castle, thinking that it is all just superstitious nonsense. By the time he meets an emissary of the Count in the Borgo Pass, he is nervous. The mysterious coach driver (Dracula) takes Harker to the castle in a sort of trance. Jonathan does not know the difference between being awake and being asleep. It is all very dream-like and unsettling.

Harker describes Count Dracula as pale and thin man with a high forehead, rank breath and hairy palms. The Count is never seen eating or being served by any attendents. On one occasion Harker accidentally cuts himself while shaving and the Count lunges at Harker's throat in "demoniac fury." He also notices that Dracula has no reflection. Harker soon feels he is a prisoner and is accosted by three seductive female vampires that want to feed on him. Dracula is angered by their actions and throws them a sack containing a baby. Knowing he must save himself, Jonathan begins to explore the castle. Eventually he finds an old chapel with The Count in a box of dirt. He attempts to kill Dracula with a shovel but fails. Dracula quickly leaves the castle with fifty boxes of earth, bound for England. The last we hear of Jonathan, he is weak and sick, left alone with no way to escape from the castle.

The setting shifts to England, where Jonathan's fiancée, Mina Murray, is visiting her friend, Lucy Westenra. Lucy shares the news of three marriage proposals with Mina, and finally accepts the marriage proposal of Arthur Holmwood. The other suitors: Dr. John Seward, runs a lunatic asylum, and Quincey Morris, an American from Texas, are also introduced. Mina has two concerns at this point; Lucy has taken up her old habit of sleepwalking, and she has not heard from Jonathan in a long time.

At Whitby, there is a wicked storm and a ship wreck comes into port carrying the dead captain lashed to the helm and fifty boxes of earth from the Castle Dracula. One night Mina goes out looking for Lucy, because she is out sleepwalking, and she sees Lucy near the graveyard overlooking the town. Mina also sees a dark shape bent over Lucy, however when she gets to her side, the figure is gone. Lucy remembers little about the incident, and the girls don't talk of it. Lucy complains of a chill and in wrapping Lucy against the cold, Mina assumes that she accidently pricked Lucy with a pin because she sees two tiny red marks on Lucy's neck. Lucy is often found standing at her bedroom window with a creature beside her. It appears like a large bird, but it is, in fact, a bat. Lucy's health is steadily failing. Dr. Seward, Lucy's former suitor, is called to see her but is unable to identify the cause of Lucy's ailment.

Mina finally hears from Jonathan, and leaves to be with him while he is recovering. He has escaped from Castle Dracula, but we do not know how. Since Lucy's heath is declining, Seward calls his old mentor Dr. Abraham Van Helsing, who offers another medical opinion. Van Helsing is bothered by the two small spots on Lucy's throat and her apparent but unexplainable loss of blood.

Van Helsing decides to give Lucy numerous blood transfusions, and after each one she improves significantly, only fall ill again in a day or two. Van Helsing place garlic around her room, as well as around her neck. Dracula evades this and continues to get to Lucy. One night, a wolf crashes through the window of Lucy's room. The wolf's attack scares Lucy's mother so much she dies of shock, and Lucy left helpless, is once again attacked by the vampire.

The men watch as Lucy shows changes such as longer, pointier teeth and heightened sensuality. At one point she tries to attack her fiancé, Arthur. After she dies, a newspaper reports the strange appearance of something the village children call "the Bloofer Lady." This thing has been attacking young children in the area. Van Helsing suspects this Bloofer Lady to be Lucy and convinces Seward to open her coffin. To Seward's surprise, it is empty.

Mina and Jonathan get married and return to England. Mina eventually transcribes Jonathan's diary of his journey in Transylvania, and Van Helsing asks to read it. Van Helsing then has the job of convincing the men, Lucy's former suitors, to believe in the supernatural. He tells the men he believes Lucy is a vampire and that they must cut off her head and stuff her mouth with garlic, as well as put a stake through her heart. There is resistance from the men, especially Arthur, but they eventually agree. The men see Lucy with blood dripping from her chin, holding a small child. She tries to seduce Arthur and fails. They perform the ritual suggested by Van Helsing. Arthur himself puts the stake through her heart.

The band of men now hunt for The Count and also for the fifty boxes of earth which he brought with him to England. Jonathan, Mina, Dr. Seward, Van Helsing, Holmwood, and Quincey Morris vow to track down kill the vampire. Van Helsing is the first to realize that a change is taking place in Mina. She is lethargic and has begun to grow fangs. The men try to protect her, but one night Van Helsing and Seward break into Mina's room to find Jonathan unconscious and Mina being forced to suck blood from a deep cut in Dracula's chest.

After much hunting, the men discover and destroy all of the fifty boxes except one, which has been shipped back to Dracula's castle. With the help of hypnosis of Mina, who is becoming more vampire-like, they follow Dracula to the Borgo Pass in Transylvania. There they see the last box of dirt being transported to Castle Dracula by a band of gypsies. Next, the men accost the gypsies and throw the box to the ground. The lid is torn of and Dracula is inside. Jonathan cuts off the vampire's head, while Morris drives his knife into the Count's heart. The Count turns to dust, and Quincey Morris, having been wounded by the gypsies, dies.



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Dracula by Bram Stoker Chapters 21 and 24 Quiz
Dracula by Bram Stoker Chapters 25 and 27 Quiz
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Dracula Chapters 9 and 10 Summary
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Dracula Chapters 17 and 19 Summary
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Dracula Chapters 24 and 25 Summary
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